Donald Trump, Pol Pot with hair plugs, is like all bullies, a coward. His behavior stems from weakness and insecurity, so he can be handled. Jeb!, the favored son of a privileged family, doesn’t have adequate experience neutralizing such toxic types, but there are sure ways to deal. Lecture him about it in a mature way like Bernie Sanders and the hideous hotelier looks small. Aggressively return his obnoxious behavior like Megyn Kelly and he positively wilts.
Women in particular throw Trump for a loss because he’s spent his life making sure he’s in a superior position to the ones in his life. He controls the purse strings and they should bleed in silence. Edward Luce’s latest Financial Times column about the 2016 race looks at this particular Trump shortcoming. The opening:
Hillary Clinton should be celebrating. Donald Trump’s decision to boycott the Fox News debate was ostensibly about ratings. How can the cable network make money without his celebrity pull? Mr Trump may prove his point when Thursday night’s viewership numbers come in.
But switching channels is not the same thing as showing up at a polling booth. More than half America’s electorate is female — they accounted for 53 per cent of the vote in the last election. Even the most apathetic will by now have heard Mr Trump’s opinions about Megyn Kelly, the Fox anchor, who will co-host the debate. Ms Kelly is a “bimbo”, according to Mr Trump, who is incapable of objectivity when there is “blood coming out of her whatever”.
So that is settled. Mr Trump thinks the menstrual cycle is a handicap. He also recoils at other female bodily functions. When Mrs Clinton took a bathroom break at a recent Democratic debate, Mr Trump described her as “disgusting”. He used the same word about an opposing lawyer in a 2011 hearing when she asked for a short break to pump breast milk. Looks are also fair game. Among those attacked for their appearance are the actress Bette Midler (“extremely unattractive”), Angelina Jolie (“she’s been with so many guys she makes me look like a baby”), media figure Arianna Huffington (“unattractive both inside and out”), fellow Republican candidate Carly Fiorina (“look at that face. Would anyone vote for that?”) and comedian Rosie O’Donnell (“fat pig”).
None of which has done Mr Trump’s ratings any harm. The more controversial a celebrity, the bigger audiences they attract. The question is whether there is any longer a meaningful distinction between show business and US politics. Do ratings equal votes?•