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Donald Trump’s Fall and Rise

Before the Debate:

Two sensational revelations regarding the 2016 presidential candidates surfaced on Friday, ahead of last night’s second Trump-Clinton debate. One involved Clinton, the other Trump. Each revelation had the potential of affecting the outcome of the race.

Regarding Clinton, the revelation was the latest batch of WikiLeaks disclosures. It included excerpts of her speeches before Wall Street audiences, which she had refused to make public. Now we know why. They show her making nice-nice with her billionaire benefactors—no surprise there. After all, they paid her a standard fee of $225,000 per speech, for 92 speeches between 2013 and 2015, earning her $21.6 million in less than two years. How many of us could resist being nice-nice to nice people like that?

But the excerpts from her speeches also show her saying she is for “open borders,” which will not endear her to the majority of American voters. They show her admitting she often has a private position on issues (one satisfactory to her benefactors) different from her public position on those issues, which does nothing to repair her reputation as a liar (though it could not have come as a surprise to her benefactors, who are used to paying off two-faced politicians).


These and other revelations were potentially damning to Clinton’s chances in a deadlocked race, so the leftist media did what it had to do under the circumstances: it ignored the Clinton revelations and went unhinged on the Trump “revelation.” As a result, about the only place in the mainstream media where you will find discussion of the Clinton speeches is Fox News. Thankfully, as many people watch that cable news network as watch its two competitors combined, that is, the Clinton News Network (CNN) and MSDNC.

Stop the presses! Trump is a misogynist!

Trump’s career as a misogynist is an open book and has been discounted by his supporters in their dedication to bringing down the elitist politicians who have brought America itself down to its present state. But with the two major candidates pulling even in the voodoo polls, the leftist media had no choice but to make the most of the latest revelation. This was a dirty-boy conversation from 11 years ago, between Trump and a cousin of George W. and Jeb Bush. And so this is the first presidential election in which words like “pussy” are now part of the mainstream political conversation. Ah, progress in America.

Friends of mine know that I am no fan, at all, of Ted Cruz. But he is the only person I’ve seen so far, before the second debate, who has stated the obvious. He tweeted: “NBC had tape 11 yrs.  Apprentice producer says they have more & worse. So why not release in 2015? In March? Why wait till October? #MSMBias”

Indeed. Before, and particularly in the first debate, Trump had been his own worst enemy, responding like a narcissist with the spotlight turned on him rather than going on the offense against Clinton. But this time it is clearly an effort by the media to bring down the presidential candidate of a major party. And so we have the unhinged around-the-clock exclamations about how Trump’s locker-room banter from 11 years ago threatens the pristine virtue of America.

As the saying goes, “Give me a break!”

Presidents like Kennedy and Clinton did more than talk about groping women, they practiced it—and worse. But now people who voted for, or defended, these Presidents—and other politicians like the woman-killing Ted Kennedy—can strike poses of shock and horror at Trump’s words.  Politically correct philanderers and models of progressive sexual attitudes like Arnold Schwarzenegger can refuse to endorse the scoundrel. Politics is indeed a hothouse of fertilizer for hypocrisy.

The question is whether the mainstream media can have its way in this most exceptional electoral cycle. A Politico-Morning Consult poll, the first scientific survey to gauge voters’ immediate reactions to Trump’s comments, and taken on the Saturday after the revelation of Trump’s conversation, shows that even under the nonstop media barrage, just 12 percent of Republicans—and 13 percent of female Republicans—think that Trump should end his campaign, as urged by the never-Trumpers. And as a warning to GOP politicians like senators Ayotte and McCain, “Less than a third of voters are willing to give greater consideration to a candidate who un-endorses Trump.”

Stay tuned. The second debate is nearing.

After the Debate:

Hillary Clinton will always be able to out-point Donald Trump on policy matters. That is the advantage of being a politician for more than 30 years. “Slick Willie” has now been supplanted by slick Hillary. But most Americans expected that.

