Trump being Trump: bug or feature?

President Donald Trump during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Let me start by stipulating that I wish President Trump had interrupted less during Tuesday night’s debate.  At many points in the debate, I thought that the president was unnecessarily aggressive.

From a purely partisan perspective, I thought there were several moments Tuesday night at which if Trump had kept his mouth shut, there was a good chance that Joe Biden would have fumbled on his own one-yard line.

The same goes for interrupting moderator Chris Wallace. There was at least one time I remember that Wallace seemed on the cusp of actually asking Biden a (semi) tough question (an occurrence about as frequent as the appearance of Halley’s Comet).

So again, and for the zillionth time, we find ourselves talking about Donald Trump and again the discussion centers on style. Many people, including nominal Republicans, don’t like Trump’s style. In fact, when you find a real Trump hater and he or she tells you of that hatred, when you boil it down, it’s almost totally about style and mannerism and demeanor. (Oh, and that he’s a racist.)

Test this for yourself. Ask one of your Trump-hating acquaintances to tell you what policies of Trump’s they don’t like. Drinks and dinner are on me if you get a direct answer (except for the part about him being a racist).

He’s so rude. He’s a braggart. He’s a name-caller. He tweets too much. That’s the answer you’ll get.

Fine. I will – again – stipulate to some of those points.

But I am constantly forced to ask myself, is this a bug or a feature?

Nobody objected to Mitt Romney’s style. Oh sure, they said he was a Ritchie Rich, silver-spoon rich boy. They said he was from “Wall Street.” They took him to task about his dog. But nobody complained about his personal demeanor.

They also didn’t complain when he lost a winnable election.

In a debate against Barack Obama where he clearly had the substance of a timely issue on his side, he allowed the moderator to run over him. He stood there like Ward Cleaver with a stupid smile on his face while CNN’s Candy Crowley effectively ended his campaign.

Romney lost for the simple reason that voters who would have voted for him had they shown up, stayed home instead. Romney made it clear in not fighting for himself that he wouldn’t fight for us. George W. Bush left office in disgrace for much the same reason.

Republicans (indeed the entire coastal-elite ruling class) not fighting for us for 30-plus years led to falling wages, declining household net worth, the exportation of tens of thousands of once good-paying manufacturing jobs, the rise of China and the decline of the middle class.

Whatever happens, it won’t be because Trump won’t fight. Trump made that clear Tuesday night. And a lot of people that the pollsters and the cable news pundits will never talk to noticed.

Trump’s detractors who deny, ignore or under appreciate that fact do so at their peril.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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8 Responses

  1. C M Solomon says:

    How anyone can complain about Trump’s style while at the same time condoning their own despicable Leftist tyrannical policies (murder, mayhem, and property destruction by their followers) and their toleration of the character assassination of Conservatives practiced by their own political heroes, is beyond me. In addition, SILENCE in the presence of Evil on display while damning a jungle Fighter for Liberty such as Trump, reeks of selfishness, cowardice, greed, and total dishonesty regardless of Party affiliation.

    • Ron Eagleman says:

      Yes, we all agree that Trump is a sharp-elbowed real estate developer from Queen’s N.Y., who is NOT a politician. Politicians becoming mired in the swamp got Trump elected, as their allegiance to the “Potomac Perversion” became a higher priority than the citizens who elected them. Trump is not educated in the art of debate and prevarications, as he was a graduate of U. of Penn Wharton School of business. Let us remember, he has never held a political office before becoming President of the United States; this is an unbelievable accomplishment. He became successful in the private sector, not through the underhanded deals that make multi-millionaires out of politicians like Biden. So, cut him some slack; we do not need another self-serving politician. We need a sharp-elbowed real estate developer from Queens, N.Y., who is willing to give up a very comfortable life style to save this country. By the way, how many government salary checks has Biden donated to charity?

  2. Buddy Saunders says:

    Before getting into more substantive matters, I take issue with you regarding Ward Cleaver. I’ve always seen him as the kind of man we should all want to be. That we never saw his “stand your ground” side is simply a function of the Leave It to Beaver scripts, none of which required him to be anything but the ideal husband and father. In a rougher environment, I have no doubt whatsoever he would be in every way a man’s man.

    Now that aside, I was very much disappointed in the first debate, and the balance of the blame lies with Trump with a lesser share to Biden. I wanted to hear, uninterrupted, each candidate tell voters what he had accomplished previously and, more so, what he would seek to accomplish if reelected or elected. Excessive and needless interruptions pretty much precluded that.

