Torturous to view, Tuesday’s presidential debate was hijacked by Donald Trump’s lies, bullying, interruptions and insults. Normally calm CNN commentator Dana Bash called it a “sh*tshow.” As I watched Trump’s unhinged ranting I was reminded of what Mark Twain said, “Don’t wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.”
Joe Biden, however, showed considerable restraint. He also echoed Trump’s comment about American Covid deaths (now 207,000) “It is what it is,” and added “because you are who you are.” When Biden criticized Trump’s description of fallen soldiers as “losers and suckers,” Trump noticeably didn’t deny the quote nor did he object when Biden labeled him a racist (I suppose because he is one.)
As Trump disregarded all the rules, I was frustrated that moderator Chris Wallace didn’t cut The Donald’s mic. As for Trump’s endless lies, a Facebook friend put it best, “I was so surprised this president lies, says no one ever.”
For Trump the White House is his safe house, but if he loses the election (I pray nightly and I’m an atheist!) and is prosecuted perhaps his defense lawyers could put into evidence debate footage to support an insanity plea. (In our history, we’ve had presidents who were bigots, crooks and incompetents but never one who was all three.)
When Wallace scolded Trump for his constant interruptions, Trump pointed to Biden and whined, “What about him?!” Wallace replied, “You’ve had many more interruptions,” to which Trump made a disgruntled face. (Is there such a thing as a “gruntled” face?)
When Trump refused to condemn white supremacists, I recalled the day after the 2016 election when David Duke, former KKK Grand Wizard, warned Trump, “Mr. President, don’t ever forget who got you elected.” Trump clearly hasn’t forgotten as evidenced from Charlottesville “fine people on both sides,” until this debate and his “Proud Boys” reference.
Like a General to his troops, Trump advised the virulently racist and gun-toting “Proud Boys” to “stand back and stand by.” On the Internet, the Proud Boys are celebrating their presidential shout out and posted, “We’re standing by, Sir.” (Good grief.)
Trump tried to pivot to Antifa, which I don’t think he realizes stands for Anti-Fascist or even that we fought WWII to defeat fascism. And he seems unaware that in June the FBI sent out an intelligence bulletin, “White supremacists and racist domestic terrorists pose the largest threat of violence in the United States.”
After the debate, which was a frightening display of Trump’s mental illness, the wives came on stage. Jill Biden enthusiastically hugged Joe. (And yes I have a crush on Jill.) Meanwhile Melania appeared silently miserable or maybe she was calculating the terms of her prenup.
Frankly, I dread the election. Trump isn’t running against Biden, he’s running against democracy itself. Clearly he’ll promote violence, chaos, mail delays, Russian interference, voter suppression and widespread cheating. So let’s switch to a more upbeat subject, Trump’s taxes. (Or lack thereof, given that he paid no income tax ten out of the fifteen years before he was elected and $750 in 2016 and 2017.)
Thanks to the recent Trump tax documents legally obtained by the New York Times, Trump is a historically dismal failure as a businessman. In today’s dollars, Trump inherited $413 million from his father and squandered it all, being forced to file 6 bankruptcies. Then came The Apprentice which he neither created or wrote, but did earn $427 million from. (He still grumbles he didn’t win an Emmy much like he grumbles he deserves a Nobel Prize, although in a tweet he spelled it “Noble.”)
Apparently, the Apprentice fortune was also squandered while reportedly Trump has debt estimated to be between $400 million to a billion, due within four years. For security reasons alone, Americans deserve to know to whom or what country he owes the money. And how does he plan on paying it back? (He’s so broke there may not be that prenup money for Melania when she divorces him.)
Being a con artist his whole life, I imagine Trump is cooking up illicit money-making schemes. For example, he could sell the nuclear codes and when the cash is wired to his account, change the codes. Or, working with Airbnb, he could rent out rooms in the White House. Ivanka earned $92 million last year, maybe he could hit her up for a loan?
The debate was such a disaster there’s already talk of rule changes for the next two. Being able to cut Trump’s mic won’t work as he would just yell from the podium. Maybe he should get tasered each time he interrupts? Or when it’s Biden’s turn to speak, Trump gets locked in a padded sound proof booth.
And maybe when he leaves office some jury will have him locked in a padded cell. (A guy can dream, can’t he?)
Google “Dr. Laura Sicola analyzes the debate on Fox News.”
Jack is at firstname.lastname@example.org.