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EDITORIAL: Drop out, you big baby
According to an average of six recent polls, Donald Trump is trailing Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania by 9.2 points.
But the GOP standard-bearer apparently likes those odds. Or maybe he doesn’t believe the polls. Then again, it could very well be he doesn’t understand them.
Who knows at this point?
Maybe Trump was being sarcastic (or was he?) at a campaign stop Friday in Altoona. That’s where he boasted/claimed/complained that the only way he could lose here is if the good people of Pennsylvania commit widespread voter fraud.
"We're going to watch Pennsylvania. Go down to certain areas and watch and study and make sure other people don't come in and vote five times," he said ominously. "If you do that, we're not going to lose. The only way we can lose, in my opinion — I really mean this, Pennsylvania — is if cheating goes on."
And the rest of the country, where the Democrat — a damaged candidate herself — is widening her lead by a comfortable margin?
"I'm afraid the election's going to be rigged. I have to be honest," Trump whined earlier this month at a campaign stop in Ohio (another key swing state where he’s down by an average of 2.6 points in the latest polls).
Reasonable people recognize what Trump is doing. He’s polishing the speech it looks more and more likely he will deliver on the night of Nov. 8 after a humiliating defeat of perhaps historic proportions.
Don’t call it a concession speech, though. Trump being Trump, it’s unlikely he will concede anything. His defeat will have nothing to do with anything Trump said or did.
It will be because of a conspiracy.
And that’s just delusional bullsh--.
You don’t normally read that in an editorial, and we’ve never written it. But the stakes are too high not to call this what it very clearly is.
This isn’t a normal election, Trump isn’t running a normal campaign, and he’s not a normal man.
At this point in the campaign, the GOP candidate’s behavior has become so erratic that his mental stability is being regularly and publicly questioned. The issue of Trump’s sanity has come up often enough that the American Psychiatric Association has cautioned its members not to take part in the parlor game.
We don’t know if he’s well or not, but we understand why people are asking.
From the moment he announced his candidacy, Trump has said one ignorant, offensive and disturbing thing after another, lurching, almost gleefully, from one controversy to the next.
Trump consistently repulsed most Americans, according to favorability polls dating back a year, and even many Republicans — people who value country over party — turned their backs on him.
But appealing to our lowest common denominator worked for him in the primary.
Since the convention, however, Trump needs a broader appeal to win the general election and the keys to the White House — and that’s just not happening.
In fact, his antics have taken on a darker, uglier tone, from attacking the family of a fallen soldier, to encouraging Russia to meddle in the election, to suggesting “the Second Amendment people” might be able to “do” something about Clinton, to claiming President Obama was the “founder” of the terrorist group ISIS.
Now, it seems Trump is not content to destroy just a once-great political party.
Faced with an election night disaster of his own making, he also wants to undermine the very faith in our electoral process — not to mention the legitimacy of our next president.
At the same time, his call on supporters to help spot the widespread, nonexistent fraud at Pennsylvania polling places — a page appeared on his website over the weekend where people could sign up to be “Trump election observers” — smacks of voter intimidation.
When he is called on the stupid things he says and does, Trump often seeks cover by saying he didn’t mean it, he was being sarcastic — “But not that sarcastic, to be honest with you” — or joking.
Here’s a joke for him; let’s see if he gets it.
Many people are saying that Trump could actually be trying to lose this election. Deep down, he might realize he’s unfit for the presidency and lacks the character, intellect or stomach for the job.
If true, it would make sense.
The only person rigging this election in Clinton’s favor is Donald Trump, whenever he opens his mouth. He might as well wrap it up in a pretty package, with a bow and balloons that read, “Congratulations Ms. President.”
If he doesn’t want to win, Trump should drop out right now and save us all a lot grief.
But if he stays in, we have to be honest, he shouldn’t look for any conspiracy to explain the end result.
Just look in the mirror, Mr. Trump.