Readers can only hope Mr. Zoglin’s silly opinion is the kind of performance art he attributed to Mr. Trump. Absent that, it’s just another pathetic rationalization for our most unfit president. Either way, I’m not laughing. The office of the presidency does include symbolic performance, and it is almost never inscrutable to constituents, but its primary function is to govern substantively, not amuse and entertain. Mr. Zoglin should stick to writing about actual comedians, rather than attributing comedic intent to Mr. Trump’s buffoonish and tragic performance.
Natalie Lauren Patten, Washington
Richard Zoglin’s explanation of President Trump’s attempts at humor tracked well with his explanation of Mr. Trump’s alleged inscrutability. I can’t tell whether he actually believes Mr. Trump has a sense of humor or doesn’t.
For the record, Mr. Trump doesn’t. Just because he says outrageous things that don’t make sense doesn’t mean he’s attempting humor. Mr. Zoglin is trying to put lipstick on a pig and call it Cinderella.
Likening Mr. Trump’s style to the late Andy Kaufman or Sacha Baron Cohen because he refuses to “break character” also made no sense and is an insult to both those comedic geniuses. They didn’t literally have their every word, grimace, mannerism and use of language parsed for its impact on the economy, issues of war and peace, life and death. This president is no Borscht Belt comedic stylist, either. He has evidenced zero sense of humor and tries to excuse his irrational comments as jokes only when they evoke negative reactions. The results of his off-the-cuff “thoughts” being voiced have led to too many instances of racial division, public health risks and the partial cratering of our international relationships.
Having a sense of humor is a sign that the person understands what his words mean to others. It implies a capacity to empathize with others and a respect for their intelligence to know what is meant by what is said. That excludes Mr. Trump.
Robert F. Tropp, Silver Spring