Donald Trump insists that he's a genius.
And while you might expect such a tremendously smart person to be a little more secure in his intelligence Trump keeps finding opportunities to bring it up.
(He has yuge hands, too, by the way.)
Trump's favorite "proof" of how smart he is? His IQ score. (Which evidence of, like his tax returns, somehow never materializes.) His Twitter history is full of bragging about it.
It's also full of IQ challenges to perceived rivals, not unlike the one he recently issued to his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, who may or may not have called Trump a moron. In the past, he's publicly challenged billionaire Mark Cuban and his Energy Secretary (then presidential rival) Rick Perry to a duel of wits.
His IQ obsession is so well-known that one supporter fabricated a chart suggesting Trump is the second-smartest U.S. president in history. (Um...no.)
And Trump uses IQ score as shorthand for success, as a way to cut off debate, as a gatekeeping mechanism for being part of society. But there's one problem: IQ scores don't work the way he thinks they do.
Widely used, poorly defined
Experts have noted there is no real consensus on the meaning of intelligence. Additionally, differences in IQ scores shrink or disappear when you control for social and economic factors. Which is to say, people with something to prove are more motivated to perform well on IQ tests, and are more likely to do so.
That's also why there are so many versions of the IQ test, and the reason that the Mensa intellectual society, "a society that is non-political and free from all racial or religious distinctions," goes by score percentile rather than a hard number.
Mensa's position: "The term 'IQ score' is widely used but poorly defined." The group offered to host Trump's IQ challenge with Tillerson to promote what IQ really is.
The concept of IQ is only one factor in evaluating someone's ability to think through a situation. It's not a deciding factor for anything on its own.
But as this entire website demonstrates, Trump does not have a great ability to think through situations. He has a short attention span, is wildly incurious and can't remember what he said yesterday. He also can't decide whether or not "IQ" should have periods in it.
Donald Trump isn't a genius. He's not even an idiot savant. He's just an idiot.
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