Safety tips for viewing yesterday’s solar eclipse were readily available to just about anyone with even an ounce of common sense. That excludes the president, though, who wanted to begrudge the sun its moment. Trump wasn’t about to let the celestial body that nurtures so much of the life on Earth hog the spotlight, nor was he going to take advantage of the fact that people’s attention would be briefly diverted from his repeated veiled statements in support of white supremacists. No, the country’s chief executive tilted his head back twice to stare directly at the fiery ball in the sky (though maybe that was just part of his preparation for nuclear war).
The internet set down its own solar viewer to mock this incident, but not everyone shared its humor. Trump toady Tucker Carlson, for his part, didn’t find the president blithely ignoring the warnings from his staff about retina damage at all comical, let alone disconcerting. From his perch at Fox News, Carlson was awed by Trump’s latest display of recklessness, gushing to viewers that it was “perhaps the most impressive thing a president has ever done.”
Yes, risking his eyesight, however briefly, has helped Trump—who still has a historically low approval rating, whether or not he can see it—squeak past Franklin D. Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and whatever dorks are on Mt. Rushmore (for now). Forget the Emancipation Proclamation, the New Deal, and the Civil Rights Of 1964 (actually, please don’t): According to Carlson, showing a complete disregard for common sense is the most laudable thing any president has ever done. And probably ever will do, if this keeps up.