Intelligence? Don’t Pester the Dealmaker

12 12 2016

“I’m, like, a smart person, I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years.”

A complaint from a precocious six-year-old looking out at eight years of grade school? No. It’s an exact quote from a soon-to-be world leader with an attention span rivaling that six-year-old. Oh, and Donald Trump is explaining why he takes almost no briefings from US intelligence agencies. He has no time for such nonsense, you see. It would cut into his time spent on more important matters. Such as tweeting scorn for Alec Baldwin and Saturday Night Live, or leading “victory rallies,” or bragging about his “mandate” and spreading lies about millions of illegal voters in California robbing him of a popular vote victory. (Did you notice that he said EIGHT years? God save us).

All this is no surprise. He told us exactly what his approach to foreign policy would be, a seeming eternity ago in the endless campaign. Here’s a link describing his primary source of ideas and inspiration for dealing with the world.

So Trump’s dismissive approach to intelligence was already expected by those of us who have been paying attention to his rants these many months.  But what is surprising is how many otherwise intelligent citizens were hoodwinked into voting for this monster. When and how will they wake up to this colossal huckster remains to be seen.

Many are skeptical of America’s security apparatus in general, and the CIA in particular, and with good reason.  But Trump’s already-established practice of ignoring intelligence, and picking fights with the agencies, just can’t be good for the country.  Remember the last obvious time when our nation’s chief executive chose to ignore intelligence briefings? That was the summer of 2001. We all know how well that turned out. I fear we could be headed down a similar, but possibly shockingly more dangerous path right now.

But let’s return to Trump’s self-description. Based on his behavior as a candidate and a president-elect, he is nothing “like” a smart person. And he’s not just “like” a willful, impulsive, petulant, self-dealing, grandstanding narcissist who has no business leading a hotel, let alone a country. He is all that, and more.  And it adds up to this – the most spectacularly unqualified, and unspeakably dangerous person to take the post in the modern era, and maybe ever.

Considering who occupied the White House from 2001-2009, that is saying a LOT.