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Pres Debate #2 (1b)

October 9, 2016

{1} What a difference a tape makes. A role reversible, so that in tonight’s ring T will be the villain that the national crowd (but not a large majority of Rs) loves to hate. On stage with him, will H dare show a smidgeon of conventionally appropriate respect (if indeed any is appropriate)? How will she do that?  Maybe by being both “statesman”-like and the mother of a daughter and granddaughter, who wants women to live in a world that is safe for them.  It is not beyond imagination.

At the same time, if T shows respect for her, he will not be believed; but if he does not show adequate, appropriate respect, he will be seen as disrespecting women (which of course is simply true).

I take it from Trump Tweets that he will position himself as a third-party candidate. Damn the elites, full speed ahead! I can imagine him in full attack mode, defending his base from both the Clintons and the R elite.

He has nothing to lose but his base. He has lost all integrity and credibility.

Among his base, misogyny only hurts him with evangelicals (hence Pence’s prayerful criticism), and even with them, not severely, because of the subordination of women that is built into their authoritarian collective personality and lifestyle.

The archetypal element that dominates T’s red-hair campaign is fire. He dare not water it down. He can feed it air, is he does in speeches at his rallies, and he can try to fuse it with earth, as he does with his image of the tower, and his insistence that he cares about working people. But I’ll be surprised if he does not breathe fire tonight. I think the question is, how can he sustain that in a town hall format.

H has faced this fire-breathing male countless times. She will welcome it. Again, it’s the revenge of the feminine. T will put her in the position of Saint George, and she will win as both dragon (archetypal feminine) and righteous knight.

{2} I think that the most important thing that can happen in tonight’s debate is for the rightful outrage against Trump to be converted into an outpouring of votes for Democrats. A Dem landslide would be the most effective repudiation of what Trump stands for in American society and politics.

The second most important thing would be for Hillary to rally support for a glowing vision (the fire in the morning light) of what America can be—in fact must become, in view of the threats from global warming, hegemonic power of the overly wealthy, corruption in monopoly corporatism, efforts of fascists to control our governance, and degrading, debilitating, society-rending effects of a weak economy. Here too, we need a Dem landslide, so that we can break through the R obstructionism.

In accomplishing those two tasks, she could lift the spirit of the country by purging the toxins from our body politic and directing our attention and energies towards a general healing. I’m willing to think that the country might be ready for sanity, a swing back into unity, lead by women. But we need the direction and courage of a clear and resonating vision.

H’s vulnerable points seem to me to be concern about whether she would be an adequate agent for change (especially worrying for progressive and millenials, who think she is not sufficiently forward-looking, and is tied to the entrenched interests of the very rich), and, related to that, concern about whether she will take the necessary steps to block TPP and an increased use of fracking and oil.

If T remains in rational control, he can criticize her strongly on those points. She could, in line with the two main tasks mentioned above, blunt his attack by making clear, strong statements against TPP and fossil fuels, and thus in favor of major changes in our economy.

Lately she has been emphasizing creation of jobs in new energies. With her heart’s imagination creating organic images, she could fuse fire, water, air, and earth. Nothing could beat that.

{3} Donald Trump, consummate opportunist, decided to take advantage of an unbalanced Republican Party by presenting himself as a towering leader. Bottom line, he simply isn’t up to it.

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