Facing impeachment and plummeting popularity, while members of his historically corrupt cabinet are struggling through House committee hearings concerning scandals of their own, so after careful consideration, Donald Trump is contemplating sitting out the 2020 presidential debates, according to people in his circle. No, that’s honestly where Trump’s mind is these days – whether or not he’ll be making the debates because he’s still got a grudge over how they handled his debates against Hillary Clinton in 2016. While Trump’s team told The New York Times that they aren’t ready to discuss the debates until 2020, it’s pretty clear that one of them knew what they were doing when they leaked this information.
It seems like forever ago when Donald Trump made a fool of himself at the September debate and then quickly blamed his astounding ignorance on a faulty microphone on the debate stage. At the time, he was fairly close to Hillary in the polls, but then she got a comfortable bump after the first debate and each subsequent one. It may lead you to think that Trump is trying to avoid making the same mistake with whoever his opponent may be – especially if the nominee is someone who isn’t quite a household name who could benefit significantly from the debates.
While Trump hates being humiliated, he’s still a malignant narcissist who can’t resist making news headlines or not having the biggest ratings – so this explanation wouldn’t quite add up. Trump claims to be having an issue with the debate commission for how they treated him in the past – blaming his disastrous September 2016 debate performance on a faulty microphone as his reason for potentially sitting the debates out, hoping his supporters will see him again as the victim and cheer him on until he agrees to debate.
From the way his handlers spoke when interviewed, they likely know how badly he’s doing cognitively and how much more embarrassing these debates could be for him than last time around. He’ll likely participate in the debates anyway, but when he does poorly, as he will, he’ll still have his die-hard supporters at his back .
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making