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?One 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.