Opinion | Trump’s Behavior as the Election Nears

To the Editor:

Re “Trump Stays Upbeat, but Campaign Turns Grim” (front page, Oct. 19):

Neither The Times nor the Biden campaign is seeing the bright red alert.

Being overly dismissive about President Trump’s ostensibly ridiculous and ineffective rallies could result in a rude awakening on Election Day. I remember vividly that in 2016 Mr. Trump relentlessly barnstormed the country. His unfavorable poll numbers and the sheer incomprehensibility of a Trump win caused Hillary Clinton to become complacent.

The Clinton campaign and the rest of us dismissed those ludicrous Trump rallies as worthless reality shows that would do little more than entertain his already adoring base. We were wrong.

Mr. Trump is doing exactly the same thing in 2020 as he did in 2016 — ignoring his advisers and doing what he likes. Most of the media are also doing exactly what they did in 2016 — ridiculing Mr. Trump’s rallies and his inflammatory rhetoric as a lot of ineffective hot air.

Things may be very different this time around but still, I worry. I hope Joe Biden is worried, too. He had better fight very vigorously to the bitter end.

William Goldman
Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.

To the Editor:

Why has President Trump sent out tweets and made statements that have left his campaign staff scratching their heads, like his attack on Dr. Anthony Fauci? Is he really that stupid?

I suspect that he truly does not want another term as president. He can’t just say he’s not up to the job. That’s not in his character. He can’t be a loser or quitter. He has laid the groundwork that the only way he could possibly lose is if the election was rigged.

There could be many reasons that he doesn’t want a second term:

1. He can’t control every aspect of the presidency as he can in his own companies.

2. Being president is hard work. Many presidents, unlike Mr. Trump, put in 14- to 16-hour days.

3. He needs to make money to pay off his massive debts, and as president his earning opportunities are more limited.

So he has been purposely doing and saying things to sabotage his re-election. He’ll blame the loss on everyone and everything but himself. But he will not contest the election. Then once out of office, Mr. Trump will get a job at Fox News or another media outlet because of his very popular “brand.”

Mr. Trump is many things, but he’s not this stupid.

Jerry Hoglund
Libertyville, Ill.

To the Editor:

There have been many comments of bafflement and frustration regarding President Trump’s speech and actions at staged events across America in these final weeks. In looking at what he’s doing, what struck me is that one should not think of this as a campaign leading up to the election, but rather as a farewell tour.

He’s riffing all his 2016 hits and adding a few 2020 riffs for updated excitement, because everything I’ve seen these final days is that he’s playing to his fans, not trying to reach out to others.

Dwight Jon Zimmerman

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