US Elections – The Coward’s Pivot
The third US Presidential debate yesterday was fascinating for many reasons, but most of all because it revealed Donald Trump, like all bullies, to be a coward; it also showed he’s capable of rational desperation.
Donald Trump performs better each debate – he’s better briefed, more mannerly, and more rational. More of his sentences are completed. Hillary Clinton continues to display superior intelligence, depth, understanding, and thoughtfulness.
The big debate take-away:
It’s been proven time and again: if you must commit resources to activating your base your campaign is in trouble: someone has persuaded Trump, because his campaign is so desperately failing, he must proclaim conservative Christian orthodoxy, and gun-ownership focussed orthodoxy, to persuade Republicans to bother to vote for him. His debate performance wasn’t appealing to middle America – undecided, moderate and independent – when he talked so strongly about opposing abortion and stacking the US Supreme Court; he was talking to the Republicans who’ve seen him as a hypocritical libertine and dangerous bully, and weren’t voting for him.
Without them, he won’t just lose on November 8, he will be devastated, and the Republican Party’s other candidates with him. Without them, the Democratic Party must take control of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and many of the State legislatures and Governorships that are up for election on the same day.
He is indeed a narcissistic libertine; he has certainly previously supported abortion rights; he’s a very recent and probably temporary convert to this kind of conservative agenda, and it has come at the cost of keeping the True Donald in the public eye. At the end, lacking the courage of his own convictions, he’s prepared to adopt someone else’s.
His mealy-mouthed, half-unsaid, half-demand that a Supreme Court appointed by him should reverse Roe v. Wade, the most important Court decision about reproductive rights and obligations in US history, will have satisfied only the so-called right-to-life movement. He lacked the courage to unequivocally say he wanted it overturned … he took the coward’s approach of trying to conceal the promises he’s made to the Evangelical Christian Right.
There was a flash or two of the Real Donald, the bully strip-mining the hurt and pain of communities outside the economic and social elites: he’s contemplating refusing to concede defeat if he loses, suggesting fraud on a massive scale, and implicitly threatening to use his campaign to destabilise Clinton’s legitimacy, and the legitimacy of the electoral system, beyond Election Day*.
Before the debate, Trump’s surrogates and advocates talked about him pivoting his campaign, away from the confused melange of messages past, and towards a “Drain the Washington Swamp” theme. This debate performance, in contrast, was a pivot towards trying to save the down-ticket Republicans from the expected Clinton coat-tails.
Ethical Consulting Services partner Mike Smith is embedded within the US Presidential campaign, until US election day on 8 November.
- The next day, appreciating the furore, and harm to his aspirations, this had caused, he issues a typically weaselly non-retraction that he’ll claim as a retraction when convenient.
Posted on October 21, 2016, in campaigning, Democracy, Election, Ethical, Leadership, Policy, Political tactics, Politics, Strategy, Tactics, Values, Voting and tagged Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Presidential Election, US election, US President. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.