When I watched Donald Trump on Sunday during the second presidential debate, I didn’t see a man trying to improve his chances at becoming our next president. From almost instantly accusing the moderators of helping Clinton (even though he actually spoke over a minute longer than she did), to most of what he said being nothing more than an incoherent word salad of right-wing blog headlines, I didn’t see someone overly concerned with trying to appeal to a broader range of voters following a disastrous two-week span for his campaign.
Hell, he even sort of defended his horrific comments where he admitted to enjoying sexually assaulting women. Sure, he said he regrets his remarks — but then he instantly made excuses for himself by repeating the lie that they were nothing more than “words” and “locker room talk.” So I don’t believe for a second he’s truly remorseful about saying those things, he’s just sorry that people found out about it.
What I saw during the second debate was a man who did nothing more than pander to his base. This wasn’t someone trying to deliver a substantive performance aimed at proving he’s fit to be president of the United States to moderates and independents. This was someone standing on debate stage, spouting off conservative “zingers” against Hillary Clinton that you see posted in the comment sections of nearly every political website, article, social media account and blog on the Internet.
However, like practically everything else Trump says, a lot of what he used to attack Clinton wasn’t true:
- No, she didn’t laugh at a 12-year-old rape victim.
- No, she didn’t order her emails be deleted following receiving a subpoena.
- No, she didn’t “viciously” attack women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct.
- No, she didn’t have the power as a senator to change the tax code.
- No, Benghazi didn’t happen at 3 a.m., nor was Clinton sleeping when the U.S. was informed of the attack.
- No, he didn’t oppose the Iraq War from the beginning and there’s no record of him opposing it until after it was clearly turning into a disaster.
- No, her campaign didn’t start the birther conspiracies against President Obama.
Oh, and she’s not the “devil” as he called her Sunday night — though Trump’s buddy Alex Jones literally seems to think she’s a demon. And, no, I’m not kidding — see for yourself.
It seemed clear from the start that his entire “plan” was to deliver as many anti-Clinton propaganda lines as he could because he knows that’s exactly what his supporters want to hear — even if he publicly admitted that he’s running to be our nation’s first dictator.
Then again, like the candidate, himself, Trump’s supporters couldn’t care less about facts, either.
What I saw on Sunday night was someone who’s irate that so many Republicans have pulled their support from him following the leak of the highly controversial video; irate that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (someone he knows wants to run for president, probably in 2020) has clearly not been behind him and apparently told Republicans they didn’t have to back the party’s nominee if they felt it might hurt their re-election chances; irate that he feels the party as a whole hasn’t been behind him like they would have other Republican candidates; and irate because he’s someone who’s always going to blame others for his own failures.
Which is why the Republican party should be very concerned.
If you ask me, what Trump set out to do that night was to solidify his coalition a month out from Election Day in preparation for going after everyone he’s going to blame if he loses, with his number one target not being Hillary Clinton — but the GOP.
We’ve already heard rumors that he’s thinking about creating his own conservative media empire following the election. That’s the first thing that popped into my mind watching him during the second debate when he came off like a live-action conservative blog standing on a debate stage. Nearly everything he said and did was exactly what the alt-right and far-right conservatives wanted to see and hear. Trump knows that he has the popularity, money and clout among millions of conservative voters to create a conservative media conglomeration where the mindless sheep who follow him will hang on every word said or published like cult followers eagerly lining up for the “special punch.”
Donald Trump is well aware that if he can energize and work his supporters up over the next few weeks, even if he loses, he will have spent the last month of the election feeding his minions the vile drivel they crave, which will then ultimately help him make a whole lot of money by tearing into anyone and everyone who he feels kept him from successfully conning enough Americans into making him our next president.
The honest truth is that he’s positioned himself to be more powerful than any member of the Republican party, with the influence to actually drastically impact Republican primary elections by opposing those who don’t bow down to his demands.
While we’re all going to unfortunately have to deal with Donald Trump for the foreseeable future (even if he loses), what I saw on Sunday night seemed more like a man who was setting up a “revenge” plot by specifically pandering to his base of supporters to go after his enemies (as he admitted during the debate he’s more than willing to do), than a presidential candidate trying to reach out to undecided voters hoping to improve his chances to win on November 8th.
That should terrify the hell out of the Republican party. If I’m right, I can guarantee that trying to rip apart the GOP is going to be one of his top priorities.