Trump must be smarter, better and calmer in his campaign from here until November 3. And now he has to deal with quarantining from testing positive for COVID-19.
Did President Donald Trump blow it?
A lot of us were wondering as we viewed Tuesday night’s “debate” -- if that’s what you’re still calling it. To label the 96-minute forum cringeworthy is putting it mildly. I received texts from some of the staunchest Trump fans I know during the fracas and most of them sounded the same somber tone. Here we were, watching perhaps the greatest politician of our lifetimes tossing our dreams down the political round-file, unable to contain or restrain himself from acting like a loutish fool before the whole country while simultaneously turning doddering and hopelessly corrupt Grampa Joe Biden into a sympathetic character.
From a purely visual standpoint, Trump appeared to be as far from “presidential” as one gets in today’s mixed-up, upside down American political landscape. Thoughts passed through our heads -- ‘How am I going to explain this to my anti-Trump friends who’ve been whining and griping about tone and tweets and lack of character and divisiveness and… and… (insert your liberal media talking point here)?’
Maybe he wasn’t feeling well. Perhaps he was developing symptoms from COVID-19, as he and first lady Melania tested positive for the virus.
After sifting through what the candidates actually said, however, perhaps the bloodbath wasn’t as heinous as it appeared at the initial run-through. I recorded the debate on my DVR and don’t have any interest in revisiting the whole program, but there were certain moments that could be used in the final month before Election Day to not only resurrect Trump’s campaign, but push him past the finish line.
Nevertheless, an opportunity was missed the other night. In a pieced titled “Debate was a blown opportunity for Trump”, the Editors of The Washington Examiner wrote, “In all of his interruptions, Trump, despite his reputation for being a master at messaging over the TV medium, lost chances to damage Biden. He often set up attacks only to fall back into repeating phrases that didn’t communicate to outsiders what he was talking about.
“Trump, if he had one goal, was to establish that Biden, despite his centrist image, would ultimately be beholden to the radical Left. However, he never clearly explained this point...
“[D]ebates cannot be viewed in a vacuum. They must be viewed in the context of the broader campaign. And given that Trump is losing, he needed to show that Biden was too far left and too mentally unfit to be president. But Trump did not accomplish that. After months of attacks claiming Biden doesn’t even know that he’s alive, Biden exceeded that low standard by showing he could stand and debate for 90 minutes, remaining more or less composed in the face of Trump’s relentless attacks. The tie, thus, went to Biden.”
This closely parallels my own impressions of the debate. Substantively speaking, Trump was the far superior candidate. He’s the one who’s presided over what was a very successful economy until the Chinese Communist Party (CCP, or Wuhan, if you prefer) virus invaded our shores. He was methodically making inroads with the people most interested in draining the swamp. Trump was fearless, and he did things that no other president would dare to do, such as move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Then the virus -- and the nationwide panic that ensued. Everyone was grappling around in the dark wondering what to do, including Democrat governors and mayors. On Tuesday night, Trump was correct in pointing out how Democrat blue state leaders praised his administration’s early response, which Biden untruthfully denied because it destroys his narrative.
At several points in the evening, Trump had Biden on the proverbial ropes but inexplicably let him escape, mostly because he couldn’t suppress his own instincts to keep attacking. Grampa Joe can’t possibly win the argument but he can prevail in a “war” by allowing himself to be beat up by the much more assertive attacker. Democrats excel at playing the victim, remember? Trump sometimes doesn’t know when to stop, which is fine in his personal business dealings but won’t fly with a skittish voting public that seems to care more about manners and niceties than it does about policies that could destroy the country.
Biden emerged from the program looking pretty good, something that bothered my Trump-supporter acquaintances to no end. They were depressed over it. It’s almost like the Continental army during the Revolutionary War -- how do you retreat and cede ground in almost every contact with the enemy and still end up getting the other guy’s sword at the end of the hostilities?
You maintain the loyalty of the soldiers -- and in this case, your voters.
Trump won on the issues. But if he can’t shake the impression that he’s a narcissistic egomaniac of a man, he’ll forfeit the prize. It’s okay for him to endure what many consider a pretty painful defeat as long as he maintains the attitude that he can once again find and maintain the offensive -- but perhaps conduct himself a lot better next time around in the heat of the moment.
Of course, there are questions about whether the next debate will even take place, since all bets are off with Trump now needing to isolate himself for a period of time. What was already the oddest of odd years has just taken another turn to the strange.
Trump can take a page from U.S. Grant in a desperate situation
Another historic military analogy might explain here. At the fateful civil war Battle of Shiloh, Union Generals William Tecumseh Sherman and Ulysses S. Grant met to discuss the events of the near-disastrous (for their side) first day of fighting. Sherman said something to the effect of “Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?” Grant looked up. “Yes,” he replied, followed by a puff (of his cigar). “Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow, though.”
Without going into excessive detail, the southern forces had pushed Grant’s Yankee soldiers to the brink of collapse, pinned against a river and with little means of escape. A lesser general might’ve considered seeking terms for surrender of his army, but not Grant. The legendary warrior was rumored to have been intoxicated during the battle, but it wasn’t true. There was no let-up in Grant, a trait he carried with him all the way to General Robert E. Lee’s capitulation three years later at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
Trump’s and Grant’s outward personalities are polar opposites, the former being mercurial and temperamental as opposed to calm and cool under fire no matter what the circumstances like the latter. And Trump would never smoke a cigar. But like Grant, Trump never gives up, either. For better or worse, it’s not in Trump’s person to admit defeat and he’ll go to his reward before ever hoisting the white flag.
It's also not good to be unnecessarily or carelessly killed doing what you believe in. Trump isn’t like a kamikaze pilot or Islamic suicide bomber. There’s got to be a method to the madness to pair with his firm resolve to send Joe Biden back into permanent retirement. It’s obvious that everyone has a bad day (or night) from time to time, but with that realization in mind, it’s time to try something new.
