More Silver Linings in the Changed Political Process

This is the second of my posts trying to see the additional positive opportunities for the future that may be offered by the disruptions of the recent election.

The fact is that Trump, by tearing up the limits of prior political discourse may make it much easier for future candidates to “tell truth to power.”

Some examples of approaches that are now far less out of the mainstream for rhetorical questions by candidates or serious ones by the press, are:

Being much more explicit about the hypocrisy of candidates who change their positions with the wind.

Being much more direct in pointing out the implications of candidates personal interests in specific policy outcomes.

Being much more critical about the overall functioning of the political and economic system.

So, imagine these lines four years ago, and four years into the future.  Would they have been acceptable in the past, and will they be now?

Ask him what stocks he owns in health care — how much will he earn from this change!

Why is he so frightened of gay people?

Why does he get such a kick out of interfering with other people’s sex lives?

So, sir, if you are not influenced by campaign money, why do people give it to you?

Can you honestly say that you have NEVER been influenced in any way at all by campaign money?

People have died.  You are a killer.

Why are you so angry?  Why do always appeal to the very worst in people?  Do you see a psychiatrist?  Has anyone suggested you do?

Did you tell you wives about your affairs?  Would you tell the American people when you break promises you have made to them?

How did you get so rich? 

Not hard to go on and on.

Now, it may be that for complex political reasons some of these may do more harm than good.  Or it may be that some of these would provide rhetorical rebuttal opportunities that we would not want to provide.

But the fact is that these possibilities now have to be analyzed, whereas before they were just outside the realm of political discourse.

I am just not sure anything is beyond the pale anymore, and we have the opportunity to be much more creative.

Trump Just Demolished the Republican Argument To Vote Republican Downballot for Republicans to Protect Against a President Clinton

The Republicans used to have a viable argument (although a wrong one) that people should vote for Republican Senate and House candidates to keep limits on a President Clinton.

Now Trump has effectively pointed out that it is much more important to get the Republicans out of the House and the Senate to minimize the chance that those bodies will enable a losing candidate Trump who refuses to accept the election result.


Trump’s Refusal to Promise to Accept Election Result is Even Worse Than It Sounds

Think forward to a possible 2020 re-election campaign that a President Trump loses.  Then

and, with the power of the presidency behind him, he refuses to concede and leave the White House.  Who gets him out?

That’s called a coup, and is even more dangerous than what is being talked about tonight on the comment programs.

They make movies about scenarios like that.

The Ultimate Debate Fantasy — Read “The Last Debate” by Jim Lehrer, Yes That Jim Lehrer

I know we are supposed not to build up expectations for Trump’s failure in the debate, but this is irresistible.

For some reason utterly beyond me, the world has forgotten that Jim Lehrer, deeply respected former co-presenter of the PBS News Hour, and multiple Presidential debate moderator, wrote in 1996 a hysterically funny and absolutely to the point for 2016, novel about presidential debates, called The Last Debate.  It is on Amazon, including Kindle, here.

The Democratic candidate is a George McGovern type, decent, but no match for modern political warfare.  The Republican is leading heavily in the polls.  He is a Cruz-Trump amalgam, heavy on the religiosity, a thug and a bully, without principle, and certain to win.  The campaign has gone so far as to get dirt on the debate questioners.

So, the moderator secretly decides, with the agreement of the other panelists, to stage an intervention.  They gather affidavits, and then, at the start of the debate get the candidates to agree to a flexible back and forth, rather than the agreed rules. (Can’t you imagine the ego in Trump thinking that would be an advantage?)

But then the moderators start confronting the Republican with his abuse of his female staff, his domestic violence, illegal tactics, etc., etc.

After the candidate’s slowly burning fury builds:  (I have replaced names, because, well .  .     )

And then came the awful ending.

Trump tore the microphone out of the podium in front of him.

He threw it with force towards the moderator, barely missing his head.

He picked up the wooden podium with his two hands and raised it over his head.

“No more of this!” he shouted. “No more!”

He threw the podium at the panelists’ table.  It crashed to be floor before it got that fr and splintered into several pieces.

He screamed: “God will fucking punish all of you for this! You will fucking die!  You will fucking perish!”

Trump then turned to his left and exited the stage at a dead run.

And, that is that.

The only way I can communicate the brilliant humor of the book is to tell you that the first time I read it, I was flying across the Atlantic to see my father who was in his last days after emergency heat surgery.  There I was in the darkened cabin, everyone around me asleep, unable to suppress my out loud laughter.  It does not hurt for today that the Republic campaign manager was named Turpin.

So, read it and hope for the best.