Dueling Town Halls Frame “Decision” 2020: Vote For Mister Rogers or Your Insane Uncle?


For a show biz guy, Donald Trump doesn’t seem to know the first law of the Hollywood jungle and that is: You never, ever show that you’re desperate. Ask any actor, they’ll tell you, when you’re desperate for a part, you don’t get it. Success breeds success, failure breeds more failure. At last night’s town hall desperation poured off Trump like flop sweat — as opposed to Joe Biden, who was calm, cool and collected. Plus, Trump’s hostility level was one that would be unacceptable in an interview for any line of work, and unconscionable in a candidate for public office, let alone president of the United States. The moment when he was asked about his refusal to denounce white supremacy was the low light of the evening, at least for me.

This was Trump the unteachable, Trump the unchangeable, self-immolating at full blast. You could almost smell the gasoline and the match. So of course his enablers were greatly concerned and they got on the case right away.

Talk about a misfire, this is a real howler. Mister Rogers is universally beloved. If Joe Biden was coming across as Mister Rogers, Sweet Jesus, we have reached the promised land! Thank you, Mercedes Schlapp! So what is your point, that you felt you were watching a benign, relatable, compassionate individual, like Mister Rogers, and America is better off with your psycho boss? Or something?

Whatever nerve Schlapp intended to hit, she missed it by a country mile.

I hope Schlapp keeps coming up with more of these in the next 18 days, Biden/Harris can always use favorable comparisons, especially coming straight from within the belly of the beast, which is what this White House currently is.

To flip back to the other side of the cultural split screen that America saw last night, Trump was the insane uncle and then some. Here’s a sampling of what he had to say about QAnon and his deranged Navy Seal tweet earlier in the week.

Savannah Guthrie: (18:15)
All right, while we’re denouncing, let me ask you about QAnon. It is this theory that Democrats are a satanic pedophile ring and that you are the savior, of that. Now can you just, once and for all, state that that is completely not true, and-….

President Trump: (18:37)
I know nothing about QAnon.

Savannah Guthrie: (18:39)
I just told you.

President Trump: (18:41)
I know very little. You told me, but what you tell me, doesn’t necessarily make it fact. I hate to say that. I know nothing about it. I do know they are very much against pedophilia. They fight it very hard. But I know nothing about it. If you’d like me to-

Savannah Guthrie: (18:54)
They believe that it is a Satanic cult run by the deep state.

President Trump: (18:57)
… study the subject. I’ll tell you what I do know about. I know about Antifa,….


Savannah Guthrie: (20:20Just this week, you retweeted to your 87 million followers, a conspiracy theory that Joe Biden orchestrated to have SEAL Team Six, the Navy SEAL Team Six, killed to cover up the fake death of Bin Laden. Now, why would you send a lie like that to your followers?

President Trump: (20:35)
I know nothing about it, can I [crosstalk 00:20:36]-

Savannah Guthrie: (20:35)
You retweeted it.

President Trump: (20:38)
That was a retweet. That was an opinion of somebody-

Savannah Guthrie: (20:40)

President Trump: (20:41)
…. and that was a retweet. I’ll put it out there. People can decide for themselves. I don’t take a position.

Savannah Guthrie: (20:46)
I don’t get that, you’re the President. You’re not like, someone’s crazy uncle who can just-

I respectfully disagree, he is exactly like someone’s crazy uncle who can do whatever he wants, pee in the punch bowl, and oh, that’s just Uncle Don, he’s a little light in his loafers. But it’s good when he can get out once in a while and be among folks.

Trump’s ludicrous defense, “I don’t take a position,” was another low light of the evening. There is no way that the president of the United States can use an official social media account and be deemed not to be taking a position with it. But what this question/answer riposte proved, and this is chilling, is that Trump is the conspiracy theorist in chief, and the GOP is the CT party. Rick Wilson, Daily Beast:

Chicken Donald got what he asked for last night after ducking the presidential debate for what he’d expected to be the more amenable circumstance of a network town hall. And America saw him as he is, as Gurthrie opened up by pressing him on the key elements remaining in his base, white supremacists and QAnon maniacs, and Trump reeked of desperation not to further embarrass himself as he flailed to recapture his old media magic but instead dispelled once and for all the deeply-held belief that he cannot be bested by a reporter. […]

Guthrie’s questions about QAnon clearly set Trump’s tiny mental gears grinding. Trump knows his most fervent base voters now include an unhealthy leavening of conspiracy nutcases, and he was in on the scam until tonight. He knew he couldn’t denounce them. He couldn’t take the easy, sane path with an answer that might have had a chance of winning back a suburban voter or two who isn’t Q-centric.

QAnon is an infection in the Republican body politics. The infection became a cancer and the cancer metastasized across the Republican Party.

Of course, Trump did manage to bridge to his favorite imaginary boogeyman;

Antifffffaaaaaa and the “radical left.” Antifa was a minor hit this summer during the post-George Floyd unrest, and exists primarily now as fodder for Trump Twitter and for people waiting for the caravans to announce new tour dates.

While Joe Biden was on the other side of the screen talking about policies and plans, Trump was foaming at the mouth, denying the reality of COVID-19, blathering conspiracy theory and disrespecting a woman — and that is the sum and substance of what this administration is about.

There is a third debate still on calendar for October 22. If anybody in the Trump campaign is still functioning mentally, they should call it off, the alternative being another debacle like what happened Thursday night. And that would be fine, actually. Maybe Trump could appear on stage in a coffin, like Bela Lugosi in “Ed Wood” and just nail himself in metaphorically, while the voters bury him for real on November 3.


Thank you to all who already support our work since we could not exist without your generosity. If you have not already, please consider supporting us on Patreon to ensure we can continue bringing you the best of independent journalism.

Leave a Comment

3 Comments on "Dueling Town Halls Frame “Decision” 2020: Vote For Mister Rogers or Your Insane Uncle?"

newest oldest most voted
Marie Tobias

Trump should just run a 24 hour documentary on endless loop, of the incredible importance of mining bat guano for agriculture. Because all he has to offer the American Public at this late date is endless cubic yards of pure BatSh!t.


Crazy uncle maybe, insane uncle no way!!


Isn’t just poetic justice that the NBC’s ‘The Apprentice’ Just said to trump.