President Trump? There’s only one way to stop it happening


I hate to be an alarmist, but Donald Trump could be on course to be elected president of the United States – and the decisive moment may well come on Monday night. That’s when he faces Hillary Clinton in what is expected to be one of the most watched events in television history. The TV debates are perhaps the last chance for her to persuade the American people that this man is unqualified for, and unworthy of, the presidency and poses a genuine threat to the republic.

If that sounds like panic, then I’m not the only one. Sweaty-palmed nausea has become a leading symptom among those who tremble at the prospect of a Trump presidency. The latest Slate Political Gabfest podcast is called The Time to Panic Edition. Number cruncher Nate Silver, who gives Trump a 40% probability of winning, triggered another round of liberal angst this week when he tweeted that he had “Never seen otherwise smart people in so much denial about something as they are about Trump’s chances. Same mistake as primaries, Brexit.”

The source of the alarm is not so much the national polls, where Clinton is a few points ahead, but surveys from those battleground states where the presidency will be decided. In the last week, polls have put Trump in front in Ohio, Nevada, North Carolina and, most neuralgic of all, Florida.

So low are expectations for his performance on Monday – where it is assumed that his opponent, a seasoned debater, will wipe the floor with him – that if Trump manages to speak in vaguely coherent sentences and not deliver a misogynist insult to Clinton’s face, his advocates will declare that he looked “presidential” and anoint him the winner. If he can somehow persuade wavering voters that he is not so ridiculous as to merit automatic disqualification, he will have cleared a crucial hurdle.

And for all her experience, Clinton heads towards this first, and therefore most important, debate facing some serious obstacles. She’s been advised that she mustn’t interrupt too much or talk over Trump: apparently voters react badly to seeing a woman act that way.


3 thoughts on “President Trump? There’s only one way to stop it happening

  1. Sorry to go off topic, but I was shocked to read this. Football players are overly aggressive. If they aren’t beating up their wives and girlfriends, or each other, it’s abusing animals:

    If we ever want to tinker with genetics, as we are so fond of doing, it would be nice if we would remove or moderate the human gene for violence and domination, the world would be a better place!

  2. I haven’t thought about Trump as president, but it could happen — ugh! I’m not for debates since they don’t resemble the college debates of a while ago. The first debate between Pres. Obama and Romney showed Obama losing because he chose to sell his Affordable Care Act instead of fact checking Romney’s whoppers which would have taken over half of the debating time. As a result, I’m more interested in their track record, what they’ve said and their policies. I will be watching though along with the a good portion of Americans and foreigners.

  3. They’ve (their handlers? or the media) tried to turn it into a three-ring circus, with former mistresses and loud-mouthed NBA owners in the front row, presumably to heckle. Just keeping it classy I guess. So it really has taken a turn for the worse, but I will try to watch for as long as I can stomach it.

    I don’t even care really anymore, I figure we’ll get the candidate we deserve, and nothing will change anyway, as always.

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