In anticipation of the presidential elections to be held in the US in 2016, which are starting to be on everyone’s mind, let’s relieve some of the tension building around the subject by taking our collective hats off in honor of some past laugh out loud wrong presidential candidates statements.
These statements, mind you, belong to the current presidential candidates.
And I mention that they are past statements which fall into the glorious category mentioned above, so as to differentiate them from future such statements, because the probability of them happening is not null, if you get my drift.
Also, they were, curiously, not set loose upon the world by the representatives of just one party, but by both. Just to make it clear that nature, at least, is impartial when distributing her gifts of elocution and logic.
Without further ado, I give you these orator’s gems:
1. Martin O’ Malley
It’s hard to think of a more expressive and recent example of someone who is totally out of touch with the going-ons in the world at large. What’s sad is that in this case, Mr. O’Malley is running to become the leader of the world’s (currently) only superpower, so in his case it might be sort of, maybe useful if he DID know just a tiiiiny bit more about international affairs.
Especially the big-attention grabbing kind like the war in Syria. You see, he declared that he thinks:
“Assad’s invasion of Syria will be seen as a blunder.”
Ahem. As in, Bashar al Assad, the president of Syria. That one.
Apparently Mr. O’Malley doesn’t know that it’s kind of impossible to invade the country you rule, albeit just nominally when it comes to the whole territory, because there are many groups fighting there which are themselves unrecognized internationally.
2. Ben Carson
Here’s one that’s right up there in the major league crackpot Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter meets Keith Richards’ stash sort of trips away from reason.
Mr. Carson claimed that, in his own words:
“In the class of 1968 at Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, Mahmoud Abbas was one of the members of that class, and so was Ali Khamenei. And that’s where they first established relationships with the young Vladimir Putin.”
Apart from the fact that they are a tad ideologically different (but hey, maybe that’s all an act), Khamenei was imprisoned at the time, Putin was 16 and in high-school not university and Khamenei didn’t even visit that particular university in 1968, let alone study there…
3. Ben Carson (again)
While we’re in crazy town, let’s go visit the luxurious mansion where Ben Carson’s other statement lives, surrounded by admirers.
In a win for science he said:
“A lot of people who go into prison straight, and when they come out they’re gay.”
Gee-whiz! And we all thought the whole homosexuality thing was a bit more complicated. And that in this particular instance, sure some of the inmates might be hidden gays and for various reasons decide to come out publicly while in prison (maybe because they have nothing more to lose or the other horrors they’ve endured have cured their fear of public scorn). Or maybe even some of the inmates might discover their different sexual orientation while in prison.
But to claim that they all turn gay by going to prison is like saying that all those with PTSD suffer from it because they’re in fact in love with bullets, IEDs, trauma, injuries and horror. Because a soldier gets PTSD as a result of the traumas not because he opts for it. Just like prisoners might be raped in prison by other prisoners, thus causing them a trauma which possibly might result in an apparent change of sexual orientation, in rare cases.
And if he was referring to the rapists themselves, most people understand that there’s a tiny difference between liking someone and raping someone. In the case of inmates, rape has been documented by researchers to actually be a form of domination and imposing hierarchy.
Now if inmates would all suddenly start caring about each others’ feelings, dedicating love poems and having passionate, consensual and partner-aware intercourse, that would probably make Mr. Carson’s claim valid.
4. Donald Trump
The current favorite for controversial if not actually appalling statements regarding anything from immigrants to foreign relations, Mr. Trump had one that was truly magical when discussing the US economy.
“The last quarter, it was just announced, our gross domestic product — a sign of strength, right? But not for us. It was below zero. Who ever heard of this? It’s never below zero.”
Now, let’s try and understand the reasoning behind it step by step. If he was referring to the GDP per se being below zero, that’s game over for the Goddess of Reason, who I am informed has just turned over the discussion table screamed in frustration, and left the room.
Because the Gross Domestic Product of a country can only be zero if nothing gets produced in that country. As in really nothing. Think post-apocalyptic landscape, but without any survivors, technology, industry, heck, even civilization. In other words, even the world depicted in the Fallout series is liable to produce a GDP possessing group if anyone bothered to actually calculate it etc.
Moving on, if he meant to say growth in GDP, de Goddess of Reason would have stayed on, but probably had whipped out her little friendly gadget, The BS Detector, because USA has gone through 11 recessions just since World War II, which were all characterized by negative growth. That’s lower than zero growth, that Mr. Trump claimed never happened, in case you were wondering.