I was really conflicted about voting for Hillary Clinton, but Paul Ryan is right, and Donald Trump really does make this election a binary choice. Yet Ryan is sticking with the sociopath.
Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton’s most inspirational quality is that she is not Donald Trump. A host of lingering scandals hovers above Clinton everywhere she goes, not all of them untrue, and this is still an election Clinton can lose.
But even though her world view promises more of the bruisingest aspects of Obama’s legacy, she is mentally and temperamentally fit to be trusted with the physical power of the US military. For instance, she does not brag that her lack of knowledge regarding NATO is a foreign-political strength, like Trump does.
I do not believe it is an exaggeration that we all are looking forward to the upcoming debates. The first one is scheduled for September 26th—if Trump doesn’t bail. Trump is a genuine flight risk given that he already skipped a major debate in the Republican primaries (a Fox News debate, of all networks) and attacked the legitimacy of the current debate schedule. Trump seems to have his excuses lined up for when he inevitably loses the rhetorical battle, saying that the debates and election are rigged.
I am looking forward to Hillary Clinton demolishing him. She is incomparably smarter than Trump, calmer, and more prepared for the presidency. It’s not even close. He has a squirrelly brain that has retained little historical knowledge of the seven decades he has lived through, and the memories he shares are exaggerated, autobiographical fictions of his business success, told with a natural, con man ability to talk at great lengths and say nothing. The downwardly spiraling ignorant bumper stickers that come out of his mouth may sound like music to the dog-whistling racists in the Republican primary voting base, but a live debate will be like sitting in a room with Trump and regretting you invited him to the party. Does no one remember that Trump debated very poorly in the primaries?
It’s difficult to imagine, but Clinton still may lose. Her campaign has taken an above-the-filth approach to Trump’s ongoing poop-throwing tantrum aimed at nearly every human, media organization, and inanimate object in American politics, but sometimes the only way to beat a bully is to bully back. Trump is a relatively easy bully to defeat because he’s such a whiny blowhard: seriously, read this New York Times list of 250 nouns Trump has attacked on Twitter. Emotionally, Trump is an adolescent with little self-control, and the insults—as is often the case with bullies—is more a reflection of Trump’s insecurities rather than the shortcomings of the people, places, and things Trump casually attacks on a daily basis. The binary choice in Election 2016 is to stop the sociopathic narcissist.
To help, I have catalogued some bully-esque strategic advice for Clinton in the first presidential debate:
—Give all your available speaking time to Donald Trump because of the inevitability that he will say politically damaging things.
—Repeat the various insults he has lobbed at you and others, particularly on Twitter, and watch him squirm as he tries to justify the awful things he has said to a national audience.
—Quiz him on geography to prove his ignorance. See if he can name three cities in Iran, or bring a little map and ask if he can locate Estonia, a country his reckless foreign policy is likely to betray.
—Call Trump out on his gross overestimations of his personal wealth, and get under his skin by calling him a trust fund baby and discussing how much of his family’s wealth he has squandered with decades of bad business deals.
—Find an immature nickname to call him along the lines of Crooked Hillary, such as Psycho Donnie, Trumpentein, Silver Spoon Don, Debt King Don, Bankrupt Trump, Donald Dump, Dummy Dump, DJ Stupid, Bigot Smalls, Stumpy Trump, or Sausage Fingers.
—Ask Trump what it was like to be fired from Celebrity Apprentice.
—Lead audience-wide chants of “Tax returns, tax returns, tax returns!”
—Ask Trump about his religious faith so everyone can watch him weasel his way out of saying anything of substance about his alleged Christian faith.
—Ask Trump what it was like to singlehandedly ruin the United States Football League. At some point individually reference Trump Steaks, Trump Airlines, Trump University, and the host of other failed Trump branding projects.
The goal is to embarrass Trump, and goad him into some next-level campaign self-destruction. I don’t think it will be very difficult.