    In the next debate, I hope matters are set right so that we are better informed and don’t again endure what amounts to a bout of mud wrestling. To that end, I wouldn’t mind each candidate having his mike live only when it is his turn to talk.

    When Biden and his Antifacrats accuse President Trump of lying yet never cite examples, they are intentionally confusing difference of opinion with lies. I don’t agree with a lot of the opinions expressed by liberals, nor would they agree with me but I don’t call them liars (although, God knows, they do their share of lying). When two parties disagree over an understanding of facts, one party may be more correct than the other, but neither party is lying.

    In the Wall Street Journal today one writer described Trump as the necessary bull in the china shop, the man needed to drain the swamp. That’s a good description. He may be cut from pretty rough cloth (which I don’t mind, I like a good scrapper), but given the opposition and outright hatred directed these days against President Trump and conservatives in general, we conservatives should all understand and be thankful that such a man as Donald Trump exists, a rough-around-the-edges personality but likewise that rare man who fights for the right against almost literally all odds.

    Two last thoughts. While walking two miles each morning through my neighborhood, I note the number of Trump and Biden yard signs. Because people are afraid, not many of either are there. The few Biden signs have not been touched, but the Trump signs disappear. And on my way to work I see that the large “Vote Republican” sign of the south bound 360 service road in Arlington disappeared after only two days.

    I’m proud I’m not in the party that steals campaign signs, or for that matter burns and loots.

    Lastly, I’ve had only one opportunity thus far to speak with a person with a Biden sign in her yard. She fit the profile you describe, Paul, a person for something but not knowing why. I asked her what she liked about Biden. She replied, “He’s honest. He’s a nice man.” I followed up with, “What do you want him to accomplish if elected, what has he accomplished that you like?,” that and other questions intended to bring our her reasons for supporting Biden. She had no answers, replying more than once, covering for her obvious ignorance of the issues, she replied,”I’m not political.” Hopefully, she’s also not planning to vote, despite her yard sign.

  3. Richard Anderson says:

    Timely piece as the haters* (*i.e. the MSM, the leftist democrats) utterly fail to look at the overwhelming list of accomplishments of President Trump. And shockingly, they don’t seem to even want to. So bad and so wrong for our country.

    Most paramount as you mentioned is perhaps the President’s focus on what he has done and continues to do.. RETURN manufacturing BACK to The United States of America. That means an increase in national wealth and a higher standard of living for EVERY American family. Jobs, new businesses, new innovations, new opportunities to list but a few. All benefit.. you, me, and everyone else to whom America is home.

    In short, “a rising tide lifts all boats” as JFK said. Truer words were never spoken. And by a President of the Democratic party — a least it was back then, but not any longer.
    A Republican named Reagan believed that too. And now Donald Trump, also a Republican, is really taking action on the whole game plan of increasing America’s economic prosperity for us all. I LIKE THAT! as most concerned citizens do.

    And all the democrats want to do is spin balderdash about the canard of racism, their latest attempt to smear President Trump about something which is ABSOLUTELY false. But telling about the dems desire for CONTROL and POWER at any cost.

    Citizens of America, we just can’t let them win.

    Vote Republican. Vote Trump. Because our nation, our neighborhoods, our suburbs and cities are on the line. Let Freedom Ring.

    • Buddy Saunders says:

      Absolutely, Richard. “Vote Republican. Vote Trump. Because our nation, our neighborhoods, our suburbs and cities are on the line. Let Freedom Ring.”

  4. Brendan says:

    I disagree with Trumps anti environmental policies, breaking with the Paris accords. I disagree with the policy of imprisoning immigrant children, and the separation of their families. I disagree with a president who doesn’t have the balls to disavow a known racist organization for the fear that it may cost him votes.

    I await your voucher for dinner as I know you have my email. Drinks won’t be necessary.

    I hate no one. But I defy some.

    • Richard Anderson says:

      President Trump’s policies are pro America not anti environmental. The Paris Agreement is detrimental to the U.S.A. as “we” would be punished, whereas two principal countries who are global competitors* *i.e. China and India would not be.

      Children of illegal immigrant children were separated under Obama, that’s his policy, not Trump’s..

      As far as the recurring canard you cite, he HAS disavowed any and all such people ad infinitum. President Trump is redoubtable and fear is not in him. He loves the American people and will always stand up for our country.

      TRUMP 2020.
      God Bless The U.S.A..

    • Ron Eagleman says:

      Hmmm, very insightful. Yes, you disagree with those policies, which you have shamefully misrepresented. Most people would.
      Why the specious defiance? We know it is not hatred of our president, as you hate no one. Could it be unintentional, and just a regurgitation of legacy media talking points?

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