As President Donald Trump addressed the nation about the two mass shootings that had occurred over the weekend, he said, “May God bless the memory of those who perished in Toledo.” The public reacted with alarm and derision—somehow, the president seemed to have moved the Dayton, Ohio, massacre to the wrong city, and he’d left out El Paso, Texas, entirely. Shortly after his speech, a photograph of the teleprompter proved that the original text had been correct.
When Trump messes up this way, people tend to blame his mental condition. With advanced age and the stress of his job, the theory goes, the president finds it ever more difficult to organize his erratic thoughts. He loses focus and lapses into incoherence.
But what if Trump’s problem was a literal lack of focus? What if, where most people saw the words “Texas and Ohio” on the teleprompter, the president saw a capital T, a big blur, and maybe an O somewhere? Minor Ohio city, starts with T: Toledo.