Friends: what we saw last night was truly remarkable. Never before in modern political history has anyone witnessed a debate like the one held yesterday.
Unfolding in real time on live TV was a man who ditched the dog whistle altogether and doubled-down on his message of fear, hate and the need for strong man rule. He offered red meat to his base, but did he expand his following of supporters? Only time will tell.
Among other things the candidate noted: (1) he will use the Oval office to extact revenge and jail his political opponent; (2) repeatedly downplayed his admission of sexual assault as “locker room talk,” yet also stated that no one has more respect for women than he does; (3) clearly admitted to paying no federal taxes and wondered aloud why we are underinvested as a country in our infrastructure; (4) that extreme vetting, including religious tests, will be required to just enter our country; (5) that neighbors should spy on others; (6) disavowed his oft cited admiration of Putin, and immediately after doing so, noted that he doesn’t talk to his running mate and threw Pence under the bus to score a point on how much he admires Russia / Putin; and (7) perhaps most disgraceful of all, he had the temerity to say that if “he were president, Capt. Kahn would still be alive today.”
He sniveled throughout the second debate — 93 times to be exact (only 90 times in the first) — and followed his opponent around on stage in a manner and with a look that can only be described as stalking.
This is what a bully looks like when he’s all grown up and those around him never had the chutzpah to challenge him. Thug politics practiced by a thug.
While he preened and menaced, the opponent stood her ground and did not take the bait. She showed remarkable calm and composure, even when her opponent wielded the verbal equivalent of a knife pointed at her throat — “you’d be in jail,” he burped into his well working microphone, noting one of things he’d do as president.
Most importantly, she also — though sounding painfully wonky at times — showed a grasp of the issues and a temperament that underscored gravitas. Was she as entertaining as the opponent looking to demean her? No. But this isn’t an episode of the “The Apprentice” or “The Kardashians” we are watching. This is a contest for the Oval Office and there are serious consequences for all of us depending on whomever occupies it.
Look, I’m not going to try and convince anyone that HRC is perfect. She’s not. Nor is WJC. But, hundreds of millions of dollars spent by numerous special prosectors have looked to take down both. We’ve been there. In case anyone has missed it, WJC is not on the ballot. It’s 2016. There are only two candidates: DJT and HRC.
So here’s the thing. Trump could win, though even the leadership of the GOP is making plain that this is becoming increasingly unlikely. In fact, the leadership of the GOP is working hard to retain the fallout of the most recent revelations about DJT’s sexual predatory predilections and are now focused on maintaining control of congress instead.
In my view, here is the scariest thought of all about the candidacy of DJT: even if he doesn’t win the Oval Office, he’s given the Alt-Right a blueprint to win future elections.
The candidate’s remarkable use of social and the general media has made clear that most “traditional” candidates are out of touch with the new world. While DJT and his handlers are racing ahead at broad band speeds, the rest are using dial up modems to fight back. Good luck with that.
DJT is like Biff Tannen — the bully from the “Back to the Future” movies — who’s managed to steal the secrets of the future to amass wealth and power in the present. In his wake of mischief, of course, Biff leaves behind a dystopian world.
Let’s not be complacent in November. We, the electorate, need to send a stinging rebuke to those that preach hate and fear to justify their attack on the US Constitution. Without one, I fear that DJT is just one in a long line of future bullies-in-waiting looking to seize control.
If you’ve gotten this far in my post — thank you and thank you for listening.