Swan Song


It’s the day before the election, and it’s about wrapping up. Candidate Donald Trump was in Sarasota, Florida, this morning, firing up his base. TV news seemed to have a fixed camera, locked on  the podium. There was not much that could be told of the audience, except the sound track indicates a large and enthusiastic crowd. My initial impression was, “Why is Trump speaking to these people? Every single one of them has either voted for him or is prepared to do so tomorrow.” This initially came over CBS News by way of Roku, and is now available on YouTube.

I watched most of Trump’s speech, because I was wondering what he had to say during the final moments of the campaign. I was heartened to see there was not much new. I’m going to post a few quotes pulled off the video. They are telling.

We are going to win the great state of Florida, and we are going to take back the White House. [cheers] Take it back.

It’s been some campaign. They say it’s the single greatest movement, politically speaking, in the history of this country. Can you believe that? Can you believe that? [cheers]

This election will decide whether we are ruled by a corrupt political class, you’ve been watching what’s been going on, folks the system is rigged, it’s rigged, OK? The system is rigged. At least we know it. And people in this country, I think because of us, have never known it so obviously as they do now. The system is totally rigged.

Hillary Clinton should not even be allowed to run for the presidency of the United States. She shouldn’t be allowed to run. Disgraceful. What’s happening is a disgrace, and our country is a laughing stock, all over the world. With what’s happening with our justice [using his fingers, puts “justice” in quotes] our country is a laughing stock all over the world.They’re laughing.

Yesterday they said I set a record. I had crowds like. Massive crowds. [cheers] Thank you.

In Michigan, which I think we’re going to win Michigan, by the way. [cheers]

Do you know what we’re going to win? We’re gonna win Minnesota. We’re gonna win Minnesota.

We’re doing very very well in Pennsylvania. Very well. You watch what’s gonna happen in Pennsylvania. The miners are gonna come out. The workers are gonna come out. The steelworkers who lost their jobs are coming out. By the way, lots of people surrounding Philadelphia are gonna come out, and they’re voting, because they want to vote. And you know who’s gonna come out? The women are going to come out. You watch. The women. The women are gonna come out, big. [cheers] It’s all a phony deal. They’re telling you a lot of phony stuff. Oh, they are so worried. You ought to see ’em on television this morning. You know, they get a note handed over that we’re leading in, let’s say, New Hampshire…

Our failed political establishment has delivered  nothing but poverty at home and disaster overseas. They get rich making America poor. It’s time to reject the media and political elite that’s bled our country dry. [cheers] It’s finally time for us to  fight for America.

I’m not a politician. My only special interest is you.

[Brags about his business empire]

[Talks about Obamacare, rising premiums, losing insurance carriers]

But you know what? We’re gonna make it 100% of the carriers, because we’re going to terminate Obamacare, and it’s not going to make a difference. We’ll be terminating Obamacare, and we’ll be replacing it with so many different options. But you’ll have great health care at a fraction, a fraction of the cost, and it’ll be great.

And there was much more of the same. Some summary and interpretation is due.

  • We have the option of electing Trump or else being ruled by a corrupt political class. Trump plays into a groundswell feeling that things are not optimal owing to the present system of government is corrupt. Also, Hillary Clinton will only bring additional corruption.
  • The system is rigged. When Trump is not doing well, it’s due to the system being rigged. Trump does not often elaborate on the manner in which the system is rigged, but a favorite target is news reporting, “the media.” When reporters say something unfavorable about him or call him out on any of a number of fabrications and one sort of mental lapse or the other, it’s because strings are pulled in back rooms [my wording]. News outlets are manipulated by unseen forces. These unseen forces are something a large fraction of the population believes in heartily.
  • It’s only since Donald Trump started his run for the presidency that the extent of this malfeasance has become exposed, and he takes full credit for this service.
  • Something is wrong with our present political system, because his opponent, Hillary Clinton, is unfit to run, and the system allows it. Obviously Donald Trump is one of those people completely devoid of a sense of irony. He lived his life avoiding responsibility, short changing customers and business partners alike, engaging in blatantly criminal enterprises, hurling insults at any and all he found disagreeable, and issuing forth a stream without limit of fabricated tales. And the so-called rigged system has allowed him to, at one point, come within striking distance of the presidency.
  • People all over the world are laughing. Yes, they are. They are laughing at Donald Trump. They are laughing at a major country like the United States that will entertain a candidacy such as his. They are laughing.
  • Trump needs to demonstrate he has something good to offer the country, yet he spends speech time bragging about recent crowds he has pulled. His descriptions are so nebulous it is impossible to determine just how significant these crowds were. His audience accepts that he pulled massive crowds, however many people that involved.
  • He boasts he is going to win Michigan and Minnesota. This despite my recent observation that has these state maps showing a blue shade.
  • He brags about Pennsylvania. Something magic is presumably going to happen, because this morning’s polls show Clinton with a clear lead there. Same with New Hampshire, which Trump reassured his crowd he is going to take.
  • He says women are going to come out big for him. These are the same women he spent a large part of his life, and prominently in his campaign, insulting. Trump’s statement regarding Philadelphia women runs contrary to reviews from last month. “A new poll from Bloomberg shows Trump trailing Hillary Clinton by a whopping 43% among female voters in the Philadelphia suburbs. Several GOP officials here privately say they have seen the bottom drop out in their own party polling since Trump’s 2005 comments to “Access Hollywood” were leaked late Friday.”
  • Trump tells his supporters “It’s time to reject the media and political elite that’s bled our country dry.” Again, lacking substance, he plays to inner belief and fear.
  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is a favorite target. It’s hated by Trump’s political base and even others. Why? A large part is because it represents a government intrusion into people’s lives. Trump promises to replace it. Get rid of it completely and replace it. Replace “it with so many different options. But you’ll have great health care at a fraction, a fraction of the cost, and it’ll be great.” The crowd cheers. Irony again. Trump indicates he will replace Obamacare with yet another government health insurance program. Where are  the people who objected to government interference with health care to begin with?

Watching this speech, typical of Donald Trump, I was brought back to those days over 60 years ago when I watched transfixed (or maybe only gave a fleeting glance) as Senator Joseph McCarthy ranted on television, speaking loudly and abusively in vague terms, imagining evil coming out of every crevice in the government, offering nothing concrete, and ultimately caving under the weight of his immense mendacity. Is this the future of Donald Trump?

I am predicting this will be Donald Trump’s political swan song. Joe McCarthy did everybody the favor of dying abruptly following his political downfall. Donald Trump is 70, and there may not be much spark left in  him after tomorrow’s loss. But here I go, predicting the future, something I always claimed I have not the power to do. Come 9 p.m. on Tuesday I will  either be a fool or just one of many toasting this resurgence of sanity.

Check back with me in 36 hours. Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.


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