I gave some debate advice to Hillary Clinton. So I figured, in the spirit of bipartisanship, I’d offer some quick advice to Donald Trump too. Although, we really should call it tripartisanship at this point, because there’s so little overlap between the Donald and the artist formerly known as the GOP establishment.
Donald won’t take the advice. I know that. So I’ll keep it short, and just focus on those who are viewing the event from a vantage that is similar to mine (let’s call our voting block, the basket of less-deplorables).
For months, the pundits have been telling us that Trump must pivot and become more presidential. And for months, he’s teased us, but always turned his pivot into a complete 360 — ending up as the same douche he was was pre-pivot.
And everytime, the pundits have scratched their heads and the establishment politicians have marveled at this wanton sprint towards strategic doom. And everytime, he has suprassed their expectations.
With that in mind, here’s something to consider while watching Monday’s debate.
Anyone who tells you that Trump needs to look presidential during the debate is making the same mistake pundits have been making all along.
His brand is asshole. His speech is hate. His promise is ignorance.
I don’t dig it. And you probably don’t dig it either. But on Monday night, he isn’t playing to you or me. He’s playing to the people who have been digging it. And I’m not going to try to explain this segment of the voting public here. There have been millions of words that have been typed into thousands of screens, and all we really know at this point is that we don’t get why these folks would vote for Trump.
This is the one thing we should get by now: Whatever it is that Trump has been for the past year is what they like.
Making Trump appear more presidential would be like trying to take the Jerk out of Jerk Chicken.
Nothing that was true about past campaigns is true about Trump’s. You think a factcheck of debate answers is going to put a dent in Trump gold-leafed facade? Where have you been for the last year? His brand is lying.
To keep his unlikeliest of campaigns on track, Trump needs to be as unpresidential as possible during the debate. If the game turns into traditional politics, he’ll have no chance against a woman who has spent her entire adult life on that playing field. To thrive, Trump needs to do what got him here: compete on a playing field of his own making. After all, what Trump is best at is winning the game of Trump.
So don’t be afraid of Trump acting just presidential enough to enable a majority of Americans to keep from projectile puking their Monday night dinner across the living room. Be afraid of the Trump that has nauseated you since this campaign began. The one that couldn’t possibly appeal to any sane voter. The one who has caused more upchucking than Jagermeister and Ayahuasca combined. That’s the Trump that got this far. If you’re puking, he’s winning.
(If you missed it, here’s my debate advice to Hillary Clinton.)