If I were Joe Biden, this is what I would tell Donald Trump, at the start of the First Presidential Debate.
Mr. Trump (a pause): sir, I have been waiting for this moment to arrive, feeling envigorated, fully alive, by the inevitable prospect of your appearing before me. We are now going to have a debate, Mr. Trump. This is not a game show, nor a reality show. This is reality, the reality of the United States of America.
In these three debates we shall have, your reality show bluster, will, at last, have to yield to some substantial degree of seriousness and the decorum needed to set facts before the American electorate. You can no longer hide from me, sir, gallivanting around the nation causing super-spreaders of COVID-19.
Many, perhaps most, members of this audience have probably watched the movie Star Wars and its sequels. Jabba the Hut, one of the villains in the first celebrated segment of that sequence of films, said, "that Jedi mind stuff doesn't work with me." Jabba would have understood you well, sir. Please trust me, your melodramatic, reality-show histrionics will not work with me or in this venue.
You must not believe that I am not shaking with the emotions your trashing of the American Dream in all its facets elicits from me. Why, single-handedly in your 2015- 2016 campaign, you did terminal damage to social, to say nothing of political, civility. Now children look at you and say, "see, the president calls people SOBs and uses cusswords, so it must be all right for us!"
Sarah Palin-- the entry-level wacko, as she has sometimes been called-- was as venal and small-minded as yourself, but in retro, she wasn't elected, and is a historical footnote, small potatoes next to you, sir, who has for nearly 4 years used the Presidency as your own, private thing.
La Cosa Nostra. Our thing. Our enterprise.
Sir, the Presidency is not an enterprise. You actually make untold amounts of dough putting foreign dignitaries up in your Washington DC hotel. That is inexcusable, according to the Emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution. But then, so much that you have said and done has been to an unprecedented, unique degree inexcusable. I have a book here compiled by a reputable fact-checking organization of your falsehoods while in office. It contains literally thousands of entries.
"Donald Trump and His Assault on Truth: The President's Falsehoods, Misleading Claims and Flat-Out Lies," was compiled by The Washington Post's Fact Checker staff: Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly. There are plenty of other examples to fill the pages of this "guide to Trump's attack on the truth," as the authors describe the book in the introduction, but they were too recent to be included.
The Fact Checker team calculated that as of Jan. 20, 2020, three years after his inauguration, Trump had made 16,241 false or misleading statements. As of June 1,the tally was at 19,127. Nonetheless, as the Houston Chronicle states, Twitter's somewhat belated response to your suborning of violence against Americans "can be seen as a triumph for fact-checkers like those at the Post, who have been grappling with Trump's lies since his campaign."
I keep seeing, in my mind, your Tweet while you were still only President-Elect, directed at Russia's president Putin: "Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass, and outlast them all."
My fellow Americans, I am not going to let the earth get blown up. But you, Mr. Donald Trump, are possessed of such a mania about looking strong, hiding all your insecurity behind a transparent veil, to go with your determinedly unlearned lack of domestic or foreign policy-making savvy, that you very well might blunder us into such a cataclysmic finish for the American Experiment.
It is the same as when Barack Obama was facing one of your nemeses, the late US Senator John McCain of Arizona.
John and I were friends, personally. But John had a short fuse, and he was a more than 40-year untreated case of PTSD from his Vietnam experience. He was known, like you, to act impulsively, and sometimes from anger. Of the two candidates in the 2008 Presidential election, Barack Obama was by far the cooler head. He placed the welfare of his family above political or social ideology. Barack made a few unforced errors. Nonetheless, he conceived of his job in terms of wearing a particular hat which I shall now describe.
Know something, Mr. Trump? This is maybe the most important thing you will hear from me, having so miserably failed to act in any way respecting the American People: sir, we OWN you.
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