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State of American History, Civics, and Politics

If Biden Makes a Gaffe, How Will Trump Know?

The Thrilla in Manila (Neil Leifer for Sports Illustrated)

The thrilla in Manila is upon us. Or the Devil and Daniel Webster. Or Williams Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow. Or Earth 1 versus Earth 2.

We are at point which tonight may determine the outcome of the American Presidential race. For all the talk about it being too early, it really is not since the campaign for the 2020 election never ended. For one contestant, it may be his last chance to show he belongs in the ring. For the other candidate whose home is the professional political wrestling arena, it may be another chance to show that the real world cannot touch him.

Let’s consider some of key points over the debate which may be obscured.

1. Joe Biden is not dead. That is a funny way to begin a description of the confrontation. It attests the success of his opponent and Foxhub in painting Biden as someone still at death’s door after five years. Nothing Biden does seems to shake this image so even if he is still standing after the metaphorical 15 rounds it will be explained away that he was drugged like a Russian athlete to over perform. It also attests the stark reality that Donald Trump controls the narrative and not the President of the United States

2. Donald Trump is an elite stander. I am still not sure what it means to be an elite stander but if Biden is standing too that will be explained away. On the other hand, this absurd comment provides an opening in the match should Biden want to take advantage of it.

Was Franklin Delano Roosevelt an elite stander?
Is Texas Governor Greg Abbott an elite stander?
Are the participants in the Special Olympics all elite standers?
What about the wounded veterans who may not be able to stand? Besides being losers and suckers do they also fail to measure up?
What about for people with disabilities in general?

Here we see the limits of the mental necessities of the seventh-grade smart-aleck-dumb-aleck. It’s a funny line unless you stop to think about it. Then it is simple-minded at best and an example of someone and his staff who lack the mental necessities for the White House due to their inability to think things through.

3. Donald Trump is always the dumbest person in the room except at a MAGA rally. Suppose Biden discusses his foreign policy actions and mentions a slew of countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East. Then suppose he commits a gaffe in naming the country or its leader. How would Trump know? The usual way is denied him. Foxhub will have the opportunity to take Biden to task after the debate but will be unable to do so during the debate. This means the people who watch Foxhub will be able to laugh and laugh at the gaffe after it is spun to them. Meanwhile the people who watch CNN or MSNBC or who read the real morning papers will not. By that time, the Biden side will have the opportunity to issue a corrective. It won’t matter to MAGAs but it will to others.

4. Singing in the Shower – As everyone knows, in the shower, you are the world’s greatest singer. It is only when you leave the shower for the real world that the truth catches up with you. So as long as Trump is on Foxhub or in his professional political wrestling arena he is on safe grounds. He can say anything with fear or even awareness if what he is saying is true in the real world. However, he will not have that luxury in the CNN debate. No doubt he will do his best to transform the stage into an arena on Earth 2. But there will be no live audience to provide him the energy he needs to sustain himself. He will be muted if rambles on for too long. In short, the conditions of the debate are configured as best as is possible to keep Trump in the real world, a place where he is not very comfortable.

Think of his recent comments about Milwaukee. First, given his limited mental necessities, he is only capable of judging something in a strictly binary manner. It is either the greatest ever or the worst ever. The worst Secretary of State ever. The worst treaty ever. As if he has studied the history of the United States and can intelligibly make such an argument. He speaks in binary, apocalyptic terms about what would happen if various legal actions were taken.  On the one hand the President should have immunity if he sends seal team 6 after his opponents. On the other hand, Biden is condemned for sending armed FBI agents to violate his home with orders to kill him. But there is no contradiction there because Biden is not the real president anyway.

Second, Milwaukee is a city, therefore it is carnage. What else do you need to know?

Facts are meaningless to Donald Trump and to MAGA, so if Biden decides to speak in facts, he should be aiming for the national audience and not waste his time trying to convince Trump to leave his alternate world for Earth 1.

The issue will be not only what happens in the debate but how it is spun afterwards. Think of January 6. People saw the insurrection live on TV as it was happening. People saw elected officials running for their lives. People heard Republicans condemn the actions and inactions of the President of the United States in fomenting the action.

Then what happened?

There were FBI plants?
There were Antifa agitators.
It was peaceful political protest.
They are hostages.
They will be pardoned.

See how the description changes. Have the number of people who think the election was stolen from Trump instead of him trying to steal the election changed in more than two years. Now Trump is a champion of freedom in the United States!

No matter how people have been convicted; no matter how people have lost their license; no matter how people are waiting for their day in court, nothing has had any impact on MAGAs. And nothing ever will.

So even if Biden holds his own and wins in the same way Nixon won the debate on radio while Kennedy won the same debate on television, what will change in the American electorate? We are a storytelling species and the fact is Earth 2 has a superior story told by a persistent and robust storyteller even if he does not have the facts on his side and his mental necessities are deteriorating.

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