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“It was a loud and bitter night….”

February 27, 2016

As a narrator I just had to grab that for an opening sentence. It’s from Amy Davidson’s New Yorker column, yesterday, “What We Learned from the Donald Trump – Marco Rubio Screamfest.”

I find it really hard to waste my time on the Republican debates lately. But I’m not a fan of Wrestlemania, either, and it’s the entertainment format of which Trump is a champ. He’s a natural and a pro, who makes his opponents look like chumps. It’s what can turn on (and turn out) a lot of Republican voters. They want to see blood in the sand, or on the mat.

If he can ride it to the nomination, he might be able to ride it into the White House. I’m guessing that his way would be smoothed by his ability to make this a one-issue election, a roar of disapproval of the Dem candidate. Trump would try to turn either of the potential Dem candidates into both high entertainment and motivation to rush the ring. Bernie would be “the socialist Jew” and Hillary would be “that Clinton woman.” Either of those images would combine all of the usual Republican social motivators into a villain that is bigger than the sum of his or her parts.

Trump would attempt to cast himself as a combo impresario (of “Make America Great Again”) and heroic crowd favorite.

Imagine the debates between T and either B or H, in comparison with the famous Kennedy-Nixon turning point. Guess how the media would greet the potential ratings.

That dark night of the soul could be loud, bitter, and long. And I wouldn’t be able to ignore it.

It’s gonna take a movement to get us through that night.

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