Psychologists have questioned amateur president Donald Trump’s mental well-being since he began his candidacy, and really, you don’t have to be a professional in that field to determine his level of crazy is dangerous, especially when he’s occupying the White House with his little hands near the nuclear button. Words mean things. For example, ‘delusions of grandeur’ would be a person with “a delusion (common in paranoia) that you are much greater and more powerful and influential than you really are.”
Case in point: Donald Trump, the former reality show star who told The Economist in an interview that he invented the centuries-old phrase ‘priming the pump.’
Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just… I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It’s what you have to do,” Trump said.
Trump used the phrase “priming the pump” when answering a question about his tax plan increasing the deficit.
“Well, it actually did,” Trump said while disagreeing with the editors who said the Reagan tax plan did not increase the deficit, according to The Hill.
“But, but it’s called priming the pump. You know, if you don’t do that, you’re never going to bring your taxes down. Now, if we get the health-care [bill through Congress], this is why, you know a lot of people said, ‘Why isn’t he going with taxes first, that’s his wheelhouse?'” Trump said.
“Well, hey look, I convinced many people over the last two weeks, believe me, many congressmen, to go with it. And they’re great people, but one of the great things about getting health care is that we will be saving, I mean anywhere from $400 [billion] to $900 [billion],” Trump continued.
Trump went on to describe his approach to “Trumponomics.”
The alleged president was asked how “Trumponomics” is different from historic Republican economics and said, “Well it’s an interesting question.”
“I don’t think it’s ever been asked quite that way. But it really has to do with self-respect as a nation. It has to do with trade deals that have to be fair, and somewhat reciprocal, if not fully reciprocal,” Trump responded without answering the question. “And I think that’s a word that you’re going to see a lot of because we need reciprocality in terms of our trade deals.”
The American Heritage Idioms Dictionary writes:
In the late 1800s [“priming the pump”] originally was used for pouring liquid into a pump to expel the air and make it work. In the 1930s it was applied to government efforts to stimulate the economy and thereafter was applied to other undertakings.”
The phrase that Trump stole originated with President Hoover’s creation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) in 1932.
Trump, no matter how much he likes to take credit for other people’s work, such as former President Barack Obama’s economy, did not coin the phrase ‘priming the pump.’
In the crazy-time interview, Trump even claimed to “have a very good relationship with Justin [Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister] and a very good relationship with the president of Mexico.”
Keep talking, Trump. Eventually, your supporters will catch on to your brand of crazy. Maybe.
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.