Just because all that glitters is not gold doesn't mean all that's unpolished is not bright. Several of the president's men seem blind to this possibility. They think Trump is witless. Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has called him a “moron,” White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster have called him an “idiot.” Former Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn called him “dumb as (poop).

Con man

Certainly, the way Trump talks bears out what his colleagues say about him. Who but a fool would constantly lie even when facts so easily refute him?

But there's another way of looking at him - as a kind of bargain-basement Hamlet in the sense that there's a method to his madness. And from what CNN political commentator Paul Begala said this week, he'd agree. “Donald Trump is no 'idiot, He's something worse...a con-man - corrupt, conniving, and cynical.” His conniving can be seen when he lobs criticisms back at his critics. When Ted Cruz called Trump a “pathological liar,” the senator was branded “ Lying Ted.” And when Marco Rubio called attention to Trump's small hands, the senator got labeled “Little Marco.” And to make sure his smack-downs stick, he repeats them over and over, until the link between slur and subject becomes automatic. Far from moronic, this is clever.

Change the subject

So the question that goes pleading here is, how do we deal with a president like this? Clearly, it's a waste of time pointing out his lies. Besides, he seems to get off on attention, even if it's negative. Televised discussions of his daily tweets extend his audience and is likely a big payoff for him. Unless there's a policy change, we need to quit quoting him.

When news of the day starts carrying information other than his tweets, our world may have a chance to right itself.

Cease and desist

Apparently, Matt Bai had a similar thought. Attempting to explain those who continue to support Trump, the national political columnist for Yahoo! wrote on May 3, “as long as every dumb thing he says makes us (and urban Democrats) jump up and down and rend our clothes and scream about the death of fact and the end of civilized society, they’re (the supporters) willing to overlook.”

By chance

One thing is for sure, calling Trump an idiot isn't working.

His poll numbers haven't gone down. In fact, they've gone up. On top of that, the label is too good for him. In Dostoevsky's novel “The Idiot,” the main character is guileless and kind, which those around interpreted as dumb – a damning indication of the sorry world he lived in. If Trump resembles anyone, it'd be Chance the Gardener in “Being There,” Jerzy Kosinski's novel about a man whose knowledge of the world comes solely from watching television.