"Look at those hands, are they small hands? And he referred to my hands, 'If they're small, something else must be small.' I guarantee you there's no problem. I guarantee."
- Donald Trump, Republican Presidential Debate, Detroit, March 3, 2016
Have you ever visited a psychiatric institution? Many years ago, a family member, who was studying for his Ph.D. in psychology, spent a summer working at one, and I spent an afternoon visiting him there. I drove away shuddering. Yesterday, after watching Donald Trump examine his hands during the Republican Presidential Debate in Detroit, I also found myself shuddering.
In a New York Times op-ed entitled "Five Big Questions After a Vulgar Republican Debate," Frank Bruni says of the Detroit debate:
"Does the size of Donald Trump’s penis matter?
I’m not being cheeky. I’m not being shocking. I’m noting something that we cannot lose track of, should not shrug our shoulders about and must not gloss over: Trump has succeeded at nothing as fully as he has at infusing the presidential race with a vulgarity that’s absolutely breathtaking.
He has done so well at dragging his rivals so far down into the sewer with him that portions of what we watched on Thursday night were a fetid farce. We actually witnessed an interchange — in the first 10 minutes, no less — about how well endowed (or not) he is.
It’s worth stopping for a second, letting that sink in and wondering what it says about our country and political process right now."
Bruni is right. This "debate" transcended any norms to which I am accustomed. This is more akin to professional wrestling, something that Trump knows better than foreign policy.
Ariel Durant once wrote, "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." Has that time come for America?