The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Fine, Donald Trump. Let’s measure the hands.

Donald Trump shows off the size of his hands as Fox News moderators Brett Baier and Megyn Kelly look on at the Republican debate in Detroit on Thursday. Rebecca Cook (Reuters)

It is rare that a major political problem can be solved by the strategic application of a wooden ruler.

This one can.

The size of Donald Trump’s hands has become (pauses typing to drink heavily) a major subject of political discussion. Marco Rubio has used it as a subject for attack. (“You know what they say about men with small hands. . . . You can’t trust them.”) John Oliver has made jokes about it.

And Donald Trump himself has absolutely gone wild over it. “He hit my hands. Nobody has ever hit my hands. I have never heard of this. Look at those hands. Are they small hands? And he referred to my hands, if they are small, something else must be small. I guarantee you there is no problem. I guarantee,” he said, actually, during an actual debate for president.

Trump told NBC’s Katy Tur in the spin room after the debate. “See how beautiful my hands are. They’re powerful hands.”

Libby Nelson at Vox made a terrific and handy guide to the history of Trump’s hand sensitivity, which dates back to 1988, when Spy magazine called him a “short-fingered vulgarian” and it stuck. According to former Spy editor Graydon Carter, Trump still mails him envelopes that include pictures of his hands with the fingers circled in gold Sharpie to demonstrate their size and beauty.

But there’s a simple, obvious solution staring us in the face.

If you have large hands, the best way to prove it is not to write letters to people saying so, or to build large buildings, or even to buy an expensive car. All you need to do is give us a little data, and people will stop their pointless attacks.

Measure the hands, Donald. (#MeasuretheHands, for those of you following along on social media.)

Trump says they’re huge. Trump says they’re beautiful.

Wonderful. Great. We have no reason to doubt him. Then he should have no problem sharing their measurements. All he needs is a ruler and a camera. Measuring your hands is easy: You spread it wide and measure the space from the edge of your pinky to the tip of your thumb.

Here are mine, to give him confidence.

If they are indeed large and beautiful, there is no need for him to be concerned. The average male hand size is just 7.4 inches (though I am not quite sure where they got this number), and there is no apparent correlation between it and anything else.

If you think this request is dumb and petty, I agree. If you think that this is not what the presidential campaign should be focused on, I fully and vigorously concur. But I did not bring us here. They did. I just want this to stop. And we can put the subject to rest, right now, with a ruler.

So put your hands where your mouth is, Donald, as you have already put your foot. #MeasuretheHands. End the distraction of this issue so we can get back to the many other, more interesting distractions that have composed this entire campaign.