A Low Bar — Negative Expectations

If you have two children of approximately the same age, one is of average intelligence with normal capabilities for her age, and the other is developmentally delayed, has difficulty with the fine motor skills, then you have a different set of expectations for each.  Alicia, the fist example, might be expected to not spill her food, chew with her mouth closed, place her napkin in her lap and use it as necessary, while Sammy is praised if he merely manages to get the food onto the spoon and into his mouth.  We set the expectations for our children, our friends and our family members based on their abilities.

We should not have to lower our expectations for the president of the country based on his past behaviour.  The bar shouldn’t be moved up or down depending on who is speaking – Donald Trump is not a child, but a world leader, albeit a highly unqualified one.

I have read many opinions of Donald Trump’s debate performance this past Thursday night, and far too many gave him an A+, praising him simply for not constantly interrupting Joe Biden, and for toning down his bombast somewhat.  People … this is the ‘man’ who has spent four years as president of the United States, the ‘man’ who holds our very lives in his hands … and he is to be congratulated for toning down his vitriol, while still maintaining a steady stream of lies and partial truths?  He still continued to completely ignore the moderator who repeatedly had to say, “Okay, we’re moving on to the next question now”.  He repeatedly smirked and made other facial gestures reminiscent of a teenage boy.  And he lied … over and over and over again.

The first sentence out of the gate was a lie when he claimed more than two million Americans were “expected” to die from the coronavirus, therefore America’s current death toll of 220,000 isn’t so bad.  From there on, he lied consistently for the entire 90 minutes, about the Russia investigation, climate change, Hunter Biden, the pandemic, and much more.  But rather than call out his lies, the press, for the most part, has chosen to focus on his lower-than-usual level of bombast.  This, then, is how they would judge the president?  He can lie ‘til he’s blue in the face, as long as he is reasonably calm?low-bar-1One person gave him kudos, saying she was “very impressed” with his “self-control” … excuse me, but world leaders are expected to have self-control … all of the time, not just for 90 minutes once in a while.  If he finds self-control so difficult, why in hell are we entrusting him with the nuclear codes?  Why do we allow him to attend meetings and events with other world leaders?  Why do we allow him to sit in the Oval Office?

There is a standard to which we hold our elected officials accountable, and it is a bit higher than simply not bulldozing, bullying and threatening.  It is a standard that Joe Biden met when he said …

“I’m an American president. I represent all of you. Whether you voted for me or against me. And I’m going to make sure that you’re represented. I’m going to give you hope. We’re going to choose science over fiction. We’re going to choose hope over fear.”

This, my friends, is — or at least should be — the way we expect a president to speak … giving us hope and encouragement, not differentiating between democrat or republican, but speaking to all of the people.  Donald Trump speaks only to his base, and makes it abundantly clear that he is not considering the rest of us, doesn’t care about the rest of us.  Being ‘presidential’ is a standard that Donald Trump is incapable of meeting, but we cannot simply say, “Oh, well, at least he didn’t use vulgar language or interrupt Joe Biden more than a few times, so he wins!”  No, no, no, and again no.  Trump was Trump and that is not good enough for this nation.  It is a sad state of affairs when we have gone so low that we hold our collective breath when he opens his mouth, and are relieved when he manages not to say something totally stupid.

I had no intention of writing more about the debate, but I couldn’t let the undeserved praise for Trump, as well as the media’s lack of conscience go unnoted, for it is simply wrong.  No, he wasn’t presidential, he was his usual oafish self, as dishonest as ever, just not quite as loud and obnoxious.  What a standard, eh?  Perhaps next time ‘round, the GOP will offer up Jeffrey Toobin as their candidate of choice.

47 thoughts on “A Low Bar — Negative Expectations

  1. The great American Tragedy is that Trump has been supported by so many people. This speaks volumes about the split in the nation. And it bears repeating. A true president would attempt to unite a nation. Trump has revelled in division and his supporters who are in effect his masters encourage this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. This is what still astounds me … that people still support him, despite the blatant corruption, the hundreds of thousands of lies, the misuse of our hard-earned money, and … his horrendous bungling of the pandemic, leading to more than 230,000 deaths thus far. Tonight, the split in the nation just got wider with the rushed confirmation and swearing in of a homophobic, misogynistic woman to the Supreme Court. Tonight, I believe that there will never be a narrowing of the gap between democrat and republican, or to call a spade a bloody shovel, of people with consciences vs people who will rob us blind given half a chance. Yes, Trump thrived on and enhanced these divisions, and tonight he is no doubt in his Ivory Tower laughing with glee for putting yet another notch in the bar of destruction of what was once called a nation. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

      Liked by 1 person

      • What you are witnessing Jill is a common enough occurrence in the History of nations.
        The attempt to supress one group by another.
        In this case rather than following a set of beliefs entrenched and rigidly adhered too, in say a theocracy, the followers of Trump are united in what they as opposed to, which is Liberalism in its manifold forms. So in other words:
        1.Women know your place (ie what men tell you)
        2.Those ‘other people’. Get back to serving ‘Us’
        3. LGBT- a horror unspeakable.
        4. Free expression in the arts- Perversions.
        5. Guns- Lots more guns is always the answer.
        6. Rich people. Well, they must have deserved it. I gotta be rich too.
        7. Immigrants- Send ’em back!
        8. Religion – Our church, all the rest are the works of The Devil.
        9. Politics- You’re our guy. Now do as we tell you by shouting a lot.
        There’s more but it gets depressing

        Liked by 1 person

    • It is irritating, and can you imagine if any other president, but especially if President Obama had acted that way in any situation? They would have impeached him for it … heck, I think they wanted to impeach him for wearing a tan suit one time!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The biggest surprise for me was hat even in the debate he was negative and abusive, People have bee laughing at his campaign and at the debate his team had warned him to change tack and not personally attack his opponent, nor interrupt him. He made a slight effort not to interrupt though I thought his mike should have been muted a couple of times. But he stuck to his style of throwing mud at Biden constantly., everything negative. Not one did he talk of policies and the future. The lies were present of course like he has an alternate medical plan for ACA and pre existing conditions will be assured. I laughed out loud at him saying he wants to present his tax details as soon as he’s been audited. A rubbish President antagonistic towards allies does the U.S. no favours.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Funny that you start your post with the topic of small children…Trump resembled nothing so much as a petulant toddler throughout the debate…his body language, his facial expressions. “Wahhhh, they’re picking on me!” I agree–is this really the low standard we are now proud to meet??

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s it exactly! I think the likelihood is that Joe Biden won’t live to see the end of his term, but his vice president, Kamala Harris, will then step in and she is young, with the same values as Joe has. Perhaps it’s time we stopped sending old, white men to the Oval Office.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Jill, Max Boot used the right term to define the Trump campaign as the “sleaziest.” He indicts his old party for what it has become.

    I had a low bar of expectations for this president, but he has managed to often go lower. One thing about those who practice deceit and corruption, they can always be more corrupt and deceitful. That is truly sad to say about the president. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree! Like you, I had low expectations for Trump and predicted his behaviour and actions once he took office, but not even in my worst nightmares did I predict what became the reality. Fingers crossed for a long-overdue change come January.

      Liked by 2 people

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