Opinion

Trump freaks out about all the wrong things

The president wants people to be afraid when they shouldn't be afraid and wants people to be unconcerned when they should be concerned

You don't need to worry about the epidemic that's spreading rapidly around the world, killing all those people, and creating economic turmoil, according to someone who knows nothing about it.

"The Coronavirus is very much under control in the U.S.A.," President Trump tweeted on Monday. "We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!" This was on the same day that U.S. stock markets plunged more than 3.5 percent amid concerns that the coronavirus was very much not under control.

The following day, the Centers for Disease Control warned that the coronavirus was headed to the United States, and the Dow Jones dropped more than 800 points. Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the CDC's head of respiratory diseases, said, "Disruption to everyday life might be severe."

Lesson: When Trump tells you not to worry, you should worry.

Not only does the president get things wrong, but his priorities are skewed. He doesn't worry about things he cannot understand, and he doesn't want us to worry about them either. This is a lot of things.

Trump wants people to be afraid when they shouldn't be afraid and wants people to be unconcerned when they should be concerned. The rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak is under control. The plunging stock market is nothing to worry about. North Korea is now a pacifist hippie commune. Americans with pre-existing conditions won't lose their health coverage, notwithstanding the Trump administration's attempts to deprive them of it.

The man who said that he alone could "fix it" solves problems by wishing them away.

Here are the things you shouldn't worry about that Trump wants you to freak out about:

In his second month of office, Trump called the media "a great danger to our country."

Prior to the 2018 midterm elections, the president stoked fears of a massive caravan of Hispanics. "Sadly, it looks like Mexico's Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States," he tweeted. "Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy."

The caravan was such an emergency that Trump didn't have time to spell "emergency" correctly.

"To those in the Caravan, turnaround," he demanded three days later, mistaking a noun for a verb.

Trump's caravan fears subsided after the election, but not entirely. Two weeks after Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives, Trump tweeted: "There are a lot of CRIMINALS in the Caravan. We will stop them. Catch and Detain! Judicial Activism, by people who know nothing about security and the safety of our citizens, is putting our country in great danger. Not good!"

Judicial activism, though a great danger in regard to criminals in caravans, is welcome — indeed, just — when the criminals are Trump's friends. That is why the president berates judges who don't reinterpret the laws in such a way as to keep him and his cronies out of prison. Trump takes trivial things seriously and serious things trivially, and he makes his personal problems national problems.

There are problems in the world that Trump doesn't want to unnerve you about. Real problems, unlike fabricated ones, he is able to solve by going on the internet and declaring them solved.

In June 2018, Trump tweeted that "everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea." He declared that "all missle launches have stoped…. We will be fine!" The missile launches have not stopped, and neither have Trump's viral misspellings. (He misspelled "coronavirus" on Wednesday.)

It's hard to tell whether Trump is lying or just ignorant about literally everything.

In his book The Descent of Man, Charles Darwin wrote, "Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: It is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science."

Trump exemplifies the descent of man. Two years ago, he said on purpose, "I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else's brain can ever tell me."

His gut, it is true, is larger than most people's brains, but that does not make it smarter. Which is why you should always keep in mind this axiom: The more confidently Trump asserts something, the less confident you should be that it is true.

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