Let’s face it. The presidential debate this past Tuesday was a train wreck.
Chris Wallace was awful. He lost control within the first two minutes. He repeatedly broke his own rules by interrupting President Trump during the president’s allotted two minutes of “uninterrupted” time.
Mr. Wallace also betrayed his own bias in the way he framed many of his questions. For example, “President Trump, will you publicly denounce white supremacy?” Mr. Wallace’s tactic here is a textbook example of the loaded question fallacy. It is akin to asking if you will commit to stop beating your wife. It is clearly a “gotcha question.”
If you answer yes, you are implicitly admitting to previous misogyny. If you answer no, then you’re admitting to currently being a wife-beater. If you refuse to play the game and try to respond with lengthier clarification, you’re interrupted and accused of violating the rules of debate, and the audience is left to believe your “equivocation” is a tacit admission to the crime.
Mr. Wallace is smart enough to know this. He was obviously pushing his own agenda — one that ignored the fact that the president has already repudiated racism multiple times.
And if you’re going to ask this question of Donald Trump, why not ask the same of Joe Biden?
Why didn’t Mr. Wallace ask Mr. Biden if he would publicly denounce the Black supremacy of Black Lives Matter? Why didn’t he ask Mr. Biden if he condemns the ugly anti-Semitism of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam? Why didn’t he ask Mr. Biden to repudiate the divisive rhetoric of Critical Race Theory? Why didn’t Chris Wallace ask any of these questions? The answer is clear: He had an agenda and failed to hide it.
But Mr. Wallace wasn’t the only one who had a huge fail on Tuesday night. Joe Biden also did.
Mr. Biden is a man who has lied about everything from his own academic background, to his support of the Green New Deal, and his son’s involvement in Burisma.
Mr. Biden is a pathological liar who actually had the audacity to call someone else a liar on a national broadcast.
His hypocrisy is astounding. His lack of self-awareness is nearly unbelievable.
And let’s not forget Chris Wallace never — never — interrupted Mr. Biden to correct him when he engaged in his lies, insults and name-calling.
The double standard was stunning. As Larry Elder noted on Twitter, “Imagine had John McCain or Mitt Romney, during their debates, called President Barack Obama a ‘clown’ and told him to ‘shut up.’ They’d declare martial law and call in the 82nd airborne.”
And now to Mr. Trump. I will make many angry with this next comment, but frankly, Donald Trump demonstrated poor behavior Tuesday night.
Though he never lowered himself to the name-calling of Joe Biden, the president was, frankly, rude and ill-mannered.
Here’s what I tweeted immediately after the debate. “I’m pro-Trump, and I will vote for him because of his policies: Pro-life, Pro-religious freedom, Pro-Constitution, Pro-business, Pro-liberty, Pro-police, Pro-law and order, Pro-Israel — But, tonight was a disaster. I’ve seen better manners from a 5-year-old.”
As you can imagine, I immediately received some stern disagreement. If my intention was to foster a good robust debate, I succeeded in spades.
But it’s a comment from a woman named Rita, who agreed with my characterization of the president’s performance, that I want to focus on as I close this column.
“Do you really want to spend another four years with a man who has the manners of a 5-year-old in the White House?” she asked.
My answer was quick and clear. “In light of the alternative — pro-abortion, pro-infanticide, pro-sodomy, biology-denying, gender-bending, anti-science, pro-racist, anti-Constitutional, neo-Marxism — Yes!”
You see, Rita’s response inadvertently shined a light on the difference between conservatives and progressives better than I could ever do.
Conservatives don’t vote for a person. We vote for policies. Conservatives don’t care if the man is rude, ill-mannered and caustic.
The bottom line is that conservatives are not all that concerned if our leader is a jackass. We don’t look for a “nice guy.” Conservatives understand that presidents come and presidents go, but the U.s. Constitution must endure. Conservatives vote for ideas, not ideologues. Conservatives are people of principles, not politics. Conservatives cast their lot with the covenant, not the king.
It is said that Winston Churchill was rude, abrasive and off-putting; that he was unpopular and uncouth. It is also said — and frankly, it’s proven — that had it not been for Churchill, we’d all be speaking German today.
I candidly don’t care a whit if Donald Trump was rude and ill-mannered on Tuesday night. Right now, we are in the fight of our lives for our republic, and, in this dark hour, we need a pit bull not a patsy; we need a fighter not an appeaser, we need a Churchill not a Chamberlain.
Yes, Donald Trump can be a real jerk at times, but I’m the first to say that if he continues to defend America and fight for my freedom, he has my vote.
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery).
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