Politicians and smart people exist in every country; some of each are clever. In authoritarian countries, clever smart people can get to the top. In the USA, politicians get to the top. They only have to mislead millions of deliberately ignorant voters.
Those voters have been told throughout their lives that, as Americans, “They’re number one!” Unfortunately, they believed it. They believed that, without any action on their part, they would always be number one. Well, now we are way back, perhaps number thirty, at least in educational categories. We are certainly number one in what we spend for medical care, but nowhere near that in the quality of our care. We are certainly number one in how much we spend on defense, even though we seldom are attacked from outside our country. Most of our terrorist attacks have been home grown, often by white supremacists. We have to send our young volunteers to die in foreign places that we don’t understand in order to maintain the illusion of being under attack. Voters who believe fallacies, and will never investigate them, are easy to fool. Thus, we have an ignorant blowhard as President. To his loyal supporters, anything he tweets is considered to be correct, with no supporting evidence. These are those we allow to turn our elections.