Trump, Public Appearances and Toastmasters

A good friend on Facebook posted this today:

My husband made a very astute observation after watching last night’s debate. He said Trump has a lot in common with Sarah Palin…no grasp of how government really works, oblivious to foreign policy, prone to unintelligible rants, easily distracted, refusing to take direction from anyone and a willful disregard of preparation and professional behavior. If she “can see Russia from her front porch” just imagine what Trump can see from his Tower LOL!!!

— N.M.

I used to be a member of Toastmasters International. Before your first speech, you learn to prepare so you know the subject matter cold. You learn about the audience and the room. You know about the position of the microphone, the arrangement of the stage, and you know if you are being recorded.

Trump showed up yesterday to stand in front of 100 million people so unprepared, thousands of first-week Toastmasters would have done a better job. His body language, which communicates 70% (or more, depending on who you listen to) of the message, made him look puerile.

He acted like a flustered 5th-grader:

Clinton: “Trump did this and that.”

Trump: “Did not!”

Clinton: “Trumps said this and that.”

Trump: “Never said that!”

He hardly answered any questions, and mostly rambled his stump speech phrases, sometimes repeating himself four or five times with the same message in the same segment. He wasted precious minutes being defensive rather than imparting new information.

He bent down into the microphone like it was the first time in his life he had used one. Since he has spent the last year in front of microphones, this behavior was inexplicable. He was obviously flustered and nervous, and got more so as he realized how his performance was becoming unraveled as the evening progressed.

He yelled and interrupted. He stated obvious falsehoods and repeated them.

He didn’t behave in any way like a man who was prepared for the event. No entry level Toastmaster would ever show up so unprepared for his first speech. But Trump showed up obviously planning on just winging it in front of 100 million people.

This is testament to his unbelievable ego. He thinks he is above preparation. He is above facts. He is above playing by the rules. He must think we’re all beneath him, idiots. It’s obvious that the man cares about nobody and nobody’s feelings but his own. It showed last night in the debates.

Yes, N.M., I can’t imagine what he will be able to see from the top of his tower.

Nodding off in GOP Debates

This past week, Trump got more press than ever before because the did NOT participate in the last GOP debate. I was staying at a hotel in Springfield, Massachusetts the night of the debates, and  I turned on the TV to watch. Here are my main take-aways:

  1. No Trump – I enjoyed not having Trump there. His inane and inappropriate, and decidedly un-presidential comments never added to the topic before, and not having him there simply gave more time to the other candidates.
  2. Trump Coverage – there seemed to be more post, during and after media coverage for Trump and about Trump than the debate itself. The media should stop giving this buffoon free advertising.
  3. Same Old – Same Old – there was nothing new I found in the debate. Everything the candidates said here they said before in the other debates. I could have created a collage of the candidates’ responses from previous clips myself.  Not an original statement to be found.
  4. Obama is Bad – They kept talking about Obama like they are running against him, rather than against each other. The majority of the “statements” and “facts” about the Obama presidency and its results were purely wrong, or at least misleading. Some call it lies.
  5. Advertisements – These are not debates, they are infomercials of the candidates. They didn’t talk about any issues and debate facts. Kasich has done everything before on Ohio, and that’s why he’ll do it again. Christie is the only “executive” on the stage, and he has ruled New Jersey the way the country should be ruled. Everyone wants to eliminate ISIS, and nobody has a shred of detail on how they are going to accomplish that. This is not debating, this is blustering.
  6. Boring – I literally got bored about half-way through, and nodded off. Nothing new!

I would be embarrassed for our country if any one of the people on that stage were my president. And I would be embarrassed and seriously worried for our country if the person not on the stage were to become president.

320 million people in our country, and those are our choices?

Pink Floyd and the Republican vs. Democratic Presidential Debate


The Republicans were making derogatory statements about each other and tried to cut each other down. Some of the candidates bragged how rich they were, others how smart they were, others how successful they were in their fields. None of the three front-runners had ever won or held any public office, not even a seat on a school board.

They called our leaders categorically stupid, all achievements are disasters, and they made it sound like the country is going to hell. They blasted the current administration for ignorance, stupidity, the worst president ever, the worst secretary of state ever.

They kept getting hung up on other people’s sexual orientation, their reproductive choices, and their races, languages and ethnic background.


I didn’t see any personal attacks beyond asserting disagreement on issues and opinions. A general focus on the important issues for the country, mostly the woes of the middle class, the security of the people, and issues of financial responsibility.

All of the candidates had extensive and progressively higher public service experience. All of them were shrewd negotiators and compromise builders.

They didn’t ever blast the administration, or the former Bush administration, other than Sanders stating facts of how the Bush presidency ended in financial ruin with wars burning out of control. Nobody was belittled, nobody was attacked.

My Take-Away

How can the Republicans possibly win the general election? How can any of the following classes of people possibly vote for any one of the Republicans against any one of the Democrats:

  • Workers
  • Students
  • Women
  • Women during the reproductive years
  • Hispanics
  • African-Americans
  • Immigrants
  • Intellectuals
  • Academics
  • Gays
  • Socialists
  • Atheists
  • Jews
  • Muslims
  • High tech workers
  • Veterans
  • Marijuana smokers

The classes left to vote for Republicans:

  • Christian fundamentalists
  • Millionaires
  • Billionaires
  • CEOs
  • Oil and coal workers
  • NRA members

I recognize that these lists represent gross and glaring generalizations. I am sure there are a few billionaires that will vote Democrat, and there’ll be a few atheists and perhaps one gay that will vote Republican.

But in the end, there are just so many more people in the first group than in the second group, just counting heads, that I think Bernie Sanders is right: All he has to do is get the people to go to vote – end of game.

The Republicans are in the middle of a self-destruction rampage. To quote Pink Floyd:

Did they expect us to treat them with any respect?

Here are the entire lyrics of the song The Fletcher Memorial Home:

Take all your overgrown infants away somewhere
And build them a home, a little place of their own.
The Fletcher Memorial
Home for Incurable Tyrants and Kings.

And they can appear to themselves every day
On closed circuit T.V.
To make sure they’re still real.
It’s the only connection they feel.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, Reagan and Haig,
Mr. Begin and friend, Mrs. Thatcher, and Paisly,
“Hello Maggie!”
Mr. Brezhnev and party.
“Scusi dov’è il bar?”
The ghost of McCarthy,
The memories of Nixon.
“Who’s the bald chap?”
And now, adding colour, a group of anonymous latin-
American meat packing glitterati.

Did they expect us to treat them with any respect?
They can polish their medals and sharpen their
Smiles, and amuse themselves playing games for awhile.
Boom boom, bang bang, lie down you’re dead.

Safe in the permanent gaze of a cold glass eye
With their favorite toys
They’ll be good girls and boys
In the Fletcher Memorial Home for colonial
Wasters of life and limb.

Is everyone in?
Are you having a nice time?
Now the final solution can be applied.