COLORADO SPRINGS, October 10, 2016 — Sunday, the Drudge Report had it right in its main headline: “Trump Versus the World.”
With Republicans bailing by the dozens, editorialists searching for ways thirty days out to dump one of the two presidential candidates, and with school teachers and parents everywhere holding their heads, Trump’s days by all accounts were numbered.
But for one thing, Trump would be history right now: He showed up. He faced Hillary Clinton, the press and the moderators down. He refused to give up. The brusque, often profane business tycoon showed strength, determination and the old favorite standby—chutzpah—as he dealt with his own predicted demise.
The results, judged by the most partisan of commentators, was a draw. By other accounts, however, Trump walked away with the evening.
Survival can be summed up in three words: never give up. That’s the heart of it really. Bear Grylls
Reporter Thomas Gounley of USA Today Network interviewed students at the Washington University campus debate venue Sunday, as the buzz built heading into the evening:
The topic: How much the Friday release of a 2005 video showing Donald Trump making lewd comments about sexual assault would influence the match-up between the nominees for president.
‘It seems like it’s going to be a gruesome debate about who is more an enabler of sexual assault,’ said Max Foley, a Washington University senior who plans to vote for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The Washington University in St. Louis campus took on a festival atmosphere by mid-Sunday afternoon, with pop music playing in the quad that forms the heart of the private research university campus. The debate … (was) considered make or break for the Trump campaign at this point, a fact not lost on those gathered on campus Sunday.
‘This is stardom for us,’ said junior Devin Patel.
Forbes contributor John Zogby also set an anti-Trump scene in St. Louis as the candidates prepared to do battle: “In Sunday night’s debate, Donald Trump entered as a universally recognized dead candidate. How could anyone survive such self-inflicted wounds … the question of why a 59-year old is in the ‘locker room’ in the first place—let alone the criminal things he said about his thoughts and actions toward women.”
As Alexander Burns, Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman of the New York Times described it,
The Republican Party was at the brink of civil war on Sunday as Donald J. Trump signaled he would retaliate against lawmakers who withdraw their support from his campaign, and senior party leaders privately acknowledged that they now feared losing control of both houses of Congress.
Even before Mr. Trump’s second debate against Hillary Clinton, the party faced an internal rift unseen in modern times. (With) a wave of defections from Mr. Trump’s candidacy … much of the party appeared to be in a state of paralysis, uncertain of how to achieve political distance from Mr. Trump without enraging millions of voters who remained loyal to his campaign.
Bill O’Reilly Monday morning told Fox News that he’s learned that three media organizations have “put the word out unofficially that no one is to support Trump; rather, they are to destroy him.” O’Reilly did not name the news organizations, but promised to provide further details on his show Monday night.
The New York Times reported, “Republican leaders in the House of Representatives offered scant guidance to their members, scheduling a conference call for Monday morning but leaving lawmakers to fend for themselves in the meantime, according to two members of Congress, who spoke on condition of anonymity.”
O’Reilly summed up the situation, saying, “the Republican party is caught (in the middle) because the folks, the folks, put him where he is today.”
According to the Times:
The Republican National Committee took on the aspect of a fortress: Numerous Republicans who sought to reach the committee’s top officials said they were unable to get through, though Reince Priebus, the committee’s chairman, flew beside Mr. Trump to the debate in St. Louis, even as Republican elected officials rejected their nominee en masse.
But with no overarching strategy yet in place for abandoning their nominee, Republicans beat a ragged and improvised retreat from Mr. Trump, pulling endorsements here and scolding him there, and preparing to flee more visibly in the event of another disastrous debate on Sunday night.
Steven Law, a longtime lieutenant of the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, said the party had descended into chaos.
’The Republican Party is caught in a theater fire; people are just running to different exits as fast as they can,’ said Mr. Law, who now heads the ‘super PAC American Crossroads.
Never give up. And never, under any circumstances, face the facts. Ruth Gordon
With damning WikiLeaks releases showing Clinton to be two-faced at best, and the scorching truth of a lecherous Trump ten years ago, viewers cannot be blamed if they wish to hide the children from the two candidates.
But one all-important life lesson was driven home by these two flawed individuals. Trump revealed it at the end of Sunday’s debate when he was asked to name one character trait he admired in his opponent.
“I will say this about Hillary. She doesn’t quit. She doesn’t give up. I respect that.”
“She’s a fighter,” he continued. “I disagree with much of what she’s fighting for, I do disagree with her judgment in many cases. But she does fight hard, she doesn’t quit, she doesn’t give up, and I consider that to be a very good trait.”
Never give up; for even rivers someday wash dams away. Arthur Golden
It’s now 28 days before voters will choose one of these determined individuals to lead them. The final debate is scheduled to take place Wednesday, October 19, and one thing’s certain: This election has caught the attention of the nation and the world.
With so much at stake, perhaps Clinton’s and Trump’s personal foibles will cancel each other out. Voters will still be faced with real choices. Which policies do they want for the next four years? How do they want the nation to comport itself, at home and abroad? What plans and programs by which candidate appeal the most?
We can be assured that whichever candidate advances to the White House will be tenacious in their leadership, much like a dog with its bone. Because the one thing each has proven is the enviable habit of never giving up!
Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than the one with all the facts. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.