It would seem that the aftermath of the recent Presidential debate has resulted in quite a wake, not the kind produced by a small bass fishing boat on a quiet lake, but more like that of a tsunami on an otherwise turbulent sea, say like the North Sea where tsunamis don’t exist. Trump’s performance at the debate has left all observers scratching their heads—the moderator, the pundits, the media, the GOP, the DNC, the CPD (the Committee on Presidential Debates, the hosting organization), and Biden’s team, as well as the entire viewing audience of qualified voters, but most notably the cadre of Trump advisors who must decide, “What’s next for our man?” When you have turned up the amplifier to “10” there is nowhere else to go. There is no “12,” as “Spinal Tap” would have you believe. I mean c’mon, even Bo Derek was only a “10.”
So what do they do? What can they do? Let’s look at all the possible options and see if there’s a path forward, or even backward for that matter, that can improve their candidate’s position, but more importantly, one their candidate will accept and comply with.
The first option is stay on track, accept alienating the independents and the swing states, further distancing from white women and peoples of color. Continue on with Trump’s image of the ferocious “law and order” candidate, the I-can’t-help-it-if-we’re-all tough-guys-who-get-things-done image that allows him to perpetuate his reign as an unrepentant bully and continue his association with the darkest elements of the political landscape—the white supremacists, the KKK, the Proud Boys, and any other spin-offs that might occur between now and November 3rd. Following this dictum, his support from the Christian Right will remain intact and that body of malcontents can go on dreaming of the day when abortions are prosecutable and capital punishment is restored, the influx of foreigners into their country will be at long last over and they can sit quietly and securely in their living rooms cleaning their Barrett m82, grenade launchers and surface to air missiles without fear of an early-morning federal raid, or…
Ramp it up. Find that “`12.” But where can you possibly go after you have defiled every political opponent with lies and insults and derogatory nicknames, attacked federal employees, judges, wounded veterans, individual journalists, John McCain a bona-fide war hero, the disabled, five-star families, the Pope, the print media, foreigners, various religions, governors and mayors, blue states and cities, our seventeen intelligence agencies and the many other sacred American institutions that comprise our system of governance, insuring our freedoms and the right to pursue “happiness?” Maybe the only answer is to ramp up the praise he lauds on those “other” good people, the extreme and violent right, the racists and supremacists and anti-Semites, wrap himself in the Confederate flag and openly praise their heroes, people like Dylan Roof, or those cops that slaughtered Breonna Taylor in a fusillade of bullets as if she were Robert Redford in “Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid,” or a real life Bonnie Parker. Really? What else is left?
OR…. The third possibility, the impossible dream, a move backward whereby Trump apologizes (never happen), admits he has been wrong, even lying (never happen), demonstrates his commitment to change by firing his team of sycophants and co-conspirators (never happen), and appears on 5thAvenue without a gun and administers life support to the homeless there that may be dying of heroin overdose (more likely than the other two options).
I mean, c’mon people, what else is there? How can they possibly advise this guy to benefit their cause. By the way, just what is their cause? Does anybody really know anymore?