The difference in this debate, however, is that Trump fought back with passion, limiting her advantage with both zingers and policy contrasts. His policy positions are muddled, but hers are disingenuous at best. And with the possible exception of college and high-school debate contests, debates are rarely won on points. They are won with passion and—especially in the case of presidential debates—how you motivate your backers. And here Trump won the debate hands-down.

My viewing partner and I let our yells of joy and high-fived each other when Trump said if he is elected, there will be a thorough investigation of her email misdeeds and lies, and Clinton may well end up in jail. I suspect that reaction was happening in households and meetings all across the nation, as it did in the debate audience.The jail part will never happen, but millions of Trump’s followers and wannabe-followers are appalled by the collusion between the director of the FBI and the Obama-Clinton clique. I did not see anything in the debate that will motivate her followers in the same way.

For millions of viewers, this was probably the first they had heard of the WikiLeaks disclosures of Clinton’s speeches since discussion of that had been blacklisted by the leftist mainstream news media. We really don’t know if Trump’s support has been eroding since the first debate since we have only the word of the media and the voodoo polls on that, but if it was true, I expect the erosion will now stop and the race tighten again. So much will depend on economic news, foreign-policy setbacks, and any further WikiLeaks disclosures in the final month of this campaign.

Above all, we must remember that the election is mostly bread and circuses to distract us from issues that aren’t being discussed—the disposition of over $150 trillion in sovereign state debt, the largest bubble in the history of the world; how our own $20 trillion in debt is exploding at a rate that is unsustainable; the role of the Deep State in making the concept of “democracy” a joke; and how the neocons’ (Hillary included) policy of perpetual war is threatening us not only with national bankruptcy but the risk of a nuclear World War III. As Mark Twain or Emma Goldman said (take your pick as to who the real author was), “If voting made a difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.”

David Franke was a founder of the conservative movement in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He is currently writing his magnum opus on the trajectory of conservatism and American politics during his lifetime.

25 Comments (Open | Close)

25 Comments To "Donald Trump’s Fall and Rise"

#1 Comment By EliteCommInc On October 10, 2016 @ 6:29 am

“As Mark Twain or Emma Goldman said (take your pick as to who the real author was), “If voting made a difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.”

It’s not much of fall or rise. The media has obfuscated every issue surrounding Mr. Trump that it is a tough slog to ascertain the truth and whether and how whatever actual truth emerges matters.

There are some deep policy issues between myself and Mr Trump. I think morality goes without saying. But when you lean conservative expecting a politician to be conservative is a very tough order.

As usual I did not watch the debates. I think the data sets on who wants what, believes what about the whats is largely on the table. I suspect that as the tensions between the interventionists and the Russia heat up, even the Europeans are going to pull back from pressing for more interventions. Afterall, if it goes, it will go first in their front yard before our own.

This election is more about what utterly gross characters the media are. They have no sense of decency. Ok, said conversation occurred. It’s value to the political or even social landscape is practically nil. The media democratic media machine making this a battleground in my view invites a battle they cannot win. I am sure there is more, but it such shallow fare compared to the scorched earth muck the democrats have in the wake of both Sec Clinton and her husband, hardly seems worth the effort. In a world of transgender restrooms, ‘safe spaces’, facebook, snap chat, hook up sites and same sex — bursting the bubble ‘guy talk’ never intended for outside ears seems mildly icky, but hardly Earth shattering. Given the language and content of the academic professionals on facebook . . . and elsewhere, it’s hard to see the point. Rich people . . . who knew, whose shocked and why I should care seems adrift wood party in light of the real issues.

#2 Comment By bacon On October 10, 2016 @ 8:04 am

Why, if the tape has been available all this time, release it now? One holds high cards until the most favorable time to play them. Don’t pretend both sides don’t do this.

You and your partner celebrate Trump’s vow to investigate Hillary and jail her if possible. That says all one needs to know about your objectivity.

