The first Republican presidential debate is a mere fortnight away, coming up on Thursday, August 6. As you might guess, every Republican who's hoping that the party walks away with an ounce of dignity must be dreading the likely appearance by Donald Trump in the upcoming debate. The New York Times currently places Trump at number one in the polls, leading second-place candidate Jeb Bush by 2.4 percentage points (do not get me started). Because the top ten candidates are allowed to participate in the debates, it seems almost certain that Trump will be taking the stage in early August. Given this, the real question now is if it's possible to keep Trump in line during the debates.
Fox News' Bret Baier, who will be moderating the first debate, is already asking himself this same question. He told Time: "I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say that I have woken up in cold sweats wondering how I’m going to deal with a Donald Trump who’s not listening."
I can't say I blame him. When Trump gets going, it doesn't appear that there's any way to stop him or get him to follow anyone's cues but his own. Keeping time will be a challenge for Baier, and getting a word in edgewise could prove difficult for the other debaters. But one way or another, they're going to have to find a way to get Trump to pipe down and play nice. And I have some ideas to that effect ...
Make Him An Offer He Can't Refuse
Yes, Trump is already filthy rich. But that's how we know he loves cash. Give him some "shush" money, and for the right price, all could be well.
Mute His Mic
He can talk pretty loud on his own, anyways, but the producers of the debate could just cut his mic if he goes more than a few seconds over his time.
Under the guise of wanting to have a fun bonding activity, the other top republicans could have a guys' night out and hit up some weird magic show that features a hypnotist. Trump gets sleepy, then very sleepy, then is told not to raise his voice, say the word "idiot," or speak for more than one minute at a time. Genius!
Use The Power Of Puppies
An audience member can (and should) release a stampede of adorable puppies on the stage as a distraction. If Trump ignore the pups and continues to blather while the other candidates swoon, he'll look like an even bigger jerk, and will surely dip in the polls.
Other Republicans Could Step Up Their Game ...
Here's a thought: The other republicans could find a way to stop being beaten by a former reality TV star. Just an idea ...