Swamp Rabbit had a hunch. “I bet lots of peeps think Donald Trump is some kind of test for the country. If we pass, he gets kicked out of office and melts into a pool of pig grease and slides down the drain. If we fail, him and his kin folk shred the Constitution and move into the White House for life.”
“Some people in the media don’t see it that way,” I said. “They pretend this is a normal election. That Trump is a normal candidate. That it’s business as usual, no matter what he says or does, no matter how vile or ridiculous he is.”
I showed Swamp Rabbit a piece by a Washington Post columnist who congratulated Trump for taking questions from attendees at a town hall meeting in Philadelphia on Tuesday night. Karen Tumulty wrote:
It was actually a healthy development for Trump to face skeptical voters on live television. He should do it more often… Trump, to his credit, stepped outside his comfort zone and put himself in a situation where he had to refrain from insulting or belittling those who challenged him.
A healthy development! On the same day, another Post staffer wrote that Trump, as usual, lied to his questioners. And Tumulty herself noted that he not only lied, but also demonstrated his inability to use the English language. This was Trump explaining why covid-19 will go away without a vaccine:
You’ll develop herd — like a herd mentality. It’s going to be — it’s going to be herd-developed, and that’s going to happen. That will all happen.
He was reaching for herd immunity, of course. His malapropism was a reminder that he’s dangerous not only because he’s dishonest and heartless but also because he’s incoherent and probably addled. But Tumulty would rather laud Trump for the courageous act of taking questions. God forbid she should express honest contempt for a candidate who is clearly unqualified to hold office — witness his handling of the coronavirus crisis — and not interested in abiding by the results of the election if it doesn’t go his way.
“Okay, so what?” Swamp Rabbit said. “What are them reporters supposed to do? Pretend Trump ain’t out there campaigning?”
“They’re supposed to present his policy plans and fact-check everything he says, and report his lies,” I replied. “They shouldn’t give him credit for stepping outside his so-called comfort zone for a half-hour. And they shouldn’t use false equivalencies, like those reporters in USA Today.”
He shook his head. “If they did all that, them Republican spin doctors would say the media is working for antifa-loving liberals who are using Joe Biden as a front for a socialist takeover.”
“They’re going to say that anyway,” I said. “Or else they would have to concede that the stories about Trump are true, which would be the same as admitting they’re backing a monster. The herd might stampede if they said that.”
Swamp Rabbit laughed. “I doubt it,” he said.