#3 Comment By connecticut farmer On October 10, 2016 @ 8:48 am

Excellent piece. I’m no Trump fan, but the best line of the night was when he said he would make sure that Hillary wound up “in jail.”

#4 Comment By Fran Macadam On October 10, 2016 @ 9:18 am

I would rather, with all my heart, that our leadership hadn’t sunk so low that they are incapable of personal morality.

Yet within those major personal failings, that do have consequence for leadership – there is no doubt that poor personal judgment affects policy decisions – there is still a major necessity for the majority of us that the status quo mismanagement of America end.

That’s not going to happen with a candidate wedded to all the bad trajectories that are failing us, many of us miserably. Things are so disastrous that a candidate whose personal actions I could never personally approve of, is the only one in a once-democracy grown so unaccountable to its citizens, outside a tiny oligarchy and its larger retinue of hangers-on and enablers, that speaks against the consensus of ggantic money-grubbers. In essence, a political scene grown so remote from citizen control, that only a “traitor to his class” could successfully mount a challenge – a kind of last, worst hope for democratic accountability.

#5 Comment By Ron Goodman On October 10, 2016 @ 9:48 am

Access Hollywood says they began searching through their archives a week ago, after reports of Trump’s behavior on the set of the Apprentice began to surface. I’m sure the conspiracy theorists won’t believe it, but prove them wrong if you can.

#6 Comment By Kurt Gayle On October 10, 2016 @ 10:26 am

David Franke makes an important point: “Above all, we must remember that the election is mostly bread and circuses to distract us from issues that aren’t being discussed… how the neocons’ (Hillary included) policy of perpetual war is threatening us not only with national bankruptcy but the risk of a nuclear World War III.”

Toward the end of last night’s debate Martha Raddatz said:

“Mr. Trump…I want to remind you what your running mate said [during the vice-presidential debate]. He said provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength and that if Russia continues to be involved in air strikes along with the Syrian government forces of Assad, the United States of America should be prepared to use military force to strike the military targets of the Assad regime.”

TRUMP: “OK. He and I haven’t spoken, and I disagree. I disagree.”

Indeed,Donald Trump is very aware that the “policy of perpetual war is threatening us…[with] the risk of a nuclear World War III” with Russia — and Trump is absolutely determined to avoid that.

#7 Comment By James Chilton On October 10, 2016 @ 11:44 am

We are being destroyed by the march of progressive ideas through the institutions etc. A lot of people are going to vote for Trump in the vague hope he can turn the clock back. But he is a product of the revaluation of values that’s been going on for 50 years. He’s part of the problem for which a solution is being sought!

This is a surreal situation in which Trumpism is both a cause and effect.

#8 Comment By JonF On October 10, 2016 @ 1:08 pm

Re: But with the two major candidates pulling even in the voodoo polls…

In what alternate universe were the two candidates “pulling even” before Friday’s revelations? In this one Hillary had (re)opened a large lead over Trump in the aftermath of the first debate two weeks ago.
Also unmentioned here, and left largely unmentioned just about everywhere due to everyone’s salacious delight in the sex tape, was a much more significant revelation about the Trump campaign and the election in general. To wit, the fact that Trump is being bankrolled by the Russian government which has mounted an operation to either put him in the White House or otherwise disrupt the election. This is potentially huge, and could become a serious impediment to US-Russian relations going forward.

#9 Comment By Sandra On October 10, 2016 @ 1:47 pm

I believe it was Clinton that said last night that she would not commit ground troops in Syria and Donald Trump who said he would. Also in all the talk about emails why isn’t anyone concerned that the Bush Administration lost 22 million of them which, of course, included the internal discussion that led to the Iraq war.

#10 Comment By Esti On October 10, 2016 @ 2:21 pm

JonF, this “revelation” is nothing more than MacCarthy’s trick on behalf of Hillary. Where is proof? Next she will say that those Russkies are under your bed, plotting to kill you in your sleep.

