Has Trump been playing us for fools? Watching last night’s debate I could only think what a dreadful performance both candidates gave. On reflection if I had to score the debate I’d probably marginally award Clinton on the ability to string a sentence together but that’s looking with conventional eyes. Most media outlets awarded Clinton the win yet most online opinion polls (excluding the obvious outliers) scored Trump the victor. We know this election is anything but conventional. Is he testing the water? The last debate is being hosted by the conservative Republican biased Fox News. I’m sure questions on Benghazi, deleted emails, Clinton Foundation, pay for play related dirt plus anything Assange dredges up in October on Wikileaks could well be asked. What was said at the first debate will have been forgotten.
One would think Trump’s woeful performance would cause his minions to abandon hope and not bother showing up. Not so. I just finished watching Trump’s speech at the Melbourne, Florida rally the day after the first debate and 27,000 fans were hanging on every word. Chanting “USA USA USA” as he talks of American jobs, manufacturing, mining and oil. If you watch the video even Wagner’s “Flight of the Valkyries” was being blasted as Trump’s Boeing 757 pulled up to the stairway in front of the hangar where his speech would be delivered. If only Hillary Clinton could get such crowds. Some conspiracy theorists argue she has been blue screening speeches with no crowds, one video showing her pointing to crowds that aren’t there but a flag instead. Regardless, Trump controls the mob who are sick of the establishment.
I was interested in seeing the social media posts from Democrats on how she “whipped his azz” in the first debate. Pure common sense rationale would agree she took down Trump on tax returns and stiffing contractors as he didn’t answer well at all. Is this tactics? While Clinton was busy preparing to be a President, Trump was canvassing and stirring up the mob. His social media feeds dominate HRC’s. If the Democrats fall in to the trap of complacency after this debate we could well see The Donald get stuck in aggressively on Clinton’s long list of unethical activity. He mentioned everything in Florida the day after what he didn’t in the debate. A TelePrompTer might be one reason for his much smoother performance but his tireless travel to the poorer parts of America where people are hurting, places Hillary Clinton completely dismisses as Democrat-or-die voters, is where he’s winning. These people have had enough of the establishment. They know if they want change to their destitution and hardship Clinton will offer nothing. More than the emails which scored a direct hit on Clinton, Trump did make that point extremely well – why now after 26 years are you starting to think about it?” It struck a chord with many voters the ones many of us and certainly the establishment are probably so out of touch with. Deplorables or uneducated or whatever name tag that categories them would have felt that message the hardest. What have 40 years of presidents done for us?
I also argue that there are many people who are voting Trump but not prepared to admit it for fear of reprisal. At the ballot box they won’t need to fear.in past elections the Dems have always done better with higher voter turnouts. Something tell me 75%+ will show up at polls from the low 60% and below levels of the past but most will be using this election more as a referendum to boot the old guard out.
I had one exceptionally intelligent and well informed Republican friend who is thinking of voting Hillary but said if he didn’t stop watching her pathetic economic plan at the debate he might not be able to do it come voting time.
On reflection those Democrats thinking President Hillary Clinton is now in the bag because Trump made such a Horlicks of the first debate would do well to pay heed to the mood of the people. The mainstream media will write whatever they like with a sense of relief but Trump is a dangerous person to dismiss. He may have multiple shortcomings and speak with little grace but he knows how to play the media and while he acted this time as someone that didn’t get “baited by a tweet” he could well go into attack mode in debate 2 & 3 and have Fox News well and truly set the debate up to attack Clinton. Did you hear how much Trump cited Hannity? The protests from the media after the 3rd debate will go unheard just as they failed to tap into what is really going on in America all along – economic hardship and growing inequality. This is an election about the haves vs the have nots.
What we saw on Monday night may well have been a headfake. Almost as if he wanted to throw it away. There have been times before when Trump has behaved so irrationally (e.g.Khan taunts) then doubled down but he’s still ahead in the polls. It reminds me of the events leading to Czar Nicholas II of Russia. In the end the peasants had enough. They rose up and got change.
The only way to summarize is to say thinking conventionally about this election is the most risky method. Think deeply about all of the noise, lies, scams and biased media coverage you’ve seen since the middle of last year and ask yourself if “any” of it was even remotely normal. You see?