First and above all, in raw and revealing clarity, in his direct and unscripted character and all of its unedited crassness, the date September 29, 2020 will remain permanentized as the day Donald J. Trump diminished and exposed himself to the lowest level position in America’s presidential history’s ranking.
Second, despite some of the important things he is doing, because of his weighty but corrosive words before and especially on September 29, history — as written by folks like me and others — will denote him as the only man who had the privilege, the rare privilege of serving as the president of the United States but chose, willfully and giddily, to impress, acknowledge, embrace and give validation to neo-Nazis, skinheads, and certified racists such as the so-called ‘Proud Boys.’
Third, deservedly so, the so-called debate of September 29, 2020 between President Donald Trump, the republican party flag-bearer and his democratic party challenger Joe Biden has already gone down in history as the worst, most embarrassing and undignified event in the history of the face to face competition and exchange between two major presidential candidates in the United States of America.
Yes; the coarse, shrill, interruption filled showdown initially and formally advertised as an enlightenment forum turned out a fiasco!
Fourth and without any doubts, Mr. Trump came in with a strategy to disrupt; disrupt; and disrupt continuously and possibly throw his opponent off-balance and have the man forget his sequence of thoughts and presentation. This will allow him, that is, Mr. Trump to show he’s up to the rigorous demands of presidential leadership and leave Biden as an old, incapable embodiment of incoherent “left wing, socialist and radical ideology.”
However, as a political scientist and communications specialist, I do know that aggressive public messaging is like a double-edged sword, like a razor blade.
You can use it to cut, metaphorically, your opponent’s message, it can also work against a person deploying it!
And, I must note that given Mr. Trump’s serial incapacity to demonstrate personal discipline or maintain public decorum, his fixed position and “strategy” of disrupt and interrupt came to the dynamic arena, the battle field of ideas and failed, woefully! Like a double-edged sword, like a razor blade, worked against him….
The wheels of Whatever remained of his “strategy” seeking a first round knock out of the battle-tested right of center liberal public servant and strongly anti-apartheid and vigorously anti-racism voice Joe Biden failed. Trump was clearly guilty of an overreach!
Plus, almost 80% of not just interruptions but tactical, preemptive interruptions.
The near imitation of the WWE’s wrestling trash talk has been described as a “disgrace” by CNN‘s Jake Taper; as “a train wreck” by the former spokesman for President George Bush, Ari Fleischer.
Fifth, it is a shame and dangerous descent for the U.S President Trump to Openly tell racist groups to “stand by”! Such inflammatory stoking of bigotry and mainstreaming of the offsprings of the messengers of hate constitute, substantially, an existential moral threat to the works and legacy of the truth-tellers and prophets.
Sixth, Trump should take an iron-clad stand (not made-for-tv retakes) against the assorted confederacy of skinheads and neo-Nazi thugs in Europe and corners of the United States. As well as against the radical jihadist merchants of death in Nigeria called Boko Haram and other transporters of hate, mayhem and bigotry.
It’s simply not too much to ask. A change is gonna come, as the golden voice Sam Cooke sang to America decades ago!
*Dr. Chido Nwangwu, the author of the January 2021 book, MLK, Mandela & Achebe: Power, Leadership and Identity, serves as Founder & Publisher of the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper on the internet, USAfricaonline.com, and established USAfrica in 1992 in Houston. He is recipient of several public policy and journalism excellence honors, civic engagement and community empowerment awards and has appeared as an analyst on CNN and SKYnews. @Chidö247