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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Trump's missed opportunity

It's not every day when you get to debate two people at once: Lester Holt and the Democrats' candidate, whatshername.

L ike many others, I found myself yelling at my TV trying to encourage Donald Trump to be a little more thoughtful when he was handed obvious lies and misinterpretations from his two opponents at Monday's debate. When is Samsung going to put microphones in these damn things, anyway? It's almost as if he didn't hear me.

It's too bad, because it's not every day when you get to debate two people—Lester Holt and the Democrats' candidate, what's her name, who looked like she'd been stuffed to the gills with some combination of drugs to prevent her from having another seizure and at the same time keep her awake without making her blow a gasket. That's not easy to do, for sure, and her pharmacist was the easily the real winner of the debate.

Walter Hudson over at the Opera-hanging website Pjmedia was one of the many who had some great suggestions about how Trump could have answered. Jack Cashill wrote a great summary about how the Democrats' obsession with racism and their meddling with the economy, not ‘the rich’, caused the 2008 housing crisis. Trump could have gone far with it.

When Hillary started calling Trump racist, Trump could have had his “There you go again!” moment by saying he wanted a color-blind country. Color-blindness is what most Americans believe in, and it is one of the issues we are most frustrated about. We talk about political correctness but the real issue is that the government is no longer living up to our ideals.

Democrats have gotten amazing mileage from pretending that all the problems in the country are caused by ‘racism’ and ‘the rich.’ These simplistic answers appeal to the economically illiterate who demand simple answers. But their vote-getting value, as the Democrats are discovering, is limited.

The two classes of voters

There are two classes of voters. One class ignores any discussion of the issues. There's an old saying: Politicians lie in cast iron sinks, which means it's in their nature to lie. These voters have given up trying to decide which side is right. So they vote for whichever candidate seems more likeable. Trump was the clear winner for these voters.

These voters rely on nonverbal cues, like Nixon's 1960 shiftiness, Howard Dean's werewolf impression, Carly Fiorina's scowl, Libertarian Party Chair Candidate James Weeks stripping on stage, and now Hillary Clinton's evil grinning.

That fake grin sent shivers down my spine. Some people compared it to a Cheshire cat grin. It reminded me of Jack Nicholson's evil grin in The Shining.

The other class of voters want the government to give them free college tuition or to tilt the playing field in their favor for being one particular sex or ethnicity. They are motivated to believe the myth that America is a cesspool of racism and sexism, because that belief justifies the special privileges they want the government to give them.

Those are voters Trump needs in order to win. He can't out-promise the Democrats, but like Mitt Romney he risks losing them by misunderstanding them.

They talk a lot about equality and racism. But giving one favored group special privileges and inciting hatred and envy between poor and rich, black and white, or female and male, is not equality. It is cronyism, racism, and sexism. Whenever the government interferes in how people interact with each other, whether in the market, in the schools, or in the workplace, it creates injustice and inequality.

Trump could have reminded them that Republicans don't care about race or sex or economic status. Republicans, he could say, stand for a color-blind society, fairness, and equal opportunity.

Most Americans know that what the government calls equality is just favoritism, and they're angry about being divided into mutually hostile groups. But it is not anger, but excitement that someone is finally echoing their values, that gave Trump his primary victory. Everyone knows about Trump's wall and his tariff and NAFTA. If he wants to win the undecideds, he'll need to attack Hillary's cronyism and remind voters that Republicans stand for equal opportunity.

People complain about Lester Holt tossing softballs to Hillary. But softball questions do you no favors: you can get away with repeating your talking points. The advantage of having a hostile moderator is that you can hit a home run with them.

Last edited sept 28 2016, 6:56 pm

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