In the first 30 minutes of the final debate before our election in the U.S., Donald Trump managed to hold his tongue, give answers that at least superficially sounded okay, and didn’t have either a sniffling problem or a single “NOPE. WRONG.” interruption. It seemed, for a brief moment, that this would be more what Americans expect from a presidential debate.
The first glimmer of unraveling was when Clinton commented about him being a Vladimir Putin’s puppet. Trump’s immediate knee-jerk reaction of “No, you’re the puppet!” was the beginning of him starting to react negatively to Clinton’s digs, her preparation, and her complete steadfastness and stoicism.
It continued to get worse, with both of the candidates honestly bringing some good points to the table. The only one that comes to mind from Trump at the moment is him discussing the Wikileaks results. But hers were hitting him where it counts. Her discussion of how every time Trump doesn’t get what he wants, he cries out that the thing was rigged against him, his disrespect of women, her pointing out that his discussion on abortion is just wrong and meant to scare people. For a guy who claims he wants to be in charge of it, he certainly doesn’t seem to respect much about our country.
But the best points against Trump were the ones he made against himself. He said we have “bad hombres” here. He doesn’t trust the 17 agencies that say that Russia is most likely responsible for the leaks, he explicitly stated that he doesn’t believe them. He questioned the FBI about the results in the Hillary email scandal, so he doesn’t trust the FBI, and apparently thinks they had political reasons for deciding that way. Trump believes he knows better than our top military experts, as he thinks everything has been done wrong. Why does he even want to lead this country?
The best points against Trump were the ones he made against himself.
He lies, he interrupts, he is repetitive, he fear-mongers. Yelling about “ripping a baby out the day before it is born” is the definition of fear-mongering. In a discussion on abortion, it’s legality, it’s ramifications, and the decision to get one, in no way has anyone ever believed that a late-third trimester abortion is the way to go. That’s why there are laws as to when and how abortions can be performed. Here is my thought on abortion, and on men who think they should be the ones making laws about it: Get the hell out of my uterus. Until you have one, you do not get to decide what people with them should do. Men are not punished for getting someone pregnant and walking away from their responsibilities, they are not tarred and feathered, protested against, or dragged through the mud and called a murderer. The most punishment they could POSSIBLY face is paying a token amount monthly to help support the child they half created.
But what is the only thing that people will discuss in the morning? Trump saying that he will “wait and see” about supporting the winner. This is a stalling tactic, a scare tactic, and to be honest, a soundbyte.
People in the commentary were immediately saying that Trump discussing possibly not supporting whomever wins is a game ender in our politics, but I believe his base of supporters honestly don’t care about his answers.
His supporters are going to talk about how he totally won this debate, how prepared he was, how great of a temperament he had. They don’t care that Trump claims suddenly he has never met Putin and doesn’t know the guy, though in the first and second debate he talked about how Putin is a nice guy and thinks Trump is great. They aren’t going to care about him calling Hillary a “nasty woman” moments after saying that no one respects women more than he does. They definitely don’t care that he talks about bringing home all the jobs, but that most of his companies are based outside the U.S. They aren’t giving a shred of a crap about how he accuses Clinton of being a criminal and taking money from people... yet literally is on trial for defrauding “students” with his fake “university.”
They don’t care, and the scariest part is that they believe him when he claims the election is rigged.
Donald Trump is sowing dissension and hatred, racism, and sexual assault, paranoia and xenophobia throughout our country and after the election, when he hopefully slinks off to hide in a hole somewhere after losing in the largest landslide in recorded history, and we can finally stop talking about him, those people will still be there. Friends and neighbors, people you thought you knew. Those people who so strongly believe that Mexicans shouldn’t be in our country and that all Muslims are terrorists. The ones who agree that discussing sexual assault is just a thing men do.
In conversations with Trump supporters, I personally have been told that they “don’t care about [my] facts, because it won’t change [their] mind.” I’ve discussed before about motivated reasoning, the idea that people will only seek out studies and information that confirm what they already believe, never what might challenge it, and this has never been more demonstrated.
This willful ignorance is continuing to be on full display. Trump’s crowing of the election being rigged, his coy statement about waiting to see about supporting, it’s what someone does when they are losing. Donald Trump is the human equivalent of a child knocking over the Monopoly board when they are losing and kicking the pieces. Donald Trump is the kid who takes his ball and goes home if he wasn’t picked first or isn’t on the winning side. Donald Trump is a sore loser, a less than coherent speaker, doesn’t seem to understand how our country works.
The best we can hope for is for everyone to stop talking about him. After the election, no one watch his shows, read his books, stay in his hotels. Stop supporting him by giving him your hard earned money, stop feeding his ego by talking about him and keeping his name in your mouth. Just stop caring. Once there is no danger of him actually becoming a leader in our nation, we must STOP FEEDING THE BEAST. Perhaps he will eventually fade away into an incredibly embarrassing footnote in our country’s history instead of continuing his reign of stupidity in prominence.