I will be going to the polls in a couple of hours and will post my impressions after I return. I am taking advantage of my retired status to vote in the middle of the day and avoid the lines that may exist in the early morning and late evening hours. As this dreadful campaign winds down to its long awaited end, the New York Times has managed to get access to Donald Trump’s campaign to see what the mood is like.
Donald J. Trump is not sleeping much these days.
Aboard his gold-plated jumbo jet, the Republican nominee does not like to rest or be alone with his thoughts, insisting that aides stay up and keep talking to him. He prefers the soothing, whispery voice of his son-in-law.
He requires constant assurance that his candidacy is on track. “Look at that crowd!” he exclaimed a few days ago as he flew across Florida, turning to his young press secretary as a TV tuned to Fox News showed images of what he claimed were thousands of people waiting for him on the ground below.
In the final days of the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump’s candidacy is a jarring split screen: the choreographed show of calm and confidence orchestrated by his staff, and the neediness and vulnerability of a once-boastful candidate now uncertain of victory.
Trump’s shameless behavior continues and the latest episode is where he blatantly mischaracterized the way that president Obama dealt with a heckler. Obama came to the defense of a protestor who heckled him during his speech, asking the crowd to settle down and saying that the heckler should be respected, but Trump later said that Obama went on an unhinged rant against him. This was just too much for Charlie Pierce who was there when Trump spoke and had finally had enough.
I have a respectably high tolerance for this stuff, and I can’t tell you why this particular incident shoved me over the International Crapola Line for good. Maybe it was because it was so ludicrously provable a lie. Maybe it was the smug confidence he has in his own mind that that he is talking to a country full of thoroughgoing morons. Maybe it was how little he cared that people could go on their fcking telephones and find out how dreadfully obvious his lie was. They could do it right at that moment, while he was telling the lie.
He didn’t care. He never has cared. His contempt for the democratic processes and for the norms of self-government is matched only by the deep contempt he has for all the suckers who mistake his contempt for the American experiment for their deep disappointment in it. He has measured their intelligence by his heavily leveraged net worth and found them hilariously lacking. We are all the subcontractors who build his indomitable ego for him and, as such, he can stiff us according to his customary business plan. His campaign long ago became a sickening charade performed by a grotesque charlatan. I had enough, finally. I left the hall.
He is not the only person who has had it up to here. So has The Rude Pundit, who can be very rude, who says that the arguments that people use to try and persuade Trump voters to change their minds, by pointing out all Trump’s faults, are the very things that the voters like about him
Of all Trump’s faults, and there are many such as his ignorance, vindictiveness, xenophobia, misogyny, nativism, bigotry, and racism, the one thing that baffles me the most is that his sociopathic levels of lying do not seem to faze his supporters. All the other things can be rationalized away. It can also rightly be argued that lying by politicians is common and the Clintons are no exception. But Trump’s lying is so blatant and so easily contradicted by facts that are readily available that to not see it is to have shut one’s eyes to reality.
It is really quite amazing.