Many things come to mind when one has the misfortune to think of Donald Trump. Bigot. Creep. Guy who used a speech at the Boy Scouts of America’s quadrennial Jamboree to brag about all the fabulous parties he went to in the ’80s. One thing we can say with full confidence that has never once been thought of is “mentally sound.” And yet, the ex-president apparently believes that what will set him apart from other 2024 candidates is his brain—and the level at which it functions. Oh, and his body too!
On Tuesday, the former guy took to Truth Social to declare: “ANYBODY running for the Office of President of the United States should agree to take a full & complete Mental Competency Test simultaneously (or before!) with the announcement that he or she is running, & likewise, but to a somewhat lesser extent, agree to a test which would prove that you are physically capable of doing the job. Being an outstanding President requires great mental acuity & physical stamina. If you don’t have these qualities or traits, it is likely you won’t succeed. MAGA!”
There are not enough hours in the day to list the many examples of Trump not having it all together up top, but we’ll just note that he recently mistook a photo of his rape accuser for second ex-wife; famously claimed the sound from windmills causes cancer; and weirdly insisted, on multiple occasions, that his New York–born father was born in Germany. (Do we even need to mention that he suggested people inject bleach into their veins?) He also boasted, in 2020, that it was a major feat to have been able to recite five words in the correct order:
Trump obviously thinks this test will fell his would-be general election opponent Joe Biden, and we know this because he has been insisting since the last election that Biden is “slow,” and, more recently, that the current president has dementia.
Meanwhile, Nikki Haley, Trump’s only GOP primary opponent so far, has also called compulsory competency tests for any elected officials over the age of 75, saying last week: “In the America I see, the permanent politician will finally retire. We’ll have term limits for Congress. And mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old.”
As for Trump’s call for “a test which would prove that you are physically capable of doing the job,” that’s a drum he started beating last month when he claimed that winning a golf tournament—that he appears to have cheated in—proved he was fit to be president again. “The reason that I announce [supposedly having won the tournament] on fabulous TRUTH is that, in a very real way, it serves as a physical exam, only MUCH tougher,” he told his Truth Social followers. “You need strength and stamina to WIN, & I have strength & stamina – most others don’t. You also need strength & stamina to GOVERN!”
As a reminder, for the majority of his life, Trump has had diet that could give cardiologists recurring nightmares, with a soft spot for Big Macs, meat loaf, and KFC. (Former White House doctor Ronny Jackson once said White House staff had to sneak vegetables into his food.) Trump has also claimed that the human body has a finite amount of energy, which physical exertion can only deplete, which is why exercise is apparently bad. (“You are going to die young because of this,” he reportedly once told an employee training for an Ironman race.)