A recent study conducted by the University of Queensland in Australia may very well provide some very valuable insights to help Americans understand and assess President Trump’s behaviors, beliefs, and policy positions.
This study, published in Intelligence magazine, identifies a correlation between homophobia and lower cognitive abilities, linking hatred and prejudice with lower intelligence.
The study relied on three fundamental and standard tests for measuring cognitive ability and functioning and also asked each participant in the study their opinion on the following statement: “Homosexual couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples.”
Those who disagreed with this statement, openly acknowledging their homophobia, performed poorer on the standardized tests.
Now, Trump has spent a lot of time trying to convince Americans and really anyone who will listen, that he is really smart.
Earlier this year, in a tweet of course, he informed us, “[M]y two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart,” letting us know that he is “a very stable genius.” And he likes to remind us that attended an Ivy League university.
So, it’s easy for us to believe he’s smart.
Luckily we have this new study, rooted in neuroscience and neuropsychology, which gives us evidence-based research to understand that Trump isn’t smart. We might have just thought he’s a “P*&%y-grabbing genius” hater who likes to defend the white nationalist marchers in Charlottesville who feared being replaced by Jews.
We can now question his self-assessment as “a very stable genius” and confidently conclude that he’s not just a hater, he’s stupid—and he’s peddling stupidity.
If we believe in science, that is.
And this stupidity is dangerously informing his policy and Republican policy overall.
Consider the following:
*Recently, the department of Health and Human Services finalized a regulatory change that would allow health care providers to deny care, even life-saving care, if they feel doing so violates their personal beliefs.
This policy invention of the Trump-Pence administration promises to make it harder for LGBTQ people, who already experience healthcare disparities because of discrimination, to access healthcare. Already 23% of transgender people avoid seeking necessary care because of fear of discrimination. Further 56% of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual people and 70% of transgender or non-gender-conforming people report experiencing discrimination when they do seek healthcare, through outright refusal to provide care, harsh language, or physical roughness in the administering of care.
We can see now that this policy is not the fruit of intelligence, but downright thorough stupidity.
*Trump sought to ban transgender people from serving openly in the military. The Supreme Court recently upheld this ban.
Now we can see that Trump and the five Supreme Court Justices who affirmed Trump’s policy are not just homophobic haters; they’re absolutely stupid.
Yes, even those most educated among us can be hateful and stupid, confirming Karl Marx’s precept that “The educators must be educated.”
*The Supreme Court will soon rule in a case that will determine whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination “on the basis of sex” (thank you, Ruth Bader Ginsburg) extends protections for transgender and LGBTQ people in the workplace and in employment practices.
The attempt to deny such protections, arguing that the meaning of the word “sex” does not include sexual orientation or transgender identities, is in line with the overall ideology and ethos the Trump administration has supported and pushed quite aggressively.
This aggression and hate, we now know thanks to this study, verifies the suspicion many of us have been harboring that this policy is not the product of intelligence or stable genius, but rather pure and unadulterated stupidity.
Trump is not just a hater; he’s “stoopid” with two O’s.
Tim Libretti is a professor of U.S. literature and culture at a state university in Chicago. A long-time progressive voice, he has published many academic and journalistic articles on culture, class, race, gender, and politics, for which he has received awards from the Working Class Studies Association, the International Labor Communications Association, the National Federation of Press Women, and the Illinois Woman’s Press Association.