The Debate: The Day After

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Been waiting all day for one of those professional journalisty types to say something that mirrored what I think. That’s what good bloggers do, especially when the real world has so rudely intruded on my efforts to sound witty and erudite recently.

Enter Gene Robinson of the Post. Thanks, buddy – nailed it!

Donald Trump just got roughed up, and badly, by a girl. On Monday night, at the first presidential debate, Hillary Clinton made her opponent look ignorant, unprepared, egotistical, childish, petulant, impatient and at times totally incoherent.

How bad did it get? At one point, as Trump was groping blindly across the minefields of foreign policy, losing a foot here and a leg there, he announced, apropos of nothing, that “I think my strongest asset, maybe by far, is my temperament.” Clinton smiled sweetly and exclaimed, “Whew, okay!” The audience at Hofstra University, sternly instructed to remain silent throughout the debate, ignored the rules and burst into laughter.

They were laughing at you, Donald, not with you.

Look, there’s a segment of the voting population that’s thrilled with Trump’s boorishness, his rudeness, his bigotry, his sexism, his complete ignorance. These folks see Trump as living out their dream of flipping the bird at everything they see as wrong with America: snide liberals, women, blacks, immigrants, the government. They’ll never give up on the Donald, no matter what. The worse he gets – and he does, day after day – the more they love him, clinging to the idea that here is someone they identify with. The fact that he’s a solipsistic billionaire who doesn’t give a shit about them and never will  is utterly lost on these folks.

But the still somewhat rational folks who – bizarrely – seem unable to make up their minds or are entranced with the antics of Gary Johnson or even worse, Jill Stein, they will see Trump for what he is. A threat, a menace, a walking, talking stick of dynamite that could easily get loose and wipe us all out. The vast majority of us – the bird flippers aside – don’t want to see the end of the world. We’d like to make it better, thank you, and while we might not all agree on what “better” means, we’re not overtly suicidal as a group. I fervently believe – well, I hope so – that last night will come to mark the high tide line of our recent fascination with civilizational death.

Maybe this is too optimistic. But we will see. 

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