There is nothing that irritates Donald Trump more than when he is not the center of attention. His malignant narcissism kicks in bigly if something in the news cycle is deemed more important than his promulgation of lies, undeserved boasts, infantile insults, or relentless hostility and petulant whining. After all, this is the man-baby who once bragged that he is “the most fabulous whiner.”
The Democratic National Convention will begin on Monday, August 17, and run until Thursday August 20. This is the quadrennial event where the Party’s nominee is officially designated and the campaign’s themes are rolled out as the election season gears up for the last lap to Election Day. Ordinarily, both parties suspend their political activities during their opponents’ convention. It’s a courtesy that allows each to present their best case to the American people without belligerent interruptions.
Of course, nothing about the Dystopian Era of Trump is ordinary. And his arrogance and vanity won’t allow him to shut his mouth for a few days to honor the respectful traditions of a functional democracy. Trump is succumbing to his unique brand of snotty conceit with the announcement that he intends to spend his time during the Democratic convention heckling them and otherwise making an ass of himself. USA Today reports that…
“President Donald Trump will hit the road next week while Democrats rally around Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris during the Democratic National Convention. […] A week-long series of events will include a visit to the city where Biden was born — Scranton, Pennsylvania — on Thursday, Aug. 20, the same day the former vice president is scheduled to deliver his acceptance speech.”
Trump has a long history of trying to manipulate the media to upstage Democrats or grab attention for himself from whatever else the press deems newsworthy. He has been doing this at least as far back as the Republican presidential primaries in 2016, Trump bowed out of a Fox News debate because he was afraid to face moderator Megyn Kelly. Then he scheduled his own media event at the same time, pretending it was a benefit for veterans. However, he later lied about and failed to disburse the funds he raised until after he was caught by the press.
More recently, Trump tried to upstage the first joint appearance of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris by scheduling another of his pointless coronavirus briefings (which the media should not be covering at all). And today Trump attempted to grab the spotlight again by announcing a phony “peace” agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Trump even employs this tactic by saying something outrageous and despicable to deflect the outrageous and despicable thing he said the day before.
If Trump goes through with this cynical and self-serving charade during the Democratic convention, Democrats need to reciprocate during Trump’s Republican convention the following week. They should schedule newsmaking affairs during Trump’s most engaging events. Which should be easy to counter-program considering that the GOP’s speakers are likely to be less than compelling. They haven’t released a list yet, but in 2016 they featured such luminaries as Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson, has-been Scott Baio, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz.
If Democrats place Barack Obama’s first public appearance with the Biden/Harris ticket during Trump’s acceptance speech on the 27th, how many people do you think will be watching Trump? We already know what he’s going to say: Democrats are radical leftists who want open borders, crime in the streets, gun confiscation, and Satan worship.
Plus, Democrats will give healthcare to all citizens, pursue racial justice, seek income equality through fair taxation and corporate responsibility, and reverse the perils of climate change. Oh wait, those are all things that the American people favor overwhelmingly. Along with restoring America’s reputation internationally, and taking steps to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
So bring it on, Don. The American people already despise you. Trump has never reached 50% in approval polling, a feat that no other president can claim. He is currently losing to Biden in every national poll, as well as in most polls of the crucial swing states. His desperate antics are not likely to rescue his floundering campaign now. All he has left is cheating and Russia. But those are indeed serious threats and Democrats need to be vigilant and determined to overcome them. While things are looking pretty good for Biden and the Democrats, this is not the time to stand down.
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