Trump Borders on Disqualification / by marilyn salenger

Las Vegas Debate

Las Vegas Debate

It's almost over. Some questioned why they should have watched the third debate after all that went down in the last, but its importance cannot be underestimated. The debate provided us with a final view of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump side by side, physically, emotionally and intellectually. While we initially saw a somewhat less volitile and more practiced Trump, a stronger Hillary Clinton held the stage throughout. But in the end, we saw Donald Trump come out as a man with more regard for himself than the basis of our democracy. He refused to say he'd accept the election results.

After all these months have passed, it's hard not to believe that Donald Trump has viewed becoming President as just another notch on his belt. He has done the real estate business. Tried the tie, wine and steak businesses for diversion. Why not go for the highest office in our country which brings along with it the highest title? 

Donald Trump never expected to win the primary elections that he did. He was admittedly suprised with his success as he noted in his Republican Convention acceptance speech:

"Who would have believed that when we started this journey on June 16th last year, and I say we because we are a team, would have received almost 14 million votes ... Who would have believed this? Who would have believed this?"

His surprise should have been our major clue to all that has gone on since he first announced his candidacy. It becomes clearer that Donald Trump's grand plan has, in all likelihood, been to make a run for the Presidency, see how it goes and go from there. He never put together a real campaign staff, fundraising apparatus or ground game that is necessary to win a national election. His campaign has run on few specifics and a lot of Trump personality. The Republican nominee has simply winged much of this campaign, winning the hopes of many and losing the minds of many more. In retrospect and in today, too little has been about making things better for anyone or our country. It has been about making things better for himself. That's been his pattern throughout his business career. Remember that this is the Donald Trump who declared business bankruptcy four times while walking away with millions for himself and thousands of lost jobs for others. But he says he was the winner.

At this point with polls showing an overwhelming Clinton victory, Trump won't view his loss in the same way as any other Presidential candidate did who came up short in the final tally. He will see the real victor in this campaign as himself. You can almost smell those words now. Losing is not part of Donald Trump's vocabulary. That's one of the main reasons he could go where no other presidential candidate has ever gone. Not even Al Gore. Trump has decided he won't commit to accepting the outcome of the United States Presidential election if he loses. "I'll keep you in suspense" was said almost flippantly at the end of the Debate. With total disregard for the ramifications of his words, he shot an arrow into the bedrock of our democracy. 

Less than 24 hours after the debate, Trump told an audience that he would accept the election results ... if he won. Playing games with the peaceful transition of power as the election nears is dangerous business. Beyond anything globally imaginable. It borders on the disqualitfication of Donald Trump as the Republican nominee.