#11 Comment By Ken Zaretzke On October 10, 2016 @ 4:56 pm

In the third debate, which the suddenly panicky Jacob Weisberg has urged Hillary to drop, Trump can drive a wedge between Hillary and Millennials. Not that they’ll ever vote for him, but they might be persuaded to abandon her for Jill Stein or the noble option (for progressives) of stay-at-home-on-election-day.

Trump: Bill Clinton deregulated big banks when he was president. This led to the Crash of 2008. And Hillary–or should I say “Her Serene Highness,” along with the moderators?–says Bill Clinton “has more good ideas a minute than anyone I know.”

#12 Comment By steve miller On October 10, 2016 @ 4:59 pm

Anybody who can write this should be considered a traitor to the republic:
“My viewing partner and I let our yells of joy and high-fived each other when Trump said if he is elected, there will be a thorough investigation of her email misdeeds and lies, and Clinton may well end up in jail.”

#13 Comment By Andy On October 10, 2016 @ 5:22 pm

Two brief thoughts: if knowing what your job entails makes you “slick,” I’ll take a slick candidate over a clueless one every time.
If Trump is planning to prosecute Clinton on matters over which she had already been exonerated, he’s even less knowledgeable about the Constitution than he seems.

#14 Comment By EliteCommInc. On October 10, 2016 @ 6:01 pm

“If Trump is planning to prosecute Clinton on matters over which she had already been exonerated, he’s even less knowledgeable about the Constitution than he seems.”

A choice not to prosecute is not the same thing as an exoneration. And nothing precludes a later prosecution.

Good grief.

Whether or not it would be worth it is another matter. But there is no doubt that the Sec has benefited from no small dose of Chivalry.

#15 Comment By A.J. Kinnamamn On October 10, 2016 @ 8:12 pm

The real news here is that the GOPs intellectual and moral rot, which made Trump possible.

#16 Comment By Bob-bob On October 10, 2016 @ 8:27 pm

Seems odd to me that threatening your political opponent with jail now passes as “conservative.” It seems only a single step away from “If I’m elected you’ll be dead.”

#17 Comment By KevinS On October 10, 2016 @ 10:47 pm

“Hillary Clinton will always be able to out-point Donald Trump on policy matters. That is the advantage of being a politician for more than 30 years.”

That is also the advantage of actually caring to know something about policy matters.

#18 Comment By cecelia On October 11, 2016 @ 12:21 am

The idea that the tapes were released to distract from the WikiLeaks releases seems ridiculous to me. First of, the wikileaks releases got a lot of coverage. Second, the “I dream of open borders with South America” has been a standard of GOP pols for a long time – going back to Reagan. Her remarks on saying one thing in public while being willing to compromise in private is good politics – compromise makes the system work. None of the WikiLeaks revelations were likely to derail her candidacy as none were especially egregious unless of course you developed amnesia. And to claim the media “blacklisted” any stories about the WikiLeaks news is delusion – it featured in every major newspaper both in the US and in the UK. Here is an article today in the NYT

It seems to me what the tapes really obscured is that Trump – who claims to be the America First guy – is using Chinese steel on his building projects. And then there is the revelation that US intelligence can prove the Russians are interfering in the election. Both these damaging to Trump items got overlooked in the fuss over the tapes. Trump denied that Russians were hacking even though he was briefed on it in his last sit down with the intelligence services.

As for the threat to put Hillary in jail – Trump might consider that one of the articles of impeachment for Nixon was that he mis-used the DoJ to punish his opponents. Hillary endured three investigations into Benghazi and all three cleared her – the blame it seems was on the military who did not respond to requests for more guards. And I love it when people go all wacko over her missing 30,000 emails and forget that the Bush administration conveniently lost 22 million emails because they used a private server run by the RNC. [2]. Pot meet kettle.

