Donald Trump was able to easily cruise through the GOP debates simply by yelling a lot and spouting hate speech, but let’s face it — his most prominent opponents were some guy from Florida whose idea of responding to the State of the Union Address is guzzling water and looking for a place to hide, and some jerk from Texas who thought Jesus wanted him to be President.
According to science, conservatives ave a “negativity bias,” meaning that they are more attuned to exactly the sort of “debate” to which Trump is accustomed. Threats? Great. Disgusting remarks about people’s race, nationality, and religion? Awesome. Constant attacks on America as being a hell-pit out of which only Trump can pull us? Sure, our frenemies on the Right love their flag and other ‘Murika swag, but they are perfectly willing to think the worst of or country as long as the President is black. In short, they were easy for Trump to win over in the primaries.
But ever since he made it to the “big leagues,” The Donald has begun to flounder after realizing that the rest of us don’t thrive on fear and bigotry — and his poll numbers are beginning to show it as Hillary Clinton’s lead climbs into the double digits. On Monday, Clinton campaign chairman announced that the former First Lady will be participating in the three scheduled debates, adding that the “only issue now is whether Donald Trump is going to show up.”
Earlier this month, Trump began preparing to skip the debates with a “pants-on-fire” lie that the Democrats rigged the debate schedule to conflict with NFL games.
As usual, Hillary & the Dems are trying to rig the debates so 2 are up against major NFL games. Same as last time w/ Bernie. Unacceptable!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2016
He even falsely claimed that the NFL sent him a letter confirming that they, too, were upset with the Democrats’ attempt to marginalize him by scheduling two debates during football games. Unfortunately for Trump, the national parties have absolutely no role in setting the general election debate schedule, which is determined by an independent, bipartisan organization — and that schedule was set way back in September.
Previously, Trump was able to hide out among ten debaters on the stage. Now it’s just him…and Hillary Clinton. Despite his previous threats to skip the debates because of the nonexistent pro-Clinton bias in the schedule, Trump now says he will attend — if he gets to make the rules, that is.
“I will absolutely do three debates. … I want to debate very badly. But I have to see the conditions,” Trump said Tuesday in an interview with Time Magazine. “I’m sure they’ll be open to any suggestions I have, because I think they’ll be very fair suggestions.”
One of Trump’s “reasonable” conditions is that he get to choose the moderators because “certain moderators would be unacceptable.”
“It is concerning that the Trump campaign is already engaged in shenanigans around these debates. It is not clear if he is trying to avoid debates, or merely toying with the press to create more drama,” Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta said in a statement Monday night. “We will accept the commission’s invitation and expect Donald Trump to do the same.”
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, Trump is up to his same old games — except they just won’t work in a general election.