By Luke Haines
It was always said by supporters of George W. Bush that their cousins were strangely alluring.
Wait, sorry, that wasn’t the Bush supporter line I was thinking of. I’ll come in again.
It was always said by supporters of George W. Bush that he had an endearingly folksy quality. For all of George’s faults, that was actually true—he seemed like a normal guy you could have met in a bar somewhere.
Donald Trump also resembles someone you’d meet in a bar somewhere, but not in a good way. He seems like the sort of lonely blowhard who would start talking to you about how awesome he was—or doing the same thing whilst standing uncomfortably close, if you’re a woman—and who just wouldn’t take the hint to piss off. We’ve all gotten stuck with that person, at one time or another, and we’ve all found ourselves wondering: “What’s WRONG with this guy?!”
We also tend to wonder the same thing whilst watching Trump attempt to give a speech. What, exactly, is wrong with Trump’s brain?!
I’m not talking about what’s wrong with his personality, you understand. He’s a pampered crybaby who has probably got some sort of serious mental illness—most likely Narcissistic Personality Disorder—but also, on a more basic level, it just doesn’t seem like he’s firing on all cylinders.
Let’s take a closer look at what could be wrong with Donald’s brain.
Please understand that I’m not a doctor, so all of this is speculative and no, I don’t know what your rash means, please stop showing me.
1.He’s an old man.
It may seem like a cheap shot to make fun of Trump’s age, but it bears repeating: He’s the oldest man ever elected President. He’s older than Ronald Reagan was when he got elected, and Reagan was eventually destroyed by Alzheimer’s disease. Whilst nothing has ever been categorically proven, many have said that Reagan’s mind was already beginning to slip in his second term, and others have whispered that there were signs of it during his first.
Of course, the fact that one old, stupid Republican asshole was legitimately senile is no proof that another old, stupid Republican asshole has any genuine neurological issues, but even if Trump’s brain is fine, neural plasticity begins to decline around age thirty, and for Trump that was sometime during the Ford administration. He’s nowhere near as quick thinking as he was in years past—although, as an upside for the president, it never feels like his IQ had far to fall. Still, his rambling, run-on sentences seem scarily reminiscent of the meandering thought patterns of the senile.
Whilst Trump can afford the finest suits money can buy, he’s too god damned cheap for that. Nonetheless, he buys half decent suits and they conceal his girth with some success, so it’s hard to say if Trump is a flabby, wheezing asshole or a morbidly obese wheezing asshole. Either way, it’s safe to say he’s not in shape.
Trump is a naturally large man, sure, but he has long admitted a fondness for fast food, and the effects are clear. He’s fat, and fat in too great a quantity—especially around the belly—can be extremely damaging to the brain. As a rule of thumb, for every extra pound of fat, test subjects scored one percent worse on a memory test. Not only that, but the trans fats in Trump’s favourite foods—cheeseburgers, pizzas, all that stuff—can affect the brain’s ability to utilise omega 3 acids and run properly.
In layman’s terms, too much greasy, fried food can make your brain stop working, and too much belly fat can ruin your memory. God knows what this means for Trump—maybe he left Melania in New York for six months and kept trying to fuck his daughter because he can’t remember which unprincipled gold digger he’s meant to be sticking his flaccid, grease-clogged penis into.
Ironically, trans-fats are being fazed out in America in recent years thanks to an order from the Obama administration. Maybe Barack really WAS a master of the long game, and trying to prevent his successor’s brain from being too badly ruined.
3.He played college football.
You know an idea has reached the mainstream when there’s been a whole Will Smith movie about it, but just to be clear: The science is in, and football causes brain damage.
Of 111 college football players studied in a recent test, a terrifying 110 of them showed some sign of neurological damage consistent with Chronic Trauma Encephalopathy—a dementia-like condition caused by repeated concussive impacts to the skull.
Trump, of course, played football during his own college days.
Images from the time show that Trump was much the same as he is now—a naturally big man but not notably athletic in any real sense. He strikes the viewer as the kind of player who used his natural size advantage to play football the same way he now does everything—charging blindly forwards and hoping he had enough weight behind him to knock down whoever was in his way. This is a stupid plan in business and politics and outright dangerous in terms of football and head injury.
It is, of course, possible that Trump was a tremendous football player, swift as the wind and nimble as a gazelle, but given that this was also the period where he avoided the draft by claiming he had crippling bone spurs, it seems unlikely. In fact, if his bone spurs were anywhere near as bad as he claimed (they weren’t), he probably couldn’t move around the field at all, instead just standing still and waiting for other players to crash into him.
Lyndon Johnson said that Gerald Ford played too many games of football without a helmet, but Trump makes Ford look like Oscar Wilde. We can only assume, given his current lucidity, that Trump thought helmets were a liberal conspiracy. And that he habitually practiced his tackles against a wall.
With all of this evidence factored in, the conclusion is inescapable. Trump is so old, concussed and full of hotdogs that by all rights, his speeches should sound like… Well, like this:
Tune in next time when I’ll be trying to work out just how long we can expect a man in Trump’s dire physical condition to stay alive.
Luke Haines is a British writer who gives us the UK perspective on the Trumpian age. He occasionally tweets as @lukedoughaines