I think that the media scrutinized Hillary a lot harder than they did Trump – in part because they were so sure she’d win. The non partisan Media Matters did an analysis of stories critical of Clinton versus other candidates and discovered she got much more critical coverage than Trump


Yet Trump supporters continue to claim the media favored her.

The revelations about Trump will continue because once it became clear he could win the media took him seriously and began digging in a way they had not previously. But of course his supporters continue to claim bias. Nonsense – he should be scrutinized as thoroughly as Clinton. Held to the same standard.

I found his threat to jail her to be banana republic type stuff. He should take Mr. Khan’s advice and read the Constitution.

#19 Comment By EliteCommInc. On October 11, 2016 @ 1:38 am

“If I’m elected you’ll be dead.”

When I first that he said that, I laughed. Listening to the responses, to that comment, I am laughing harder.

The real news is that no one has called the press or the gentleman who provided the material into the woodshed.

If our pasts were open books who could stand. The most amazing thing about any of this is that Mr. Trump has really stood te test of criticism.

He far tougher than I anticipated. And Bravo to him.

I will take his indiscreet language over killing children in the womb any day.

#20 Comment By Michael N Moore On October 11, 2016 @ 3:35 pm

Whenever the GOP pros work Trump into a viable position, he single-handily sabotages himself. Notice the pattern?

Trump initially provided the valuable service of siphoning off media and votes from Senator Sanders. From there he moved on to consolidating the energized but un-electable GOP base.

Let’s see now:

Trump’s son described Bill Clinton as a close family friend.

Trump regularly contributed to the Clintons.

The Clintons attended Trump’s wedding.

The Clintons’ daughter is friends with Trump’s daughter

Bill Clinton appointed Trump’s sister to the US Court of Appeals.

Bill Clinton and Trump admit to having a private phone conversation a few weeks before Trump decided to run.

Is Trump a useful idiot or a co-conspirator in the most brilliant political strategy in the history of the U.S? No laws appear to be broken here, just the application of an astute analysis of the contradiction between the GOP base and the general electorate.

#21 Comment By EliteCommInc. On October 12, 2016 @ 2:30 am

“Is Trump a useful idiot or a co-conspirator in the most brilliant political strategy in the history of the U.S?”

It is certainly possible that Mr Trump is both the Russian Manchurian candidate as well as the Clinton Foundation Manchurian candidate.

It’s just a bit dubious. No. It’s a lot dubious.

Anything is possible but you’ll need more on the table

Mr. Trump and Executive Bill Clinton shred a golf course, campaign finances, pr wedding attendances and private phone calls.

The only things missing to make the conspiracy complete are the Chinese hypnotists and a deck of paying cards.

Though I suspect that a nine iron would suffice.

#22 Comment By SJ Wilson On October 12, 2016 @ 8:56 am

“The non partisan Media Matters.” Which Media Matters is that, the one that describes itself as a “progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the …”

#23 Comment By FreeOregon On October 13, 2016 @ 3:55 pm

If Hillary is above the law, so are you and I.

#24 Comment By PAXNOW On October 13, 2016 @ 4:25 pm

Clinton did not outpoint Trump on policy issues. Just the opposite. Trump was surprisingly solid and specific. It was somewhat a Jerry Spinger show without commercials. Trump did show courage and independent resolve. Clinton was predictably fuzzy on issues and equally as nasty as Trump on unnecessary and unrelated personal attacks between the two. The neocons must be delighted with the moderators and the take of main stream media.

#25 Comment By Eileen Klees On October 13, 2016 @ 9:14 pm

David Franke clearly dates himself as well over 70 and as misogynistic as Trump. He’s another suburban white guy who sees cultural change as a challenge to his power and status, Very tiresome.

Also, if anyone writing here actually lived in a lower income area of a major city, got calls and mailings all the time from charlatan real estate mortgage brokers back in 2005-2007, (who were all Eastern European, Latina or Black btw); experienced red lining and white flight, bad public schools and hideous politicians, you might consider it wasn’t just coastal “elites” who caused the Great Recession and its aftermath.