Donald Trump, rally, New Hampshire, 2024
Former President Donald Trump holds campaign rally at the Rochester Opera House in Rochester, NH, January 21, 2024. Photo credit: Liam Enea / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED)

What political insiders don't seem to understand is that most Americans never see the crazy and unhinged version of Donald Trump. At next week's debate, President Joe Biden has to bring it out.

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One of the great things about Donald Trump is that, when you ridicule him for saying something stupid, he will invariably double down and defend the stupid thing he said to the death. That is why we suggested a while back that the key to defeating the former president in November is to make fun of him.

It’s probably fair to say that, because of his malignant narcissism, Trump hates being laughed at as much as he hates not lying.

And that’s something President Joe Biden should take advantage of in the upcoming debate.

There are two things about it that we can predict with a reasonable degree of certainty: Trump won’t play by the rules, and Americans don’t really understand or care about the issues.

Therefore, instead of merely trying to defend his record, Biden should spend part of every one of his answers poking fun at Trump for some of the moronic things he has said and done in order to trigger his predecessor and make him throw a tantrum in front of a massive television audience.

Apart from the cult members who attend his rallies, most people are never exposed to this side of Trump because they only hear soundbites in which he sounds somewhat sane and lucid.

However, in between these stretches, his speeches are mostly just bizarre.

That’s the side of Trump that Biden has to bring out… and it shouldn’t be all that difficult because the former president is notoriously thin-skinned.

Here are a couple of examples of things Biden could say: “My opponent likes to say that Americans were better off four years ago than now. Well, four years ago, this bozo told people to inject themselves with bleach to fight a deadly virus.”

Or: “Donald Trump thinks that boats will sink if they carry a heavy battery. This idiot apparently has never heard of oil tankers that can carry a weight of more than a billion pounds. That’s ‘billion’ with a ‘B,’ which is a word my opponent should know because he pretends to be a ‘billionaire’ all the time”

And that brings us to the perfect example of Trump’s obsession with not looking dumb.

A couple of weeks ago, he used one of his campaign rallies to muse about whether he would rather be electrocuted in a boat weighed down by an electric battery (a non-existent crisis) or face a shark.

Now, any reasonably intelligent person immediately realized that Trump’s boat vs. shark soliloquy contained some fallacies.

For example, boats can carry extremely heavy loads… including electric batteries. In fact, they have been using lead-acid batteries for decades… and those are much heavier than state-of-the-art batteries used in electric vehicles.

Not surprisingly, these older batteries did not cause electrocutions left and right, as Trump wants people to believe (let’s not even get into why he talked about this in the first place).

Finally, why doesn’t the shark in this scenario get electrocuted if this is so dangerous?

After the original speech, we had a bit of fun by pretending that this was an actual matter deserving of anybody’s attention (you can read it here: Trump Finally Weighs in on Controversial Shark vs. Electrocution Debate).

Others also ridiculed Trump, who had made it sound as though his raising of this vital issue was a stroke of genius that nobody had ever contemplated before.

It seems as though he noticed… because on Saturday, he was once again going on and on about sharks and batteries.

“You heard my story with the boat, with the shark, right?” Trump asked an audience of evangelicals at the Faith & Freedom Forum, and then launched into the entire head-scratching thing again to the dutiful laughter of his audience.

If anything, this version was even weirder because it was accompanied by many hand gestures and a more dramatic telling of what happens when the shark appears. For good measure, Trump also threw in a made-up conversation with an uncle of his who called him “Sir” for some reason.

Now, some might argue that it wouldn’t be presidential for Biden to try to trigger the weirdo version of his adversary.

That is nonsense.

First of all, Trump is going to call his successor one of his trademark nicknames, as though this were becoming behavior in a presidential candidate… or even a non-crazy adult.

So why not fight fire with fire.

But, more importantly, it is essential for Americans to see this unvarnished version of Trump — and then they can make a much more informed decision as to whether they want to hand the presidency to a guy who is plain nuts.  


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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