Trump’s Farcical “Debate” – Empty Salesmanship On Display

Posted: 04 Mar 2016 02:16 PM PST


The American Heritage Dictionary defines “farce” as “something ludicrous; an empty show; mockery.” The candidacy of Donald Trump, especially in Wednesday night’s debate, was a ludicrous event. Sen. Cruz asked the TV audience and those present in Detroit, “Is this what you want to see all summer and into November?” Of course it was a rhetorical question. He meant, “Is this a political debate about the Presidency or is this a farce?”

We have a candidate for President with the showmanship of a carnival barker. “Step right up and see the tallest man in the world!!” Or, “come into the tent and see the two-headed woman.” Even the carnival goers who do not pay to go inside to see these anomalies are refreshed by the salesmanship. They feel they are in a set apart world. The routine of normal life has been left behind. They are in a world where the unlikely or even the perverse is present and available. Reality is defied by a roller coaster that will make them dizzy or by the head spinning satisfaction of seeing human mutations. They are alive and more joyful. It’s such a farce.

Shown video clips of where he weaves, dodges, and shifts positions on a variety of issues from the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan to Syrian refugees, Donald ducked and weaved. With sober tone and serious mien, he gave Megan Kelley a mini-lecture about how successful people are flexible in their thinking. On day one, he understood that there were only a few Syrian refugees, but the next day he realized that there would be thousands upon thousands, so of course (of course!) his answer was different. In giving his explanation, Donald was quite restrained and serious, not his usual bumptious self. The change in demeanor was itself ludicrous. The exchange was a farce. It was like a man who “explained” that he was scratching his mosquito bite more because over time it had become more itchy. Deep stuff.

Then he was confronted with statements by a former CIA director who said that if directed to torture people or kill family members of terrorists the military would not obey. Donald’s first answer was “If I tell them to do something, they’ll obey. That’s what leadership is all about. I’ve always been a leader.” Is this a serious answer to a challenging question or is it, well, a farce to think that this answer would be given in the face of a threatened military revolt caused by overreach of the Commander-In-Chief.   Is this the comment of a true leader as Donald portrayed himself, or is this a ludicrous caricature of leadership. Can one imagine Porky Pig saying these same words when challenged by Road Runner? It’s a farce.

Lastly, there was the wonderful vaudeville exchange between Senator Rubio (already dismissed along with Ted Cruz as one of those “all talk politicians”) and Donald, who ducked left and right, bobbed and weaved, hoping to escape a barrage of punches. It was a fast moving, jumbled farce.

Bobbing and babbling about what? Trump University. He declared with prideful hauteur that Trump U. had an A rating from the Better Business Bureau. Then Sen.Rubio and Megyn threw the pie in his face, and said that actually the last published rating of Trump University was a D- (we all laughed heartily at his discomfiture). It was ludicrous, slapstick at its best, to see the whipped cream everywhere, on his hair, his tie, his nose. As he was slipping and sliding on the factual banana peels, Sen. Rubio spit out that there were 5000 parties to the lawsuit, and that they were saying that in a video Donald had promised he would bring in the best people to serve their interests in real estate. Yet, he had brought in people from fast food and other non-real estate venues.  Memory is such a beautiful gift. All of us laughing our socks off at this farce remembered that he has said multiple times he would bring in the best, the smartest people, to negotiate trade with China, Mexico, Vietnam, and Singapore. The Trump U. prospective students bought into this same sappy snappy sales pitch hook, line, and sinker. It was ludicrous to think of people lining up thinking that Donald would fulfill their greedy dreams as he promised. It was embarrassing to hear, and ludicrous. It was a complete rout and a farce.

At the same time, Sen.Rubio was repeating “Do you hear his answer? Do you hear his answer? Not one word of apology to those people. No humility. No humility.” But the torrent of self-justification just kept flowing from Donald’s lips. Millions were convulsed with laughter and rolling on the floor.

Finally, Megyn again entered the fray as the compulsive Donald could not control his self-justifying mouth. Megyn quoted one of the judges in the case (it has already gone on for five years) who said that the people had been fleeced. Also, she noted he already had to pay $800,000 to one of the leading plaintiffs in the case. His face was deformed by the seriousness of the barrage he was receiving from Rubio, Cruz, and Kelly. Trump was undeterred and kept justifying himself…in front of millions of people he just kept justifying himself. His face was twisted; his expression utterly perturbed. His brazenness was ludicrous. A bloated, self-satisfied old man defending himself in the face of the indefensible. A farce was enacted on Wednesday night friends. A real farce.

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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