The Ol’ Rope a Dope

In one respect, this is a difficult time to be living in a foreign country. It is hard to explain to Ecuadorians exactly what is going on in the Presidential Race in the US. You get the feeling that they think it must be some sort of American humor, that there is a joke they are just not getting.  Some sort of prank we are pulling on the rest of the world, and that anytime now Ashton Kutcher is going to jump out and yell “Punked!”, and we will admit is was all just a big gag.

As I’ve said before, I’m not really a fan of Secretary Clinton. I would have preferred just about any other Democratic candidate to her. And if the Republican party had managed to nominate almost anyone other than Donald J. Trump (except Teddy Cruz. He is evil incarnate. Literally.), I probably would have considered them. Like a Jeb Bush, or a John Kasich maybe. You know, an adult.

Instead we are left with a no-brainer. I don’t mean that in the sense that it is easy to decide,  I mean that one of the candidates has no brain.

Or at least, Donald J’s brain works on a simple level that is frighteningly easy to predict. Because no matter how you may feel about the Democratic candidate, there is no denying that she and her campaign played Donny-boy like the proverbial fiddle.

It was the good old-fashioned rope-a-dope, pioneered by Muhammad Ali. Goad your opponent into throwing tiring, non-effective punches while you lay back on the ropes and wait for the kill.

Clinton’s camp displayed a deep understanding of their opponent’s weaknesses, and did a masterful job of using them against him. Consider the way it was done: wait for an opening late in the debate. From viewing the primary debates, it was clear Trump gets tired or bored early, and is more prone to mistakes late in the game. Then the goad was applied, putting a face and a name on a beauty pageant winner that he fat-shamed 10 years ago.

That’s all it took to distract someone who is supposed to be able to run an entire country – then lay back on the ropes and watch the dope flail uselessly, hurting only himself.

Look at the results. It has been four days since the debate. Is Trump talking about policy differences? Foreign trade? Jobs for Americans? No, instead he is obsessing over this beauty queen, bringing the subject up himself at almost every opportunity, and seems to be completely unaware that he is only making it worse.

Today is a case in point. Sometime around 4am this morning, he dragged himself out of bed to tweet that Ms Machado once made a sex tape. Ok, so let’s put aside the question of why a man who is okay with his wife doing nude and semi-nude magazine spreads, or doesn’t think it is a big deal that she once posed nude with another woman in bed, but still thinks that a sex tape is a bad thing. I guess self-professed Conservative Christians like Mr. Trump have to draw the line somewhere. I did some Googling around (all in the name of Truth, of course) and was only able to find a clip from a badly made Venezuelan movie that had a pretty PG sex scene of Ms Machado and another “actor” in bed, under a sheet, lots of “acting” but nothing, shall we say, you could work with. I’ve seen steamier sex scenes on “Everybody Loves Raymond”. She never had anything below her shoulders exposed – you literally saw more of her body during the pageant.

There are a few things here that are disturbing, but worth pointing out. First, HE KEEPS BRINGING IT UP! See how well they punched his buttons? It’s not that the “biased media” won’t let it go, it is that the candidate himself cannot shut up about it! He was up all night sending out tweets, three days after the debate! Second, he honestly doesn’t seem to understand what the problem is. His defense centers around “well, she really put on weight. Besides, she’s a slut and a bad person.” In other words, he believes his name-calling is justified. He thought she was too heavy, therefor calling her Miss Piggy should be understandable. And she’s a Latina, so Miss Housekeeper is appropriate too. Besides, he doesn’t like her, so who cares? Rope-a-dope, rope-a-dope! Keep swinging, you’ll hit something!

Is this really Presidential behavior? Should someone who cannot use a Twitter account responsibly have access to the nuclear codes? Is someone who can be goaded into predictable actions so easily someone who should be representing the United States in foreign affairs?

Don’t think he was that predictable? Well, have you seen the commercial the Clinton camp released Thursday featuring Ms Machado? This was not an ad that was whipped up in 48 hours. It looks like something that was already in the wings, just waiting for Mr. Trump’s inevitable self-destructive actions.

What else have we seen from Mr. Trump since the debate? Just a steady stream of excuses. It was rigged, the mic was defective, Clinton cheated by being prepared, he deserves points for not bringing up her husband’s infidelity (one assumes he would not have mentioned his own infidelities), the moderator was mean to him, and anyway everyone he talks to said he won anyway.

I know that some people harbor deep feelings against Hillary Clinton. I can accept if you feel like you absolutely cannot vote for her as President. However, Monday night and the days that have followed seems to me to show beyond any doubt that Donald J. Trump does not have a single redeeming characteristic that would make a good President. In fact, he has many qualities that should disqualify him for the position. He would be a terrible choice even for President of a Home Owners Association. He would be a catastrophic choice for President of the USA. Has has demonstrated that he has an incredibly fragile ego, cannot bear the thought that he might be wrong about anything, is easily manipulated, and lets the trivial obsess him and distract him from important issues.

Don’t vote for Clinton if you can’t. But don’t vote for the worst qualified candidate for President in history out of spite.

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