Playing the Trump Card


Water boarding, being forced to watch reruns of the last season of “The Apprentice” in its entirety, whichever form of torture is worse, would not make me reveal the secret of how Donald Trump can be taken down, starting in tonight’s debate.

As I was saying yesterday, I am torn. Unlike many Republicans, I don’t want him to “ tone it down” (RNC), “lower the rhetoric” (Jeb) or just plain shut the fuck up. I want to keep him entertaining us by being Donald in the debates, which have been known to be boorrrrrrrrrinnnng. And there are six other potential snoozefests, until we find out who will represent the party against Queen Hillary!

Patriot that I am, concerned about who can make America great again and lead us through the next eight years of gridlock, it behooves to me to divest myself of the secret.

What could be the Trump card, so to speak?


Keep in mind that at the Cleveland debate on Fox News, starting at 9, each candidate will have only seven minutes of air time, in 60 second bites for telling us why they want to be president, and 30 second so-called rebuttals, which can be about anything.

Trump, for one, needs sixty seconds just to clear his throat, check his hair, and whether the cameras are getting his good side, before telling us how great he is.

Keeping Trump to those time limits by the troika of Fox moderators (Baier, Kelley and Wallace) will be one side attraction for me as a debate critic. Will they be using traditional red & green lights, buzzers, or a fire alarm, with firemen and Dalmatians racing down the aisles to stop Trump from expanding his allotted time?

Presumptive president–elect Trump has already pledged to turn the debate into a demolition derby.


Okay, what can stop Trump?

He always seems to be as cool as the carved ice statue at bar mitzvahs in a Trump Palace hotel ballroom. Nevertheless, he has a history of blowing his cool. He starts yelling and screaming at people when he gets upset. He’s not a negotiator. The yelling and screaming “You’re fired” was the high point of his TV show.

In a debate, somebody could ask him something he’s not expecting that could trigger something that can make him fly off the handle. He’s a walking time bomb.

What can make him self-immolate in front of the largest audience for a national presidential debate that could rival ratings for a Myth America Pageant, which Trump owns?

It won’t be an ad hominem attack. He is a master of turning barbs from opponents into spears, as Lindsay Graham and Rick Perry can attest while being carried off the battlefield on their shields.

It can’t be asking how does it make America great by lending his name to Trump International Hotel & Tower Baku in Azerbaijan and other foreign countries, no matter how corrupt they may be? He gets only a measly $2.5 million annually for his management fees on the Baku hotel.

What can light his fire?

One question. In 25 words or more.


It runs something like this:

What most people believe-- because you told them so; its part of your rap-- is that you are very very very rich because you are very very very smart, having gone to Wharton.

Isn’t it true, though, that you are so rich because your father, Fred Trump Jr., gave you a graduation present of $25 million, and said, in effect,” Let’s see what you can do with it?”

Not much it turned out. You lost the whole 25 million, went bankrupt, needed to be bailed out by the Federal Reserve, to save the Northeast banking system, which would have collapsed if you went under?

This is a question that many Americans can empathize with. If my father had given me $25 million upon graduating from City College, I wouldn’t be writing blogs for a non-living.

It’s a question that hits Trump in the kishkas, a core of his self- esteem, which is considerable, as a very very rich and very very smart billionaire with three bankruptcies to his name, who behind it all is a daddy’s boy!


And who can ask such a question? It can’t be from the moderators, who may seem vindictive, but a sneak attack from somebody he least expects.

My nominee would be fellow competitor, Chris Christie.

But aren’t they “friends?”

Don’t make me laugh. This is politics, as Caesar found out about his friendship with Brutus. “Et tu, Fat Boy?”

Christie is a former prosecutor and trial lawyer. He has credibility. He knows how to frame a question to make a witness sound guilty, even if he’s innocent.

Why would Christie risk ruining his so-called friendship? He’s Number Nine! He needs a bold strike, something to make a headline that will make him standout as a contender.

There is a risk of being hit by friendly fire. But anybody who has watched Trump yelling and screaming at Lawrence O’Donnell just because the MSNBC host questioned the amount of money he claimed to be earning from his NBC show can believe he is not as invincible as he seems.

A temper tantrum, a metaphorical lying down on the floor kicking his heels is not the usual win-win for Donald on the campaign trail.

I may be wrong, but whoever gets Trump’s goat will be the hero of the debate. They’ll be carrying Chris Christie through downtown Cleveland in a torchlight parade for starting the end of Trumpismo, if that’s what you want to do.

My plan has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percent.



Marvin Kitman
August 6, 2015

The writer ran for president in the Republican primaries of 1964. He lost.

 Creative Commons Licensed Photo "Donald Trump Sr. at #FITN in Nashua, NH" by Flickr user Michael Vadon