Five days after the first presidential debate, the numbers are in and Trump lost. Not only was he declared the loser in every professional poll but his numbers, across the board, have declined by about 4% on aggregate. This should not be surprising:
- Trump was clearly unprepared. The bar he had to pass was to not look like a bloviating bully for 90 minutes as the most important exam of his life and he couldn't do it.
- Despite an initial burst of strategic attack (which lasted about 16 minutes) he was otherwise unable to execute a strategy, made unforced errors, and, by the end, lapsed into absolute incoherence (on the Birth Certificate issue).
- Worse, he stumbled blindly into the Alicia Machado trap. Clinton was prepared for any sexist opening--the Alicia Machado ad was already put together and polished. When he provided an opening, she hit him with it.
- Now, five days later, Trump is still keeping that story alive, despite all logic.
At This Point What Do You Say?
Today, if you are still supporting Trump (and if you supported him on Sunday, you are) you have to be fairly lying to yourself. This is a man who:
- Lacks self-control at an elemental level. He didn't do the homework, failed the exam, and then complained about it in depth--but not to anyone involved's face.
- He is running on a foundation of lies: his voters (as encouraged by him) believe he won the debate because of Internet polling. This is massive innumeracy and he, the would-be leader of the free world, is encouraging it.
- He has demonstrated a stunning willingness to use and promote cruelty aimed at people less powerful than him. However, he can't "take it" when it comes to having things like his own words used against him.
Acidic Super-Chef Gordon Ramsay would make a better president and be less abusive than Donald Trump. That's ignoring the boost he gives to racists in America. Even if you don't find yourself racist--and believe that Donald is not racist--it is inarguable that racists are cheering his rise.
The Questions To Ask Yourself
Today, if you are still supporting Trump (and if you supported him on Sunday, you are) there are a few questions you should answer, at least for yourself.
- Do you think he was decisively beaten in the debate? That's what the numbers show--if you think it was more or less a tie--or that he won, you are succumbing to conspiracy thinking. If you are, it is because you have a need to believe he won that overrides your cognitive functions. It isn't a matter of opinion (you can think you liked what he said better--but the idea that he unambiguously won is provably false).
- Is there any amount of support for white supremacists that Trump could have before you'd drop him? If he was an out-and-proud Klansman or Nazi, would that do it? If the answer is "Yes" then consider that he is courting those voters the same way that he is courting you.
- If he could not get his act together for the debate, is there any evidence at all he could do it for the presidency? If not, is it possible for a president to be catastrophically bad (if you answered: "Yes, Obama!" then consider that Obama is notably collected. Perhaps over-cautious? Trump is a hot-head who is easily baited. Do you really want that guy in charge?)
- There are newspapers that in a cumulative 400 year history have never endorsed a Democrat. They are endorsing Clinton. USA today has never before endorsed a candidate. This year they are endorsing Clinton. These are conservative sources (or pretty neutral in the case of USA Today). Could they know something you are not admitting to yourself?
The Answer Is: He's Not Clinton
"But Omnivore," you say, "we must stop Clinton at all costs!" The Omnivore's response to that is "Why?" We were told we had to stop Obama at all costs--the country is still standing. We were told that We had to stop Bush at all costs. He got us in two very, very expensive wars but the country is still standing. We were told we had to stop Bill Clinton at all costs. He got two terms and the economy expanded and the National Debt (which, you say, is VERY, VERY Important) was wiped out--for a time, until Bush.
"Ah, but Omnivore," you protest, "if all that is true, then maybe the country could survive Trump?"
Perhaps--we are a hard nation to kill--but Trump is an anomaly in ways the others, and Hillary, are not. He is supported by a resurgent White Supremacist party--something that has never happened in modern history. He has no governing experience of any kind and, most importantly, shows little appetite to learn things. He has demonstrated, when the chips are down, that he will attack someone who slights him--this is a man who cannot apologize and, notably, has not even asked God to forgive him.
These are qualities that Hillary simply does not demonstrate. She is contained. She can shut up. She is not easily baited. She is studied. She may be all the bad things you say / believe / have been told--but she is not a disciple of Vladimir Putin. She does not parrot Russian talking points or polling conspiracy theories to the national media. She does not have an Alt-Right hero (Stephen Bannon) as the head of her organization.
If the answer as to why you are voting Trump is that he's not Clinton, consider that this may be true: from what we have seen--from only what we have seen--he is much, much worse than Clinton at this President thing.
Those are the facts.