As we head for the back straightaway on this final lap of the election season, one question stands out for me above the others: What the hell is Donald Trump’s campaign all about?
Like, seriously, what’s the damn message?
I’m tempted to write tonight about the Scooby-Doo / Rudy Giuliani caper that exploded like a kid who ate too much applesauce all over the New York Post this morning, but there’s no reason to give that ham-fisted disinformation campaign any more oxygen. Moreover, it’s just not the big question as we click down to nineteen-days before collectively tossing Orange Julius into the tip.
Besides, I really do wanna know — I really, really, really wanna know. I wanna know like John Fogerty wants to know who amongst us has ever seen the rain — what, exactly, is Donald Trump selling with less than three weeks to go? It is literally his final pitch to the world, his final product. We should probably pay it some mind, if only for the curio factor, right?
I remember that once upon a time, the Trump campaign was about law and order. That was a few months ago. Or maybe it was only weeks. I can’t be sure. But no one was buying, so that message drifted away like so much teargas on a summer’s evening.
Before that, the campaign seemed all hot and bothered about Burisma and Biden being corrupt and maybe Hillary’s emails. But despite Rudy’s latest desperate plea for relevance, that’s blown up in their faces, too.
There seemed to be a notion, for a hot minute, that maybe the campaign was about the economy or Space Force or a wall someone was supposed to build. But I tell you what: I’m completely at a loss with only three weeks to go to see what they’re shilling now.
As near as I can figure, the whole project has devolved back to the mean of Central Trumplandia: It’s about him.
The campaign, with absolutely nowhere left to turn, and no money left to spend, is just Donnie up there on the stage, vamping for as long as the camera will linger on his sizeable frame.
It’s all about him as he does a little dance on stage in Florida after telling the crowd that he feels “so powerful” that he wants to walk into the audience and kiss everyone on the lips. He does a jig — bopping and over-biting like he’s still getting down to the funky music with Jeffrey Epstein back at Mar-a-Lago — while showing zero remorse, and even less self-awareness that nearly a quarter-million Americans are now dead because of his abject failure to lead.
It’s all about him, as — from the podium in Johnstown, Pennsylvania — he literally suburban women to “please like me,” while simultaneously threatening them with a nighttime visit from Cory Booker. (I’m not so sure he’s thought that one all the way through.)
It’s all about him as he either promises a crowd in Iowa that if he doesn’t win there “I may never . . . come back here again!”
With no accomplishments to share, and no policies to sell, it’s just all about him. It’s all about him as he does the two-step and tell the audience to pick a card, any card! It’s all about him as he tries to remember a few dirty jokes that might hit once the night turns blue. It’s all about him — a comedian whose act is stale, whose material is old, whose schtick is worn — dying alone on stage.
Perhaps it’s a fool’s errand to even ask, “What’s the policy?” with Donald Trump, but as we close out his first term, it really is just so staggeringly clear that he’s never had a plan for anything. There are no White House experts who meet with leaders on the Hill to hash out the details of an omnibus education bill, and there never have been. There are no budget negotiators, and there never will be. There are no resident experts, no knowledge of the deeper fields into which he staggered, unprepared. There has simply never been anything else to this whole operation but him. Donald Trump is the only reason that Donald Trump will ever need. That much is now painfully clear.
Biden, on the other hand — with three weeks to go — is doing straight-down-the-middle Democratic politics: Healthcare, jobs, tax cuts for the middle class, limited police reform. Boom, boom, boom. It is a platform that, four years ago — or possibly four years from now — might be considered so boring as to need electroshock therapy to wake it from it’s centrist coma. It is the type of platform that I spent the better part of my adult life bemoaning.
But this year: Woo-boy!!!
This year, even my progressive, lefty ass is SWEATING for that kinda dull. I’m absolutely randy for some missionary-sex tax-policy that will move the marginal rate in a slightly less regressive manner. Rawwwwrrr!!!
I’m ready to hump the leg off Sleepy Joe’s watered-down Green New Deal.
I will fuck and marry, or marry and fuck the Biden mantra of “Build Back Better” like it’s a Turkish Princess with deep, dark, eternal brown eyes — even though the phraseology sounds like it was pushed though the DNC de-flavorizing machine with a mop.
Four years ago, this was the sort of candidacy that would have all the pundits — yours truly, included — spinning about how low-voter turnout was threatening the Democratic coalition. But this year?
