July 31, 2021

Is Donald Trump ‘divisive and stupid’ or his remarks?

The headline in today’s Independent is somewhat misleading as it implies that David Cameron has called Donald Trump ‘divise and stupid’.

Only later in the subtitle and the text it becomes clear that Cameron was criticising Trump’s comments and not Trump himself as a person.

The facts:

  • David Cameron has refused to withdraw his condemnation of comments made by Donald Trump as “divisive, stupid and wrong”.
  • Last December, Mr Cameron criticised Mr Trump’s comments during a debate in parliament on whether to ban him from the UK over his call for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the US.

Some might think this is the same – it is not.

  • Some might think Trump is possibly, probably or definitely divisive. This is not the point here.
  • One should never call a person stupid (again Cameron has not; although Trump uses this kind of language at times). A person is never stupid; a comment or its behaviour can be. If you criticise a behaviour there is a hope, a possibility and possibly an incentive that this behaviour can change in the future. If you attack the person, you close that door. Besides that you are wrong, no person is unintelligent enough to be called stupid.

Outcome:

  • George Papadopoulos, an adviser to Mr Trump, now makes the same mistake implying that Cameron has called the person Trump divisive and stupid and not the comments, and should apologise.
  • Concerning Cameron’s criticism about Trump’s comment: Mr Papadopoulous knows perfectly well that Trump’s comment was not only divisive but it also was meant to be.

Score:

  • David Cameron: 1
  • The Independent: 0
  • Mr Trump’s advisor George Papadopoulous: 0