Donald Trump’s Profoundly Stupid Views on Exercise Are Perfectly American – GQ Magazine


GQ Magazine
Donald Trump's Profoundly Stupid Views on Exercise Are Perfectly American
GQ Magazine
The good people at The New Yorker have a lengthy feature exploring the tantalizing possibility that President Trump could be removed from office, via either the impeachment process or the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, before the conclusion of his term.

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SAUL LOEB

“He considers exercise misguided, arguing that a person, like a battery, is born with a finite amount of energy.”

The good people at The New Yorker have a lengthy feature exploring the tantalizing possibility that President Trump could be removed from office, via either the impeachment process or the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, before the conclusion of his term. (Our friend Allan Lichtman, an American University political science professor and stone-cold elections genius, discussed both of these subjects in an interview with GQ last month.) Right now, though, is not the time to discuss the machinations of arcane constitutional processes or tackle esoteric debates about the role impeachment plays in ensuring the continued legitimacy of the republic. No, we are here to discuss the revelations contained in this breathtaking paragraph:

There has been considerable speculation about Trump’s physical and
mental health, in part because few facts are known. During the
campaign, his staff reported that he was six feet three inches tall
and weighed two hundred and thirty-six pounds, which is considered
overweight but not obese…Trump himself says that he is “not a big
sleeper” (“I like three hours, four hours”) and professes a fondness
for steak and McDonald’s. Other than golf, he considers exercise
misguided, arguing that a person, like a battery, is born with a
finite amount of energy.

[rubs eyes in disbelief]

Yes, President Trump, an adult man who has access to the entire body of human scientific knowledge via the same device he primarily uses to disseminate his stream-of-consciousness takes in 140-character spurts, apparently believes that the billions of people around the world who regularly engage in some form of physical activity are idiots that are slowly and voluntarily killing themselves. As the Washington Post‘s Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher explained in a recent book:

After college, after Trump mostly gave up his personal athletic
interests, he came to view time spent playing sports as time wasted.
Trump believed the human body was like a battery, with a finite amount
of energy, which exercise only depleted. So he didn’t work out. When
he learned that John O’Donnell, one of his top casino executives, was
training for an Ironman triathlon, he admonished him, “You are going
to die young because of this.”

In a 2015 New York Times profile, Trump disclosed the “evidence”—scare quotes used for reasons that will immediately become apparent—on which he relies for this worldview, instantly turning transmogrifying into the human embodiment of the “wow makes u think” meme.

Trump said he was not following any special diet or exercise regimen
for the campaign. “All my friends who work out all the time, they’re
going for knee replacements, hip replacements—they’re a disaster,” he
said.

Alternatively, this sage observation could be related to the fact that Donald Trump is a 70-year-old overweight male, and that many of his friends are also in that sweet spot for joint replacement, but let’s not let a little rational thinking get in the way of a worldview so astonishingly facile that it makes the flat-earth truthers look like a regular pack of Neil DeGrasse Tysons.

He exerts himself fully by standing in front of an audience for
an hour, as he just did. “That’s exercise.”

For decades, American presidents have maintained a (mostly) proud tradition of exercising in office. Sure, William Howard Taft was so, um, imposing that he had to have a custom bathtub installed in the White House. But since then, President Clinton’s runs on the National Mall and his gloriously mid-’90s jogging suits have become the stuff of legend, while President George W. Bush was a bona fide psychopath who would actually wait to start his run until Washington D.C. hit a sweltering 100 degrees. President Obama was a notorious gym rat and a lifelong pickup basketball player. And in a sentence so cool that it physically pains me to type it, Teddy Roosevelt survived an assassination attempt after a bullet failed to penetrate his chest muscles. (Congratulations to those of you who just screamed “GOALS” in public and are now enduring withering glares from strangers.) I’m no doctor, but it seems unlikely that Donald Trump’s “standing is the new high-intensity interval training” mantra stacks up very well against the fitness regimens of his predecessors.

Admittedly, it is possible that the president’s dubious opinion about the merits of exercise is a tongue-in-cheek line he crafted to make light of his sincere aversion to the practice, sort of like when I explain to bewildered strangers that my important burrito-eating obligations prevent me from looking like a shirtless Cristiano Ronaldo. But given the Commander-in-Chiefs well-documented affection for other wild theories for which there exists no evidence, giving him the benefit of the doubt here might be a bit too generous. On the off-chance that anyone requires clarification or confirmation on this point: Exercise is good, and no matter what Donald Trump says or how long he stands in front of an audience for, you should do it.

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