Jerry Martin: Trump vs. Sudoku |

Jerry Martin: Trump vs. Sudoku

Most competitions are between two people (boxing, singles tennis, chess) or two teams (football, baseball, hockey).

Sudoku is different; it’s a competition between a human and a puzzle.

Sudoku is that perplexing group of numbers in little square boxes that is found daily in many newspapers, including this one. There’s a lot to Sudoku that most people don’t realize, until they start doing it.

I have followed Donald Trump’s public pronouncements over the past 16 months. The mental processes that created his statements often violate basic Sudoku requirements. If he believes what he said, he would not be able to solve a Sudoku puzzle.

Let me explain. Sudoku requires (and teaches) at least three mental capacities. 1) To succeed in Sudoku, one must be 100 percent accurate always. There is zero tolerance for inaccuracies. Quality is important. 2) Also, in solving a puzzle one must be able to consistently discern the difference between relevant and irrelevant information. 3) Also, one must never commit to an action before having adequate information. Quantity is necessary.

Trump regularly fails all three requirements. Being unable to meet these standards publicly when running for our presidency, it’s unlikely he could do so against a Sudoku puzzle privately.

Many Trump statements were inaccurate. He stated that thousands of Muslims were cheering on roof tops in New Jersey when the Twin Towers came down on 9/11. Untrue. He said that Hillary started the birther movement. Untrue. He said most scientists reject climate change. Untrue. He claimed he won the election in a landslide. Untrue. And Hillary wanted to eliminate the Second Amendment. Untrue.

This pattern of inaccuracies would lead to failure when solving a Sudoku puzzle. But killing truth doesn’t seem to matter anymore in politics. Fortunately, truth still matters in Sudoku.

Many Trump statements were mostly irrelevant. To distract from the lack of relevant information about his unrevealed tax returns, or his several bankruptcies, law suits and messy divorces, he would introduce an opinion that John McCain wasn’t a hero because he got caught. Or Jeb Bush has low energy. Or “Lyin’ Ted’s” father was involved in the Kennedy assassination. Or a female journalist was bleeding “from her wherever.” To explain his recorded (and embarrassing) statements of his crude and chauvinistic treatment of women, he said it was “only locker room talk,” done by all men. Then he mentioned Bill Clinton’s known dalliances, failing to mention that Hillary was their real victim. Threatening to sue the dozen women who accused him of groping just made the whole sordid affair seem like fictional irrelevance, a Hollywood soap opera (is he suing them now?). Wasting time considering irrelevancies, and acting on them, would lead to defeat by any Sudoku puzzle.

Trump often jumps to premature conclusions based on inadequate information, before reviewing available relevant information. Even though all American intelligence agencies, such as the CIA, FBI and NSA, agree that Russia is responsible for interfering in our election, Trump ignores their findings and insists that we don’t know who did it. He concluded this before reviewing their incriminating, detailed intelligence. He stated that Obama and Hillary were to blame for ISIS, since it didn’t exist before they took office. This was political crapadacious bullswiggle, not based on any reliable knowledge. Of course Trump didn’t mention that Obama killed Ben Laden in one year, something Bush/Cheney couldn’t do in seven. It’s always disastrous to act with inadequate information when solving a Sudoku. But Trump would probably do just that, leading to more failure.

Being a billionaire would be of no use when solving a Sudoku. Nor would having beautiful wives and a sycophantic family and thousands of servile employees. The electoral college and a private jet would be useless against Sudoku, as would gold furniture in a fancy Manhattan address. Only logical thinking would produce success.

In his campaign, Donald Trump regularly demonstrated these flaws in logical thinking. Let’s hope his governing method is more rational than his campaigning style. But his cabinet selections are not encouraging.

Jerry Martin is a retired Grass Valley educator who sees Sudoku and a practical tool for teaching logic. He is currently in the process of creating the First Annual Children’s Team Sudoku Tournament for Nevada County students in grades 1 through 5. For more information, visit

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