Whenever Donald Trump is required to speak for any length of time, he descends into a morass of incoherent rambling digressions.
The Democratic and Republican Primaries and then the presidential campaign itself serve a very important function of American politics. These processes subject the candidates to the kind of ongoing pressure that the President will face in office. Not only that, the candidates are subjected to that pressure in a very public forum, so the voters can see what they are getting. And in Trump’s case it is not a particularly pretty sight.
This is an extract from one of Trump’s (more frightening) recent speeches which has been widely condemned because it has been claimed he is suggesting that people who are frightened that their Second Amendment rights will be taken away should shoot Henry Clinton.
“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially, the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I dunno. But I tell you what: that will be a horrible day. If Hillary gets to put her judges in, right now we’re tied [in the Supreme Court, after the death of Antonin Scalia]. You see what’s going on.
“We’re tied ’cause Scalia, this was not supposed to happen. Justice Scalia was going to be around for 10 more years at least, and this is what happened. That was a horrible thing, so now look at it. So Hillary essentially wants to abolish the Second Amendment.
“Now speaking to the NRA folks, who are great: when you, when you, and I tell you, so they endorsed me. They endorsed me very early. My sons are members. I’m a member. If you, we can add, I think the National Rifle Association, we can add the Second Amendment to the justices, they almost go, in a certain way, hand in hand. Now the justices are going to do things that are so important. And we have such great justices.
“You saw my list of 11 that have been vetted and respected and have gotten great, and they, a little bit, equate.
“But if you don’t do what’s the right thing, you’re not going to have – either you’re not going to have a Second Amendment or you’re not going to have much of it left. And you’re not going to be able to protect yourselves, which you need. Which you need!
“When the bad guys burst into your house, they’re not looking about Second Amendments and ‘Do I have the right to do this.’ The bad guys aren’t going to be giving up their weapons. But the good people will say, ‘Oh, well, that’s the law.’ No, no. Not going to happen. We can’t let it happen. We can’t let it happen.”
Putting aside the suggestions of an assassination attempt on Hillary Clinton, it’s the incoherent nature of the speech that is also of great concern.
The concern is that a President Trump would act like this in the White House and the Presidential staff who have responsibility for translating the President’s wishes into action must try to interpret what he is saying.
Now, imagine that you are a Secretary of State and are standing in front of President Trump and he has just delivered that particular speech, or something like it, to you.
What are you meant to do?
The best thing would probably be to suggest that the President has a cup of tea, a Bex and a lie down.