I watched the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump last night, and it was both entertaining and terrifying. Do these debates ever actually change anybody’s mind, or do viewers just want to see the person they don’t like look foolish? I’ve never put much stock on calling a winner for a debate. There’s no scoring system you can use to determine that, and it ultimately doesn’t matter anyway. Yes, I think Hillary did better than Trump, but that’s like Usain Bolt sprinting better than a slug. I don’t think she really did that well in terms of actually explaining her policies or exploring issues on which she might have changed her mind. I’m not talking about e-mail or Benghazi here, but about stuff like whether she still thinks NAFTA is a good idea, or her thoughts on race relations. I don’t think this is her fault, however, as she was just kept so busy refuting Trump. And when she did try to say something, Trump either yelled “Wrong!” or lied about what he’d previously said.
Hillary didn’t pull any punches in her criticism of him, mentioning how he didn’t allow black people to live in his buildings, claimed global warming was a conspiracy made up by the Chinese, and constantly insulted women.
When Trump didn’t deny these things, he tried to paint them as positive. This is a guy who’s apparently PROUD of not paying taxes, stiffing contractors on payment, taking advantage of the housing crisis, declaring bankruptcy, harassing Obama until he pointlessly released his long-form birth certificate (which he then insisted was a fake anyway), and insulting Rosie O’Donnell. Hell, he might even be proud of being repeatedly audited. To him, that’s all business (except possibly the O’Donnell thing). Aside from how that’s pretty much how the Corleone family talked about whacking people, it just goes to show how government and business are largely incompatible. Theoretically, the President is supposed to be a public servant. He’s responsible to the country and its people, and to some extent the rest of the world, not the bottom line. But this is a person who advertises hotels while he’s campaigning.
I get the impression he’s not even a particularly GOOD businessman considering how many of his ventures have failed, but even if he were, how is that going to improve the welfare of Americans?
Some of what Trump proposes is just basic Republican stuff, like trickle-down economics. It doesn’t work, and I don’t even see how it could possibly work, but they just keep calling for it.
Politicians like George W. Bush and Mitt Romney just seemed totally out of touch with anyone outside their economic class. I’m not even sure it was on purpose. The thing is, I’m not even sure Trump cares about his fellow billionaires, or for that matter his own family. He certainly has no problem with discarding wives. As such, why would ANYONE support him, even those who liked Dubya and Romney? I saw a comment on Twitter last night about how it’s easy to support stop and frisk policies when there’s not much chance you’re going to be stopped and frisked.
I was thinking about the same thing recently with American-born white people making policies on immigration, and men on abortion. But Trump has screwed over other white men when it suited his purposes, so that doesn’t even totally apply. And in regards to his comments about “taking the oil,” does he still hold to the spoils belonging to the victor? Isn’t that a somewhat outdated notion?
Yeah, there are still war profiteers, but even Dick Cheney was more subtle than that. Not to mention that he seems to think “taking the oil” is a simple matter of filling a really big barrel and sneaking it onto a plane, or swiping it like Indiana Jones. I read a Mother Jones article on how Trump has so much working against him that Hillary can’t form a coherent narrative on why he’s bad. Mind you, you’d think pointing out any one of them would be enough. I don’t think Trump supporters see it that way, though. They’re not going to turn against him because he doesn’t pay taxes or because of his racist rhetoric, because those aren’t bad things in their minds. Okay, I’m sure they are for some of his supporters, but then they can just pretend he didn’t actually make any racist comments. Even the fact that Trump isn’t particularly religious doesn’t stop him from getting evangelical support. I’m not going to predict that a victory for Trump would mean the end of American democracy. We’ve had plenty of bad presidents and the nation has survived. On the other hand, plenty of PEOPLE haven’t survived, and aren’t they allegedly in charge of the country?
For all the dude talks about “law and order,” he’s about as close as politicians have come to chaos personified.
PICTURED: Graphical rendition of Trump’s victory speech