Tonight was the second Republican ‘debate’ among presidential candidates. Preceding reports seemed to characterize it as a lynch mob determined to destroy Donald Trump. The CNN sponsorship seemed to offer an appropriate milieu. Bad guess; the main target was not even there: Hillary Clinton. Some went after The Donald but watching their arrows bounce off him must have discouraged the rest.
We missed the latter part, but what we did see reminded us of an old legend wherein a victim grows stronger at every blow against him. Mr. Trump can clearly think on his feet; a precious govt for a politician. Many of the intended attacks upon him were transformed into touchdowns in his hands.
Given that there are two sorts of polls now, we await the polling with interest. Some polls endeavor to discover and report what people think. Others are intended to report peoples’ thought that have been scripted in advance. It is not always obvious which poll is of which sort. We may be mistaken; we anticipate that Mr. Trumps’ polling tomorrow will be favorable.
The corrupt crony capitalist oligarchy that now runs things cannot afford Trump; he plays to the citizens rater them; intolerable. Their hole card is the 13 months between the present and the election; Trump will need to avoid tripping up and becoming tiresome as well as the outing of any presently unknown scandal in his past.
Trump has carved his doorway to the presidency by giving voice to the citizens increasingly ignored by the mighty. How dare he! And how dare the Great Unwashed aspire to elect one not anointed by heir betters?
By suffering on TV the slings and arrows of CNN and several of his increasingly desperate rivals, Trump seems to us reinforced; the opposite of what was intended. He had best not sit with his back toward many windows.
Meantime, the Democratic candidates sink; Hillary’s low numbers vis-a-vis Sanders strike us more as her decline than as his rise. Democratic fireworks to date are squibs.
What does strike us as crucial is the timing of the next stock market crash, not too far off we think, Whether the White House holds a Democrat or a Republican on that date seems likely to shape U.S. politics for a long time. That’s the story of 1932 .. and it’s what makes the current election important.
As for Mr. Trump: His extempore glibness and ready information are useful gifts, appropriate to a salesman, his strong point so far as we know, coupled to considerable intelligence. But that which truly sets him apart cannot be recognized publicly by the establishment: He is not them. And it is them of whom the voters have become disabused. The professional politicians are therefore fighting uphill. Whatever they choose to do will be suspect. Trump will receive the benefit of any doubt; they will not.
Meanwhile, Trump will identify the dangers that the established politicians have subjected us to, free of responsibility for having brought them about. He is germ-free among among an infected group. And he knows it.
But 13 is a lot of months in politics. Much that will happen is still invisible. But one thing we can conclude: TV sound bite ‘debates’ play into Trump’s strong points. Whether they contribute much to the voters beyond entertainment is a question. Generalities so predominate that it is hard to predict what any candidate will actually do in office. It is clear that the TV formats are playing to ratings, not substance. Unsurprising these days, but still a disappointment.