Trump Tries to Delegitimize…Everything

The debate was a trainwreck. But the contrast is clear.

Kevin Dietsch/Pool via CNP via ZUMA

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Trump did nothing to win over voters. His entire intent was to delegitimize…everything. He pushed debate protocol out the window immediately. He bullied. He overtalked. He shouted. He lied. He attacked Biden’s sons in scurrilous ways. 

Trump made more outrageous claims about mail-in voting than ever before. Asked if he would decry white supremacists, he did not. Asked if he would respect the process and have his supporters stand down until the election is certified, Trump instead encouraged his supporters to “go into the polls and watch very carefully” and urged the extremist group the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.” They heard the message loud and clear.

Biden supporters may well wish that he had fought back harder or found his zingers more readily. Perhaps he could have made the contrast between the two even greater. But the contrast is this: One man abides by the rules—not just the rules of debates, but the rules of the democratic process and the rule of law. The other spins a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nihilism.

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