We deal with a lot of tough things in life ― grief and various addictions, among other things ― in stages. The same is true when Donald Trump makes one of his patented inflammatory, fantastical or threatening statements.
After one of these remarks, the bilious billionaire, his aides and the Republican Party run through a series of syntactical and spin-doctoring steps in a Houdini-like effort to escape the submerged steamer trunk into which he had locked himself (and them).
At the end of the process, most fair-minded observers conclude that Trump never really escapes, and that he is running out of oxygen somewhere in the deep waters off the coast of American politics.
But not Trump! With powers of self-delusion far beyond those of mortal men and strategy from his own The Art of the Deal, he views his utterances as merely the opening bid in a never-ending negotiation over meaning. And the meaning is what he says it is, or isn’t, or may be, or what you want to hear, or don’t to hear.
And for The Donald, any publicity is good publicity, and any accusation ― no matter how outrageous or phony ― sticks.
You’d think that this method ― the destruction of the meaning of meaning ― could not work. Americans are sensible, clear-eyed people, right? Surely they see his rhetoric for what it is: a verbal three-card Monte game in hell.
So it won’t work, right? Right?
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims ― 1.6 billion members of an entire religion ― from entering the U.S.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place