If Donald Trump is the GOP nominee, he’ll lose in the general to Hillary. To all of us who aren’t in the tank for Trump, that’s fairly obvious. But we’ll still have to debate “conservative” Trump supporters in the media who will claim he can beat Hillary despite his historically bad favorable/unfavorable ratings and his massive disadvantage among minorities, among other things.
So to those Trumpsters who’ve already drank a fatal dose of his koolaid and who honestly believe he can beat Hillary, my argument is simple:
We don’t have to guess what will happen, we’ve already seen a preview of it- when Trump tried to take on Carly Fiorina and got smacked down and embarrassed in a debate.
Here’s why just in terms of the presidential debates alone Trump has no chance of winning them:
It will be a completely different dynamic than the GOP primary debates he’s been involved in up til now. At those debates, he’s basically turned them into juvenile food fights filled with insults and ad hominem attacks, while almost completely avoiding substance and policy.
That simply won’t work against Hillary. While it’s true that she’s a horrible candidate and politician, there are two things Hillary knows how to do, and how to do well- play the gender card, and play the victim card, sometimes simultaneously, other times separately.
Trump won’t be able to stand next to her on a debate stage and hurl nasty insults at her like he’s done against pretty much every GOP candidate. He won’t be able to bully her. It just doesn’t work against a woman, especially one who has spent decades practicing and perfecting how to use the gender card to her political advantage.
The second he turns nasty with her or is in any way aggressive, he’ll turn off the independents who really will be undecided at that point because there isn’t much difference between Trump and Hillary on many policies. So the entire presidential race will come down to a contest of personalities and tone.
Trump may try to personally insult Hillary in a debate, and he’ll quickly find out how fast that will backfire.
He’ll come off as a sexist pig (which he is), and this will only reinforce the narrative that the Clinton machine will have been putting out to the public for months on him, which is that he is in fact a sexist pig. They have mountains of material to work with, and by the time they’re done with him, his unfavorables will be off the charts, especially with women. They’ll run attack ads on a loop using his offensive comments against women, and when he insults Hillary in a debate, he’ll play right into her hands.
There’s a reason Trump never want after Carly too hard. Sure, he criticized her business record a few times, but that paled in comparison to the attacks he made against every other candidate, even against Dr. Carson, who went out of his way not to attack Trump (maybe he knew all along he might end up selling out and endorsing him).
Also, he never hurled any personal insults against Carly, at least not publicly. The only one we know of is his insult about her face, which he never expected to be publicized I’m sure.
How’d that work out for him? As I’m sure we all remember, it was pretty much the only time Trump got completely embarrassed on a debate stage.
And Carly wasn’t even trying. She just made a simple statement, and it shut Trump down like no other candidate had done previously or has done since then.
Now imagine that moment in completely different circumstances. Imagine that all of the other candidates magically disappeared and it’s just Carly and Donald standing on the stage. Then imagine that she doesn’t belong to the same political party he does and doesn’t agree with him on major issues like immigration, and thus doesn’t have to pander to his voters or be soft on him.
Carly hardly had a chance to attack Trump because at that time there were still 100 candidates on the same stage, and when she did she had no incentive to go after him too hard because most people didn’t really think he had a chance to win the nomination at the time and weren’t taking him too seriously. Plus I’m sure she hadn’t done opposition research on his business record, considering she was fighting for her political life.
Hillary won’t have any of those problems. She’ll have months to prepare for Trump, and her team will dig up every last bit of dirt on him, including stuff we haven’t even seen yet.
Hillary won’t have to hold back or have any reason to be restrained whatsoever, she’ll be free to throw the kitchen sink at him in a way no GOP candidate has done yet.
That will be the scenario that plays out when Trump faces Hillary in a general election debate. Just replace Carly with Hillary, and you can see why Trump is no match for her.
But, if my logic and arguments up to this point haven’t convinced you that Trump stands no chance in a debate against Hillary, all you need to do is go back to Hillary’s 2000 Senate race in NY against her GOP opponent, Rick Lazio.
Near the end of the debate, Lazio approached Hillary’s podium and asked her to sign a piece of paper promising not to raise “soft money” in her campaign. Now of course there was nothing sexist or bullying about this gesture, it was about as innocent as you can get.
But Hillary played the victim and gender cards to perfection, and the MSM took the narrative she created around Lazio and ran with it. After that he sank in the polls and Hillary cruised to an easy victory on election day.
She’ll do the same thing to Donald Trump in a debate, and the MSM will tear him to shreds just like they did to Lazio, only in front of the entire country and thus on a grander scale.
I’ve already shown how Trump can’t beat Hillary with insults the way he did with his GOP opponents, which means he’ll actually have to debate her on substance and policy, which he simply isn’t capable of doing.
I think Hillary is arguably the most corrupt and dishonest politician in US history, and she’s incompetent when it comes to actually doing anything in gov’t.
But she does know policy to some extent, a much greater extent than Trump does.
Getting details and policy proposals out of Trump is like getting water out of a stone, it just isn’t possible. He’s been able to get away with his total lack of knowledge on the issues for many reasons:
1)There have been too many candidates on the stage, so there hasn’t been time to debate actual policy. that will change in the general, when it’s Trump vs Hillary one on one, and the debate moderators will ask him specifics on his policies
2)Most of the time in the GOP debates has been taken up by silly statements and insults, which again won’t be the case when he goes up against Hillary.
3)The media has gone easy on him because they want him to be the nominee. Once he’s actually the GOP nominee in the fall, the media will have their knives out for him, just waiting for every possible opportunity to stab him in the back. The debate moderators won’t let him off the hook the way they’ve done so far. They’ll ask follow up questions and force him to get specific, and he won’t be able to.
This fall, if Trump is the GOP nominee, he won’t be able to get away with avoiding the tough policy questions any longer. His unwillingness to do his homework or actually study the issues in depth will come back to bite him. Just shouting “we’re going to build a wall!”, “China is killing us in trade!”, “we’re gonna repeal and replace Obamacare with something beautiful!”, and other simple statements that a child could make simply won’t work in a general election.
They’ve worked in the GOP primaries because he’s telling a plurality (not a majority) of GOP primary voters what they wanna hear. A general election audience is an entirely different animal, one with a completely different set of beliefs and characteristics. They’re going to want to hear solutions to the problems they face in their individual lives and that we face as a nation.
When they don’t hear any solutions from Trump, they’ll come to realize what actual conservatives have known all along- that Trump is a con man and an empty suit who doesn’t have a clue of how to address the issues this country face, and isn’t remotely qualified to be president.
At that point, I’ll be one of the first people to turn to the Trumpsters still worshiping him in his cult of personality and say, “I told you so”.