Witty, hilarious, and incisive comments that explain stupidity — and breathtaking specimens of the thing itself as shown in statements of US politicians.
Science has always held the answers — or at least the promise of answers — to many of our problems. Deadly ones, like cancer, strokes, and heart attacks. And troubling, though non-deadly ones, ranging from blindness to baldness. We have been able to explore the deepest, darkest areas of the sea. And we have actually unlocked the secrets of the universe, even exploring it by going to the moon and beyond. And, thanks to science, we have been able to kill, torture, and spy on each other in the most ingenious ways.
Yet some mysteries are beyond even the power of science to fathom. Below, we present a small selection of pronouncements by President Donald Trump, leader of the free world. These are followed by comments from other prominent Americans. We find them all bewildering. But further below, you will find a rich vein of observations that may explain… this:
Trump Actually Said
Our travels beyond the Earth propel scientific discoveries that improve our lives in countless ways here… At some point in the future, we’re going to look back and say how did we do it without space?
It [F-35 stealth fighter] wins every time because the enemy cannot see it. Even if it’s right next to it, it can’t see it.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
If you go back and if you look at articles, they talked about global freezing, they talked about at some point the planets could have freeze to death, then it’s going to die of heat exhaustion.
This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps,and our GW scientists are stuck in ice.
One of the problems that a lot of people like myself — we have very high levels of intelligence but we’re not necessarily such believers [in man-made climate change]. You look at our air and our water, and it’s right now at a record clean.
And when you’re talking about an atmosphere, oceans are very small. And it blows over and it sails over.
It’s on fire, and they’re raking it, working so hard, and they’re raking all this stuff. If that was raked in the beginning, there’d be nothing to catch on fire.
Asbestos is 100 percent safe, once applied… I believe that the movement against asbestos was led by the mob, because it was often mob-related companies that would do the asbestos removal.
They say the noise [of turbines] causes cancer… If you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations — your house just went down 75 percent in value.
Trump told aides on the National Economic Council that the 5-foot-3-inch Janet Yellen was not tall enough to lead the central bank. [No direct quote available.]
My fingers are long and beautiful, as has been well-documented, are various other parts of my body.
Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault.
Never go bald. The worst thing a man can do is go bald.
And Trump is Not Alone
If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO)
Satanists have teamed up with the ACLU and Planned Parenthood in Missouri to roll back the rights of the unborn. Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MI)
By the way, under those eight years, before Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the United States. They all started when Clinton and Obama got into office. Former Mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani
It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it. President George W. Bush
Carbon dioxide… is a natural by-product of nature. Carbon dioxide is natural… Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful, but there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas… And yet we’re being told that we have to reduce this natural substance… Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
The internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a truck. It’s a series of tubes. And if you don’t understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it’s going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material. Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) (Click on the link, and you can actually hear this explanation, but you may not believe your ears!)
Stupidity Under Glass
He had just about enough intelligence to open his mouth when he wanted to eat, but certainly no more. P.G. Wodehouse
We don’t know how this president gets his information although it’s entirely possible that Sean Hannity blows it directly up his ass. Bill Maher
In politics, stupidity is not a handicap. Napoleon Bonaparte
Remember, when you are dead, you do not know you are dead. It is only painful for others. The same applies when you are stupid. Ricky Gervais
If your brains were dynamite there wouldn’t be enough to blow your hat off. Kurt Vonnegut
I’m not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb… and I also know that I’m not blonde. Dolly Parton
If stupidity got us in this mess, how come it can’t get us out. Will Rogers
Think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are stupider than that. George Carlin
One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain’t nothin’ can beat teamwork. Edward Abbey
Scientists will eventually stop flailing around with solar power and focus their efforts on harnessing the only truly unlimited source of energy on the planet: stupidity. I predict that in the future, scientists will learn how to convert stupidity into clean fuel. Scott Adams
Stupidity has a knack of getting its way. Albert Camus
Stupidity is something unshakable; nothing attacks it without breaking itself against it; it is of the nature of granite, hard and resistant. Gustave Flaubert
Strange as it may seem, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and formal education positively fortifies it. Stephen Vizinczey
Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education. Bertrand Russell
There are so many different kinds of stupidity, and cleverness is one of the worst. Thomas Mann
The whole dream of democracy is to raise the proletarian to the level of stupidity attained by the bourgeois. Gustave Flaubert
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King Jr.
Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power. P.J. O’Rourke
The only thing that ever consoles man for the stupid things he does is the praise he always gives himself for doing them. Oscar Wilde
Stupidity often saves a man from going mad. Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish. Euripides
Irony is wasted on the stupid. Oscar Wilde
A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand. Bertrand Russell
In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity. Hunter S. Thompson
Never attribute to malice, that which can be reasonably explained by stupidity. Spider Robinson
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. (Origin controversial, but attributed to Albert Einstein.)
Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world. Antonin Scalia
The stupidity of people comes from having an answer for everything. The wisdom of the novel comes from having a question for everything. Milan Kundera
Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Quentin Massys / Wikiart.