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Just Shut Up, Man

President Trump makes a mockery of our political process once again.
September 29, 2020
Just Shut Up, Man
This combination of pictures created on September 29, 2020 shows President Donald Trump during the first presidential debate with Democratic Presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 29, 2020. (Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty)

Disgust should be a deterrent. Still, millions of people tuned in to the presidential debate on Tuesday to see President Trump make a total mockery of the American political process. Again.

Moderator Chris Wallace, who belongs to a network whose top personalities spent the day calling Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden “senile,” pathetically pleaded with Trump numerous times to let him ask questions. Wallace and Biden implored Trump, trying to put the very words into his mouth one by one, to condemn white supremacists. (He didn’t.) Trump insulted Biden’s family and called him “dumb” and a “liar”—and here I am becoming complicit in this disgusting exercise by repeating Trump’s amoeba-brain insults that a preschooler would be put into the corner for saying to a classmate.

The entire exercise was a total disgrace. The worst part of it is that no one had any good reason to expect anything else.

Everyone was put on notice. The Trump campaign spent the day hyping fake stories suggesting that Biden was juicing and was planning to smuggle in an earpiece to gain an unfair advantage over Trump.

As if the fake stories that Team Trump was pushing compared in any way to the pain and suffering in America today—the 200,000 COVID deaths and national racial reckoning—or to the other real and important stories unfolding this week, like the rush to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to fill the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat, or the New York Times bombshell that showed Trump only paid $750 in taxes in 2016 and 2017 and no federal taxes at all in the last 10 out of the 15 years.

But this is our country on Trump. We are constantly assailed by belligerent bullshit from our Manbaby-in-Chief.

Massive resources are embarrassingly devoted to attending to his emotional outbursts, trying to coddle and manage him, and to make him please, please, please behave like a president. It’s futile. Republicans haven’t been able to do it in Congress. Chris Wallace couldn’t do it at the debate. Meanwhile, Americans keep dying, democracy keeps crumbling, and Trump keeps getting away with it.

As Biden said in exasperation to Trump, “Just shut up, man.” Let’s all shut up and vote.

Amanda Carpenter

Amanda Carpenter is an author, a former communications director to Sen. Ted Cruz, and a former speechwriter to Sen. Jim DeMint. She was formerly a Bulwark political columnist.