Lenny Letter's Final Debate Flowchart Will Help You Finally Make Sense Of How Donald Trump Answers Questions
On Wednesday, we saw Donald Trump try for the last time to keep himself together on stage by inhaling audibly through his nose in between insults launched at Hillary Clinton — I mean, the final presidential debate. It was as painful to watch as any, with constant misdirects and inappropriate insults, culminating in Trump's description of Clinton as a "nasty woman." For some viewers, humor has been a saving grace. Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner's online feminist "Lenny Letter" posted a flowchart of the final debate representing the candidates' different approaches to answering debate questions. Dunham has been a vocal Clinton supporter, and has participated in several campaign events.
The flowchart juxtaposes Clinton's more conventional and comparatively substantive debate style of describing an issue, discussing her proposal, critiquing her opponent's proposal, and saying why hers is better (interrupted frequently by Trump's insults) to the more chaotic, meandering, and often bullying style exhibited by Trump. Arguably, any flowchart that captured the exact digression of a Trump statement would be too messy to follow. But the Lenny Letter representation highlights the key features of the classic Trump response: insane proposals, huge promises, and accusations against Clinton (and, of course, that damn sniffing noise). Guided by the flowchart's categories, let's look at some of Trump's most absurd debate moments.
Trump reiterated his plan to build a wall along the U.S./Mexican border on Wednesday, this time explaining the need to get the "bad hombres" out of the country. He would also like to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade and leave the legality of abortions up to individual states. Nobody respects women like this guy does!
Trump explained to Wallace that he and others in the "greatest business people in the world" club would, if he were elected president, negotiate the kind of trade deals that would make America's economy a dazzling perfect magical wonderland for all: "We will create an economic machine the likes of which we haven't seen in many decades. And people, Chris, will again go back to work. And they'll make a lot of money. And we'll have companies that will grow and expand and start from new." Doesn't it make you all warm and fuzzy?
And if that's not a sweet enough promise: after explaining that African Americans and Latinos have no jobs or education, he stated, "I will do more for African Americans and Latinos than [Clinton] can ever do in ten lifetimes." That's a lot of lifetimes.
When asked by Wallace why women would make up sexual assault allegations against him, Trump suggested that Clinton's campaign hired the women to make the claims. He also said that Clinton wants to admit Syrian refugees into the country who are "definitely" aligned with ISIS. Harsh.
The Lenny Letter flowchart is a fun way to break down Trump's core methods of trying to convey his own "ideas" while ruthlessly attacking his opponent. With the final presidential debate over, many will be relieved, though, not to experience such digressions again.