By Courtenay Barnett

Having watched the news and consistently seen former President Donald Trump featuring, I woke up this morning in a reflective frame of mind. I asked myself – who in my lifetime was the most problem stricken and/or incompetent and/or simply dumb President the US has had. I decided that a gold medal – a silver medal – and a bronze medal could be assigned to the ‘successful’ candidate.

First, President Nixon sprung to mind. However, on reflection I changed my mind because he faced serious legal problems then he resigned. Simple enough.

Next, in the dumb category Gerald Ford came to mind. It was said of him that he must have taken too many blows to the head for reason of not wearing a helmet during the days he played American football.

Next, I thought of George Bush Jr. but he did not qualify for when you are dumb and acknowledge and know that you are dumb then that will not qualify you for a medal versus a person who is but does not recognize that he is.

So who?

Finally, I thought of Donald Trump – same one – the one and only Donald Trump. But, I refused simply to hand out any medal unless he was first found to be truly deserving. So, I started a check list and then outlined ( not in any chronological sequence) the points of merit for Trump.

E. Jean Carroll

Well, for years a lady said that Trump had raped her. Finally she took the allegation to court and Trump kept making denials. Eventually, the jury decided in her favour and awarded US$5m against Trump.

Well – how dumb can you be in relying on a defence of denial but you do not actually go to court and make the denial in your defence?

Anyway, the jury already had evidence to hold on to – separate and apart from what the lady directly told them from the witness box. Trump had said that a man should just grab ’em by the P……. So, they concluded that was just what he did to the lady.

Tax returns

Not myself an expert in the US Presidency nor a Presidential historian, nevertheless I think that I am accurate in saying that all Presidents before Trump made financial disclosures and declarations of their financial status at time of taking office – inclusive of IRS disclosures.

Well, Trump applies his own law to himself and refuses to make the necessary disclosure. So, the court  compels the disclosure.

But, the frying pan leads into the fire. The low ending of the IRS returns to pay minimum taxes and the high ending of the value of the same collateral ( buildings/properties) raises the spectre of fraudulent declarations.

Now, the prosecutor is after Trump and there are huge further implications beyond having already been convicted on one aspect of the tax issue.

 Election issues

Trump, having tried to be re-elected and failed is not satisfied so decides to make more problems for himself.

Trump claims that the election was stolen and takes his allegation(s) to court in the most dramatic way. The night before the first case Giuliani announces on CNN that he is going to court in the morning to prove the fraud. Giuliani is asked by the Judge as the first question whether the case is an election fraud allegation case. Giuliani promptly answers ‘no’. Why did he do so? As a lawyer he knows that if he brings a case which is ‘frivolous and/or vexatious’ then he can be cited for contempt with further implications of imprisonment – so he plays safe. Case dismissed. And so too are a total of about 60 election cases brought to establish election fraud.

To make matters worse, Trump had alleged that the voting machines were the mechanical vehicle used to effect the fraud. Well, the main election machine company sues and wins in a significant amount for the false allegation made. In fact settlement was made to avoid significantly more damages and costs at the end if a trial had followed through to conclusion.

Now, that was really smart – wasn’t it?

Just find the votes

So, on one hand Trump claimed that votes were stolen/lost from him; on the other hand Trump wanted the Georgia Secretary of State to find just 11,000 plus more votes to win the election.

Then, in attempting to have that fraud effected Trump finds himself in trouble with the law.

My, my, this guy Donald Trump must be super smart.

Retention of classified government documents

Trump, if not anything else is unique.

All other Presidents at end of term have returned the government’s classified documents. Trump is different because he can just classify and declassify by just thinking about it – and that is what he actually said. Gee – a magician accompanied by all his other proven accomplishments.

A contempt, fine if not other legal charges seem to be the end game. Quite impressive.

What next….?

At this stage I think that I have enough facts to award the medals.

Most problem stricken – Donald Trump – Gold

Incompetent  – Donald Trump –  Silver

Dumb President  – Donald Trump – Bronze

If I have been inaccurate and/or unfair in any way – please promptly inform why so.


Courtenay Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for almost fully forty years, has been arrested for defending his views, and has argued public interest and human rights cases.