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SOME DEBATE ADVICE TO TRUMP

By Roger Kimball - amgreatness.com

As all the world knows, Donald Trump is scheduled to debate Joe Biden this coming Thursday, July 27, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The debate will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, will be hosted by CNN, and will be presided over by CNN's Jack Tapper and Dana Bash. In other words, Trump will be playing on Biden's home field.

It's partly a testament to the self-confidence of Trump and his team that they should agree to a debate on these terms. I suppose it might also be argued that it is a testament to the wariness of the Democrats that they should propose the first debate so early in the election cycle - after all, Trump is not yet the official Republican nominee. That won't happen until next month, when the RNC convention gets under way in Milwaukee and Trump is invested with the imprimatur - or perhaps one should say the eligatur - of the party.

On the principle that, when it comes to politics, one can never think low enough, I should also mention the popular conjecture that one reason the Dems challenged Trump to a debate so early in the proceedings was to give him an opportunity to perform publicly against Trump while there was still time to replace him.

Notwithstanding the somewhat panicked objection that Biden's accelerating senile exhibitionism has been manufactured by Trumpsters, everyone knows that what we have been seeing of Biden are not "deep fakes," not "cheap fakes," but worrisome cognitive brain bakes. The truth is that the more context you have for Joe Biden's bizarre behavior, the worse it appears. The public will probably never know what cocktail of steroids and uppers will be administered to Biden to see him through the night, but whatever the recipe, they have a lot riding on its efficacy.

If Biden crumbles on the debate stage, perhaps a replacement can be identified in time. One thing I believe we can be sure of is that, should a switch have to be made, the person drafted will not be Kamala Harris. She is deeply unpopular, hardly more mentally competent that Biden himself, and she would surely lose. What has perhaps not been widely acknowledged is that, even if Biden wins the election, there is no way he could finish a second term, which means that a vote for Biden is, in the end, a vote for Kamala Harris. For should Biden be elected to a second term, it would be Kamala Harris who would finish it. Chew on that, Kemo Sabe.

But probably the main reason the Dems insisted on this early date for the first debate (the second and probably final presidential debate is scheduled to take place in September) is not to test Joe Biden but to try to coax Donald Trump to implode. After all, the Democrats arranged their extra-legal legal assaults on the former president in order to render him unelectable. Trump's recent felony conviction may be entirely bogus - I believe it is - but there are some authoritative observers who believe that it will nonetheless hurt Trump with voters.

Remember, he is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11. No one knows what Judge Juan Merchan will do. He could, if he wished, sentence Trump to jail. Having seen what the DOJ's persecution of Trump has done for Trump's fundraising and support in the polls so far, I believe that exercising the nuclear option and putting the former president in jail on an entirely trumped-up charge would all but guarantee his victory. But who knows? I have been wrong before.

Which brings me to that unsolicited advice I mention in my title. Michel de Montaigne observed that admonition is one of the highest offices of friendship. It is in that spirit that I offer these observations.

Donald Trump can be an effective debater. But he can also be his own worst enemy. He tends to exaggerate. He blusters. He finds it difficult not to strike back when needled. I thought he did reasonably well in his debates against Biden in 2020, but the consensus was that he gave a poor showing, especially in the first debate. Which is why I would urge Trump to take a page from Napoleon and not interfere while his opponent is making a mistake. Given enough time, Joe Biden is certain to release his inner glossolalia. He is guaranteed to start shouting. Trump should allow Biden to do what Biden does so well: to descend into rambling, shrewish incoherence.

When Biden reminds the television audience that Trump is now "a convicted felon," which he is certain to do early and often, Trump should simply smile and say he is not going to make personal remarks about Biden's family. He should be like Johnny Mercer and Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive. He can acknowledge that it pains him to call attention to the economy these last few years - the inflation that is hollowing out the middle class - the tsunami of illegal immigrants, the wars raging on several continents. But his focus should be on what a future under Donald Trump might look like.

After all, we have some idea. Trump was president for four years already. For the first three and a half years, until COVID struck, he presided over one of the most successful terms of any American president in history. Trump's tax cuts and decimation of the regulatory apparatus of state control unleashed the engines of prosperity. As the stock market boomed, so did wages, especially at the lower end of the scale. The southern border was intact. America was energy-independent. The world was at peace.

Did I mention that the world was at peace? In a recent conversation on the All-In podcast with David Sacks and other tech gurus, Trump performed brilliantly. He outlined a number of policies he would pursue and answered difficult questions about them. He also acknowledged that Joe Biden could be a formidable debating opponent, recalling his performance against Paul Ryan in 2012.

Biden is 2024 is not the same man as Joe Biden in 2012, but it was well that Trump acknowledged that political reality. It suggests that he understands the tricky rhetorical road he must travel. He must do everything he can to underscore his own strengths without reminding viewers of the "mean Tweet man" of Trump's first term.

The left-wing "moderators" are sure to bait him, as will Joe Biden, if he can, but Trump must sail above their attacks with humor and concerned candor. Their lines will be all "convicted felon," "January 6," "Do you think the 2020 election was stolen?" He must smile and answer: "Listen, this country is in trouble. Our Southern border is essentially nonexistent; we have raging inflation, high interest rates, and an extremely dangerous international situation. We also, as I have reason to know, are living at a time when the Department of Justice has been weaponized to punish opponents of this regime. The rule of law no longer rules; partisan pseudo-justice does. I will undo all that. I am not interested in vengeance; I am interested in Making America Great Again. I did it once. Vote for me, and I will do it again." He will, too.




Comments


    Sooner or later the drugs aren't going to work anymore. I go with sooner - that video of the stroll he took made it look like the only things keeping him from being six feet under were the puppet strings holding him up.


    Thursday will be when the DNC shows the sheeple why they "have to replace him", so they won't be surprised when they make that switch before November. Otherwise they'd be having Biden throwing out lines like, "I don't debate convicted felons." No amount of dope will fix what's wrong with that guy and boost him up to Trump's level. The debate is planned to officially start the candidate switch campaign. Sleepy Joe is being sacrificed.



















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