That Wasn’t A Debate

What I saw on Tuesday was not a debate. It was political theatre, verging on political pornography. It was an affront to the values, institutions and traditions of this country. Donald Trump manifested in so many ways that he is the wrong successor for the likes of George Washington, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower and Franklin Roosevelt. He isn’t even an able successor to Warren G. Harding, himself a philandering resident of the White House whose administration engaged in a multitude of scandals and whose behavior is one of the prime reasons for the Great Depression. Ezra Klein, founder of the Vox web site put it best: “It’s not just that Trump is a bad President. He is a bad person.”

In spite of requests from the host of the debate, the Trump family, which wore face masks for a social media photograph and apparently into the venue, appeared in the audience without masks. Of course, those on the Biden side of the aisle had theirs on. These are careless people, in a very literal sense. They care less about other people and the country than they do their own profit and pleasure. Their highest responsibility is not to something outside themselves and their family; they hold no higher aspirations for our nation than to view it as an opportunity to maximize their incomes. Certainly they have never believed that we should love one another, act justly and walk humbly in this world, in spite of Daddy’s date with a Bible at a neighborhood church after his enablers cleared the street of peaceful protesters.

Mr. Trump apparently believes that all public service, both military and civilian is for suckers and losers. I’m the daughter of a career military man, who saw action at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed. For putting his life on the line during World War II and to a lesser extent in Korea, I never thought him a loser. Yet Mr. Trump, while standing at the Pearl Harbor Memorial over the sunken USS Arizona, apparently had to ask his then Chief of Staff John Kelly, himself a former general who had lost a son in the Middle East conflict, “What’s this a tour of?”.

I’ve been a faithful reader of most of the books that have been published so far about the Trump administration. I’m almost finished with Woodward’s Rage; I have Michael Cohen lined up next. (I admit I’ve made an exception with the John Bolton book; I don’t want to contribute anything to Bolton’s bottom line.) These books have gotten almost repetitious in their revelations. Mr. Trump is a liar, a bully, and a man without empathy. He lacks even basic curiosity, is badly under-read for someone in his position, and barely works. Mary Trump’s book provides some context for how this ubernarcissist* became who he became. Even his sister thinks he’s a “clown.” It’s on tape.

If any child behaved like Mr. Trump did Tuesday night, we’d be in immediate discipline mode. Why many of his ardent supporters are today on line gleefully extolling the virtues of his performance remains a mystery to me. Here’s a guy who likes inflicting pain, is responsible for hundreds of thousands of Americans unnecessarily dying, tanked our economy and is without a recovery plan, is vengeful and mean-spirited, and has managed to drop our international standing to its lowest level in almost a century. What Kool-Aid are they drinking?

If you were undecided about how much commitment to take into November, the debate should have settled that question. We can attempt a return to decency or we can continue down this road to chaos and a new semi-privatized, but amply armed, civil war.

* Ubernarcissist Definition: So detached from reality that he can’t relate to how normal human beings think.  [I had to look it up myself. DJ]