Trump looks to be pulling ahead – after the third debate. Here is why. An axiom says voters, in the end, balance security (personal and national), the good life (health, education, employment, retirement), and moral compass (integrity, honesty, judgment) – when choosing. A second says voters reach a moment – late in every race – when they look for one reason to “vote for” – or “vote against” – the incumbent. A final adage links everything to “death and taxes” – so credit Ben Franklin.
Take these sayings in turn. What did the last debate show? From personal liberty to law & order, COVID vaccination to border security, Mideast Peace to China – Trump takes security seriously. From quality healthcare, lower drug prices, and retirement to reopening schools, restarting jobs, and restoring small companies, Trump gets economics. From appointing strong judges to defending the unborn, hitting drug traffickers to ending public corruption, Trump gets moral compass. He is about “draining the swamp,” represents dry authenticity in office – sometimes blunt, never bland, focused on accountability.
By contrast, Joe Biden seems unaware how deeply Americans feel – about preserving constitutional rights (including free speech, worship, association, and self-defense), the border, military, heritage, language, flag, and indicia of traditional America. He seems unaware how many detest the idea of socialism, just want the US economy to reopen – for all races, creeds, citizens, sectors, and regions.
Biden seems unaware how many Americans know Obamacare threw them off better private coverage, raised premiums to unaffordable levels, increased drug prices and shielded drug companies, lowering the quality of what they get. Nor does Biden see that most Americans do not want a federal mask mandate, eviscerating their 10th amendment rights, they just want a vaccination and chance to work.
Perhaps most stunningly, Biden does not see how devastating his own implicit public corruption is – and how clearly now, despite media suppression, Americans see it. To have been implicated in abuse of office a year ago was remarkable. To learn that irrefutable emails, documents, and photos are now in possession of the FBI and others, confirming his involvement in public corruption, is stunning.
Yes, these revelations come late, and were apparently held by the FBI – for reasons that warrant a closer look – but they appear incontrovertible and damning. To hear Biden’s word-parsing protests is like hearing Richard Nixon again insist he “is not a crook” – but Biden’s greed, stupidity, and assumption of American stupidity, as well as the assumption of media complicity, is worse.
Joe Biden – and involved family – are the embodiment of no integrity, ethics, or judgment. Is it any wonder Biden was charged with ethics violations in law school and in prior election cycles, finished bottom of his class, and was charged – by Obama Administration officials – with insensibly poor judgment on foreign policy and national security? If you look up “swamp” – you likely find Joe Biden.
But move to the second adage – the one about people reaching a magic moment, prior to any election, when they seek a reason to “vote for” or “against” an incumbent. That moment was the third debate.
Unlike the first, Trump came out self-assured, if not patient then tolerant, if not indulgent then restrained, almost gracious, in control of issues and emotions. The audience cannot have missed that here, before them, stood a fighter – a man unfairly attacked, vilified, disparaged, impeached, impugned, and left for done … who is nowhere near done. His tone was exactly what some were looking for.
Moreover, Trump’s relentless use of facts – from Obama-Biden putting “kids in cages” and mismanaging immigration, national security, and economics to eight years of “all talk and no action” – left an impression. Biden’s bold graft in China and Ukraine – which Trump refuses to let lie – also got airtime.
Perhaps the most remarkable fact – offered by Biden unsolicited – was a pledge to shut down the US oil economy. No spike was ever more perfectly set. If Trump had wished a perfect admission, one that gave undecided voters a “reason” to vote Trump, this was it.
From Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota to the Western Flank of Alaska’s North Slope, Biden’s pledge to end one of America’s biggest industries, feeding every sector, affecting every household’s bottom line, tied to tens of millions of American jobs – may have been the “shot heard ‘round the world.”
While America’s oil-producing adversaries, like Russia and Iran, celebrated – moderate Democrats and Republicans, thoughtful Independents, and undecided American voters shivered. That is a pledge that – in the final analysis – may cost Biden the election. Voters looking for a “reason” to go Trump – got one.
Finally, circling back to a quintessential American, the erudite revolutionary, intrepid scientist, inventor and writer, wise old man of yesteryear, grandfather of the American revolution, Ben Franklin – just one word on death and taxes. If they are unescapable, they are not vote-getters. That Biden pledges more Obamacare failures, under the moniker “Bidencare,” and higher taxes, cannot be solid strategy.
Net-net, the third presidential debate produced fascinating – and overdue – “newness.” Americans heard a resolute tone from a seasoned President Trump, vote-rocking revelations, and breathtaking admissions from canned candidate Biden. Adages are just sayings. They can be wrong. But one reason they persist is they are often right. If these are – Biden may have been done-in. We will know soon.