As the presidential debate degenerated into an ugly fight over style, Trump blew it
today at 11:31 am
This is exactly what I feared would happen in the presidential debate as I said in an earlier post, “If Trump keeps talking like this he will lose the election”:
Trump is pigheaded enough to ignore any smart advice, convinced as he always has been that his “unbelievable,” “strong” and “incredible” talent will carry the day. In the meantime, he’ll be betraying every voter who thinks the conservative path is the best way forward.
Whether the strategy was his or his advisors’, Trump’s blustering did little or nothing to persuade the critical undecided voters to support him. Can you imagine anyone saying, “I couldn’t decide whether to vote for him, but his swaggering and yapping made me decide that he’s the guy for me.”
Quite the contrary. More likely, “He’s a preening jerk. Everything bad they say about him is true. I only had to see it for myself.”
Both candidates conducted themselves horribly and a sub-debate is raging over who was worse, although Trump lit the fire and threw more fuel on it. But it was Trump who had to show that he was thoughtful, civilized and not all their antonyms.
On plenty of issues, Trump has the advantage. On the economy and foreign policy. When it came to the coronavirus pandemic, Biden criticized Trump for not doing what Trump already was doing. On issues of street violence and the influence of the hard left, Trump was right. And more.
But both candidates drowned out debate that would have been useful for voters and Chris Wallace tried to do his best to keep matters on course. The metaphors pour in: They behaved likes pre-teens on the playground. A cat fight. Off the rails. Cage bout. Both candidates shouted and interrupted, obliterating whatever rarely reasonable discussion that could have been underway. It was embarrassing. It was disgusting.
In this, though, Trump was the loser. His solid base might have loved the gritty fighter image, but he made little or no progress with the voters he had to impress. Just standing still in the polls makes him a loser.
Loser. Do you understand that, Mr. President? Will you understand this in the next debate (if there is one)? Will you put your policies ahead of your self-aggrandizing? I fear you can’t or won’t.