The debates are a just a week away. The race has tightened. I’m not sanguine but neither am I trembling in fear. Which Trump will be at the debates? The submissive one that fears dominant women or the bully that insults everyone? Click To Tweet Will he dare call Hillary crooked or a liar to her face? He bullies her at his peril but I think he’s too cowardly to do so. But can he be calm enough to woo any undecideds? In the GOP debates and on Twitter he mocked and insulted all his opponents—with one exception, Carly Fiorina. Before the debates, he asked if hers was face of a President. During the first debate, he backed down and said she had a beautiful face. He did protest her interrupting others in the 2nd debate–hardly up to his usual insults. He tweeted terrible things about Megyn Kelly but couldn’t behave that way with her in person. More recently, in the United Methodist Church in Flint, Michigan, he meekly accepted Pastor Faith Green Timmons interrupting him to let him know that he couldn’t make a political speech. Later he tweeted a blast calling her a nervous mess and falsely claiming people in the church were enthusiastic about his talk.
It’s not only strong women Trump has problems with either; it’s world leaders as well. Ironic after all his vile rhetoric about Mexican immigrants and the government that he should diffidently offer praise of the country and its president Enrique Pena Nieto In his news conference after their meeting. The mild mannered Trump said the matter of the wall didn’t come up. But the Mexican President tweeted out that it had and that he told Trump in no uncertain terms that Mexico would not be paying for any wall. Trump went on a rampage that night in Arizona during his immigration policy speech and tweeted back rude comments to the Mexican President.
This is part of Trump’s bombastic bully routine. He confidently insults and belittles others out of their presence. When in person, he bullies only when he thinks them inferior. He is afraid of women, especially strong American women. Which probably has something to do with why he has had three Eastern European wives. So how will or how should Hillary respond to Trump? Trump (and his lame-brained running mate Pence) wants to paint the Apprentice host as the second coming of Ronald Reagan. Not hardly! On the contrary, “there you go again,” worked very well for Reagan against Jimmy Carter attacks. When Trump offers insults, lies or nonsense, I suggest Clinton chuckle and ask “Seriously?” Click To Tweet It might even pick up some Millennials or at least Gen Xers. Maybe too snarky for Clinton or not her style. But with humor, maybe it’s the right response to “bomb the s—t out of them” or that Obama and she are the “co-founders of ISIS”.
Unfortunately, given the sexism of many male Americans, Clinton has a fine line to walk in being assertive and not “bitchy.” That’s where smiles and humor may be effective. She can do as she does in the many ads her campaign has run—use his own words against him. She can offer specific, pragmatic policies to Trumps vague and glib generalities—especially his “secret plan.” Whichever Trump shows up, it will probably be the real one. The one whose America First pronouncement harkens back to Nazi sympathizers before the start of World War II. The one whose “Make America Great Again” slogan suggests the 1920s, before the Great Depression and when the KKK marched in Manhattan. Or even all the way back to the Know Nothing party of the 1850s in another anti-immigrant time in America. The con man. The corrupt capitalist. The racist. The man who may have a future hosting a reality TV show on RT, the Russian network where Larry King interviewed him—maybe a show like The Apparatchik.
OK, enough on the debate. Let’s end this with some one-liners from long ago that fit well on a man who lives in America’s past.
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt. (Oh well, too late for that, isn’t it.) Which leads right into the next one.
He has constipation of the brain and diarrhea of the mouth. (Or in Trump’s case, perhaps it’s diarrhea of the keyboard for twitter.)