The Corner

Politics & Policy

Trump’s Not the Fighter You’ve Been Looking For

So, this is the election year when the GOP was supposed to get its “fighter.” Donald Trump was the man who was going to take all the Clintons many years of corruption and wrongdoing and shove it right in their faces — all on national television. Well, it turns out that that Hillary bulldozed him. She torched him worse than any modern candidate has ever been torched in national debates. Courtesy FiveThirtyEight, this chart makes the brutal case:

What should be particularly depressing for Trump fans (though predictable for everyone else) is that she did it in the simplest way possible — mainly by baiting him into being himself. Whenever the tide turned against her, she knew that Trump would save the day. She knew she could count on him to sacrifice his party and his people on the altar of his own ego.

Even worse, he gave her the free gift of his own ignorance. In my piece on the home page, I make the case that Hillary cynically exploits voter ignorance for progressive ends. But if Hillary exploits ignorance, Trump is ignorant. Even after running for president for more than a year, it’s plain that he has no idea what’s truly happening in the Middle East. At one point I was questioning whether he even knew what it meant to say that a city had “fallen” to Assad. His response to Wallace’s question about Mosul was nonsensical. He doesn’t seem to actually understand the terms of the NATO alliance. The list goes on.

Barring a truly unexpected, black swan-type event, Trump is going to lose the election, and likely lose it by a margin that approaches McCain’s loss to Obama. This is going to truly shock a number of his fans, the people who are convinced rally size matters and online polls are accurate. Then it will be Trump’s turn to be shocked. His base loved him in part because they perceived him to be a winner. Will they love the winner when he’s a loser? The mark usually loves the con artist, until the con is revealed. Trump should prepare for the backlash. 

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