Last summer one of the smartest people who’s ever lived, Stephen Hawking, didn’t say a whole lot about Donald Trump, but I found what he did say to be profoundly important. After all, while he’s incredibly brilliant, Hawking isn’t exactly known for (at least not in the United States) discussing political issues that often.
During that interview last summer, Hawking was asked to explain how Trump’s campaign had managed to be so successful.
“I can’t. He’s a demagogue, who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator,” he answered.
For those of you who might not know what demagogue means, it’s defined as:
A leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power.
Basically, Hawking called Trump someone who uses bigotry and blatant lies to manipulate the “lowest common denominator” of people into supporting him.
Yeah, that pretty much sums up who he is.
Well, during an interview Monday morning with ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Hawking had more to say about Trump and his supporters.
“I have many friends and colleagues [in the US] and it is still a place I like and admire in many ways,” Hawking said, “but I fear that I may not be welcome.”
He also went on to call Trump’s approach to governing “authoritarian” and said he ignores facts to “satisfy his electorate” who aren’t “that well informed.” Hawking also criticized Trump for picking Scott Pruitt, someone who doesn’t believe carbon dioxide causes climate change, as head of the EPA.
“Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it’s one we can prevent,” he said. “It affects America badly, so tackling it should win votes for [Trump’s] second term, God forbid.”
Aside from being a very intelligent person, the reason why I find someone like Hawking’s words about Trump so important (and fascinating), is because there’s nothing “in it” for him. He’s not some political wonk with some self-serving agenda. He’s someone who’s spent his life basing everything he does (at least professionally) on processing and exploring some of the most complex scientific beliefs and theories known to humans. His life, and his credibility as one of the most well-respected minds the human race has ever produced, is largely predicated on him caring about facts and truth before anything else. Unlike some people, he can’t make baseless claims lacking any evidence. In his world, his colleagues and people who admire his work actually expect him to produce factual data or construct a reasonable argument to support his statements based on exploring hypotheses and understanding possibilities.
What I found most interesting about Hawking’s comments is his recognition that Trump “won” by using bigotry, pandering to prejudice, blatantly pushing lies, and manipulating voters who weren’t “well informed” about much of anything factual.
If you don’t believe Hawking, then there’s always this survey proving how misinformed most Trump supporters truly are.
Of course, most Trump supporters will continue to blindly worship him, believing his asinine rants about “FAKE NEWS!” and buying into his idiotic conspiracies. Sadly, what Hawking said is essentially how the rest of the world views the United States right now. We’re a nation being led by an ignorant, bigoted conspiracy-pushing imbecile who was lifted into office by pandering to the “lowest common denominator” to “satisfy his electorate” comprised of people who aren’t “that well informed.”
That sums up Donald Trump, his supporters, and how he managed to become President Obama’s successor.
Watch the video below via Good Morning Britain: