When a recent poll asked people to think of one word to describe President Donald Trump, the top response on the list was “idiot.”
Let’s take a look at the word and its meaning to see if it really, truly describes the current President of these United States.
The root of the word “idiot” is the Greek “idios.” In ancient times it meant “all about the self.” (The psychological term “the id” comes from the same root. The id is the primitive, basic parts of the mind.) “Idios” referred to people who were self-centered and only interested in their own situation. It meant those who were immature and unable to take anyone else’s point of view.
Oh, how Trumpian can you get?
The man who constantly brags about the size of his (ahem), crowds and his, (cough), hands is certainly focused on himself. The guy who ignores the Russian attack on our election in favor or whining about his own bad press definitely seems to fit the word “idios.”
The Original Meaning Of “Idiot”
The word ‘idiotes‘ comes from ancient Greek. It meant a person who had no skills as a craftsman or professional. It meant a regular layperson who had to rely on the training and skills of others to get through life. The ‘idiotes’ didn’t contribute much to the wellbeing of the society.
Sound like Trump to you? The man who won the election based on his status as “not a politician?” He bragged about having no skills in politics or diplomacy. Sounds like a real ‘idiotes’ to me.
And look where it’s gotten us.
More modern interpretation
In 2005, Walter Parker wrote about teaching children to be useful citizens, rather than “idiots.” He describes idiots as dangerous to society because they aren’t able to think about what is best for the community as a whole. Instead, he says, they are fixated on their own interests.
Trump again, right? I’m thinking of when he told former FBI Director James Comey that if “any of my satellites” did something wrong, they would have to be prosecuted. In other words,
“Stay away from me! I don’t care what you do to my minions.”
Not surprising, is it then, that the first word that came to mind about Trump was “idiot?”
I bet this is as close as he’s ever come to the Greek classics.