Trump needs a different strategy. If his current one isn’t working, find a better one.
After closely observing Trump on nearly a daily basis for the past five years, it’s my opinion that the president never does anything on a whim. He’s too good at assessing character and situations to get himself in a pickle of his own creation without searching for a deeper meaning. Trump had to have known how his constant interruptions and lambasting of the frail Grampa Joe was being viewed by half the public as mean-spirited and unbecoming of the dignity of the office. (Hint: not well.)
Seeing as campaigns are marathons and not sprints, Trump was laying the foundation for something bigger and hopefully, better. Having already shored up his voting base, perhaps Trump the candidate was seeking to destroy the impression that he’d thrown-in with the Washington political establishment. In essence, Trump was going after the first-time/infrequent voters who don’t care about “getting along” and “unity” as much as they want a combative non-politician to go in and keep wrecking the place.
That being said, first and foremost, Trump is a politician now, and his “job” is not only to govern the country -- like choosing the awesome and principled Amy Coney Barrett to serve on the Supreme Court -- but also to win the election. That’s it, period. There aren’t any consolation prizes for second place and there certainly isn’t any kind of moral victory for having already defeated the awful Crooked Hillary Clinton four years ago.
As one of my Trump friends aptly put it, “Trump is Trump and no one’s going to change him. He’s got a heavy weight on his shoulders in that a lot of people are counting on him to be the firewall against socialism. So, he’s got to have the mindset that he’s doing it for more than just himself.”
The same amateur political pundit suggested Trump might’ve been knocking the stuffing out of poor ol’ Joe Biden because he was trying to suppress the hair sniffin’, nude swimmin’, sleazebag son defendin’, shoulders massagin’, child repellin’ and sexual assault denyin’ man’s votes -- by having his followers conclude, “I’m not going to vote for either of these clowns.”
At this point, I reject no theory. It appears certain that Joe Biden, despite his insistence to the contrary, has no plans to deal with anything. It’s easy to snipe from afar and blame Trump for 200,000 COVID-19 deaths when you’ve been sitting in your basement snacking on ice cream and watching as your staff does all the work for you, including the thinking part.
Assuming Trump and Melania recover from the virus, it will make it even harder for Democrats to claim the sky is falling and the world needs to be shut down. Just saying.
Biden and cohorts aspire to eliminate the filibuster and pack the Supreme Court, too. Judging by the intensity in Grampa Joe’s voice and his earnest attempts to not address the question, Biden doesn’t want to go on the record supporting such an election-losing screwball scheme. Beyond that, electing Biden to the presidency would be a tragic shame. It can’t happen. Let’s keep the goal in mind at all times.
Trump must recognize it, and quickly. Boxer Mike Tyson famously said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Tyson later elaborated on his wisdom, “People were asking me [before a fight], 'What’s going to happen?' They were talking about his style. 'He's going to give you a lot of lateral movement. He's going to move, he's going to dance. He's going to do this, do that.' I said, ‘Everybody has a plan until they get hit. Then, like a rat, they stop in fear and freeze.'”
Joe Biden most certainly is a rat, and he very well might freeze. But if you’ve got him backed into a corner due his own verbal flailing, let the guy talk -- and trust that people are smart enough to see through the fibs and deflections. Put together the strategy that will bring a triumph, because in 2020, winning isn’t everything -- it’s the only thing.
Yes, the NFL will sanction you severely for not wearing a mask (even outdoors)
In the you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up category comes news that the ultra-PC National Football League is considering a proposal to penalize coaches (or more specifically, teams) for not wearing masks during games. League poohbahs claim it violates virus protocol, but there has to be more to it.
ESPN.com reported, “The NFL has issued another strong warning to coaches who won't wear masks on the sideline during games, threatening suspensions and forfeiture of draft picks as punishment for failing to comply with COVID-19 game-day protocols, according to a league memo obtained Wednesday by ESPN's Adam Schefter.
“The strongly worded memo, sent to coaches, general managers and team executives by NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent, includes a passage in which the NFL says it will ‘address lack of compliance with accountability measures that may include ... suspensions and/or forfeiture of draft picks.’
“It marks the second time this month that the NFL has warned coaches to comply with coronavirus-related protocols by wearing a mask on the sideline.”
Oh, the horrors! A guy on a football field with a headset on isn’t covering his face! He might spit on you! Or sneeze! Or exhale in your direction! The NFL will fold!
Make no mistake, this has absolutely zero to do with “keeping people safe” or slowing the spread of the invisible Chinese plague. Pure and simple, it’s a poorly disguised and desperate attempt to “protect the shield” and save what’s left of the league’s rapidly deteriorating brand.
So, average Joe fan thinks -- ‘It’s okay to allow players to protest the national anthem and turn off a large segment of the paying public, but it’s not okay to permit league personnel to breathe uninhibited due to misbegotten fears of spreading a virus that really isn’t dangerous -- at all -- to yourself or your players (unless you’re really old or have a health condition)?’
The other night, Grampa Joe said it wasn’t possible to fix the economy until COVID-19 is dealt with. Is that true, NFL? Are you willing to forego all your gate and some of your TV revenue indefinitely to perpetuate the myth that everyone is destined to catch and then perish from the CCP virus? If Biden wins, will you go along with everything the 78-year-old tough guy orders?
It's stupid. But that’s life in the 2020 Democrat hysteria world.
The stakes are too high. Donald Trump needs to do whatever is necessary to win this election, and that includes devising a new plan for approaching debate etiquette. Democrats will do everything in their power to fan the public’s fear over COVID-19, the Supreme Court and whatever else will help them. It’s up to President Trump to stop them.