As I jump into the new year in Portugal with UMKC students, it is hard to ignore what is happening in the US.  Whenever someone becomes a self-declared “genius,” as our President did, it is embarrassing.  Who does any of us know who has pronounced him- or herself a genius?  Especially after a string of very “un-genius”-like actions.  Could you see Albert Einstein engaging with Steve Bannon?  Steven Hawking sending tweets which primarily seek to bestow juvenile nicknames on various enemies, real or perceived?

In addition to everything else, the President has been having his lawyer attempt to keep Michael Wolff’s book from being published.  Someone really needs to explain to our President “genius” that, as a public figure, his ability to control others’ exercise of their freedom of speech is limited.  Isn’t it also odd that being a genius hasn’t kept many of his appointees from remarking on his remarkable lack of “genius-ness”?

Perhaps this is why our President prefers to be surrounded by family.  They allow him to declare himself a genius.  They don’t know much more than he does about anything so, maybe to them, his claim has the ring of truth.  Perhaps he thinks having a bigger nuclear button than North Korea is a sign of genius.  I suspect my not being a genius keeps me from understanding just how smart our President really is.  It must be hard being the only genius around.