Let’s give Donald Trump his due: he’s been keeping us going for four years. Not sure if it’s for the right reasons or if it’s a good thing. All over the United States, people are irritable, tense, worried. Friendships have broken out over a hint of sympathy for the president or a tsunami of contempt for him.
I took the title of this column from my colleague Margaret Talev, journalist at Axios, the influential online news site. For her, the town halls that the Democratic and Republican candidates held on two different TV channels Thursday night served as a “look to the future,” the future Americans could give themselves by handing over the presidency to Biden or handing it over to Trump.
Joe Biden on ABC gave us an even slower version of the senator than he was for 36 years. His answers were long, even boring at times, but going into the details of specific policies to be adopted. The man knows what he is talking about and he takes his time to say it.
Bluffer and without complex, it is the Donald Trump that we now know well that NBC offered us. Placed on the defensive by a moderator more inquisitive than his colleague on the other channel, the occupant of the White House remained combative without specifying what a second term would bring to the country. Man is a provocateur, not a manager.
To almost everyone’s surprise, the Nielsen firm calculated that Joe Biden attracted 1.5 million more viewers than Donald Trump. What ultimately sticks to what the polls repeat: it’s not that Biden likes it so much, it’s that Americans want peace.
Or to use Margaret Talev’s expression, they want to start watching TV again without hesitating to go to the bathroom for fear of missing the latest aberration issued by their president.
EXTENUATED, BUT NOT ALONE
I see, day after day, that despite the Republican presidential campaign, the list of exhausted is only growing. The echoes from the Pentagon do not indicate anything else. The General Staff wants an orderly and honorable exit from Afghanistan; officers are told to rush things.
Medical experts are chomping at the bit, while the president fabulates that the “pandemic is drawing to an end” and that “85% of people who wear a mask catch the coronavirus”. Environmentalists are distressed that Trump calls “the world’s purest air and water” when his administration’s measures to weaken environmental protection number in the dozens.
Americans, a majority of them, are at their wit’s end. This isn’t the first time they’ve gotten tired of Donald Trump. Over the seasons, the show that made him famous, The Apprentice, went from 20 million viewers to seven million. His swagger has had its day. Obviously, his presidency.
Donald Trump, from The Apprentice to the White House
More stable popularity as president than as a reality TV host