This year we’re all Ridin’ With Biden, despite the inevitable walk of shame that the Gregorian Calendar will record as 2021. The stories out there already are of people waiting in line for up to TEN HOURS on the first day of early voting in Atlanta.
Thousands of normal people are spending a whole day in line, during a pandemic, just so they can be among the first in the citizenry to tell Donald Trump he can suck a giant ball of ass.
Have you seen the early voting number? They’re astounding: Tommy Beer reporting in Forbes today wrote, “As of Tuesday morning, among the nine states that provide party registration data, registered Democrats had returned more than 3.5 million ballots, while Republicans had returned fewer than 1.5 million, and according to a new national poll, respondents who say they already voted support Biden by a nearly 40-point margin, as it appears the Democratic candidate has raced out to an early lead in the 2020 presidential election.”
Did you see the story out of Travis County, Texas? They have hit 97% voter registration. NINETY SEVEN PERCENT! That is up from an average of about 75% in a good year. I’m sure that took a hell of a lot of work and good government, but it also indicates that Democrats — who make up between 70 and 80 percent of voters in Travis County, where Austin is the biggest prize — are just on fire to make their voices heard.
The national news media, needing — for their ratings’ sake — to cover this season as a horse race , are still doing “swing state” reports. But they are doing them from Georgia and Arizona, rather than Michigan and Wisconsin — or even Pennsylvania.
Georgia, a swing state???
Lindsey Graham is in a neck-and-neck race in SOUTH CAROLINA, a state so conservative that it — as Jon Stewart famously noted — once tried to SECEDE FROM THE CONFEDERACY!
Lindsey might actually lose that race. That is just unreal.
Yet, still, in these final weeks, the Republicans don’t seem to have much of a plan, and for want of one, we’re about to live through twenty different daily versions of Presidential “Pull My Finger.”
There will be no new policy initiatives. No goals for the next four years. No consistent message beyond Trump is Trump so go Trump the Trumps for Trumpy McTrump. And I, for one, applaud the choice. I am beyond thrilled that, as we close out these insane few years, we are all going to keep the spotlight shining right where it belongs: On the Golden-tonsured Conman from Queens.
I am thrilled about it because it simplifies the whole equation. 2016 was a mess. Aside from being a rebound from 8 years of Obama, it featured a real split on the Democratic side of the divide. It also featured the two candidates in American with the highest negative ratings of any public figures. It was a race where twenty-five percent of the country saw Secretary Clinton as a hero, and thirty percent saw Hillary as a Demon from Hell. Meanwhile, about half the country — and most of the media — just kinda thought of this Trump character as a buffoon. So why not give him a try? What could really go wrong?
But now? Now all of that is gone.
Now it’s clear: Outside of his hardcore cultists, the nation just absolutely hates the asshole with the fiery passion of ten-million suns.
Donald Trump is in double-digit deficits on likability in every state outside the Cradle of Deplorability, and he’s underwater absolutely everywhere on his handling of the coronavirus, race relations, immigration, and even the economy.
He is, quite simply, the most reviled man in the nation — and likely the entire world. There is no equal-and-opposite devil against which he can pivot. Joe Biden is just not Hillary, not in the minds of their supporters nor their detractors.
Joe is just kinda Joe, and that’s a damn sight better than the toxic malignity that is up there mugging for the cameras without a mask, while the nation reels from four straight years of The Pussygrabber-in-Chief.
So if Trump want’s to make the sprint to the finish line all about himself — all about Donald the Conqueror, Donald the Brave, Donald the Covid-Immune, Donald the Invincible — then I am more than happy to cede to him center stage. He, truly, is Joe Biden’s best weapon. He is a humanoid repulsor ray. He is an advertisement for morality clauses in public establishments. He would have better luck running for the Presidency in 2020 as a bad bout of herpes, and an open mouth kiss.
So, YOU GO, GIRL!
Get up on that stage and shake you sizeable bippy. Snort another rail of Adderall and take a double-shot of steroids before your final call.
Be the most YOU, you possibly can be.
Grab the megaphone and shout to the heavens all about Sleepy Joe and the Chinavirus! Tell us all how you alone saved the world!
Do it hard. Do it fast. Do it pure.
Be yourself, Donnie. Just be yourself.
Make it all about you, because I want you going ten-thousand miles an hour when you hit that fucking wall on November 3. It’s gonna be a glorious sight. One minute it you’ll look like a fleshy orange freight train, and the next there will be nothing left but a Jackson Pollock painting in tangerine tanning lotion and thin spray of blood.
That will be more than message enough for me.
It’s almost over. Thank God.