Much to the chagrin of my co-blogger, I suspect, I will comment on Monday’s presidential debate. Yes, I’m a few days late, but I simply work too many hours to post daily and consistently. Better late than never, I suppose.
To be sure, Monday’s underwhelming debate was a truly disappointing affair. Starting with moderator Lester Holt’s obvious bias (avoiding issues like immigration, terrorism, the Clinton Foundation, Benghazi, and Hillary’s flagrant and reckless email transgressions, Holt interrupted and attempted to “fact-check” Donald Trump three or four times more than he did Hillary Clinton).
But Holt did find time to badger Trump about not releasing his income tax returns, the idiotic waste-of-time birther issue, and about alleged name-calling against a former beauty contest winner. Hillary delightfully joined Les in these meaningless exchanges.
Hillary looked and sounded smug, as usual, and doesn’t even realize how condescending she can be without even trying. Trump failed to articulate his positive visions (lower taxes and regulations, sealing the border, offering school choice and pro-growth policies to the millions of poor blacks and Hispanics suffering on the Democrat urban plantation). He failed to mop the floor with Hillary on issues such as her mendacity, reckless handling of sensitive documents, Senate vote for the Iraq War and support for the train wreck of Obamacare.
Trump did what I and many others have warned him not to do: Take the bait and wallow in inane garbage like the birther issue, the pejoratives he used to describe various females in the past, and the money his father gave him to help him get started back in the 1970s. It was obvious The Donald didn’t prepare much and figured that winging it would work in this format just as it did in the GOP primary debates, which I’ve described as “cattle calls.”
K.N. McBride is correct in implying that the importance of these debates is blown out of proportion. Trump will probably fare better in the second and third debates, because he realizes how many broad avenues are available to rake Shrillary over the coals. But even if he is mediocre, unfocused and at times exhibits bizarre facial expressions (which he did Monday night), his poll numbers won’t be adversely affected, nor will Hillary’s be boosted much, if at all.
The only thing that could severely damage one of the candidates is a major meltdown, such as Trump exploding and shouting -- veins bulging, eyes bugging out. Or Hillary sounding even more grating than she normally does, dripping with arrogance and condescension, as she spouts off with another “Basket of deplorables” statement that betrays her true opinion of a huge swath of Americans.
I suspect (and hope) that Americans are so sick and tired of a moribund economy and failed healthcare system; so angry with a president who sucks up to Islam and frequently criticizes America; and so incensed with being labeled racist/sexist/xenophobic/Islamophobic by the vermin of the Left, that they will turn out en masse to vote for Trump -- not so much because they think he's great, but because they viscerally know that a Hillary presidency will be the kill-shot from which our nation will not recover.
Most Americans probably have made up their minds by now about whom they’ll vote for. I believe the seemingly large percentage of undecided voters is misleading. Many people unfortunate enough to be interviewed by pollsters may simply use that answer as a copout to avoid further interrogation. In some cases, Trump voters won’t admit they will vote for him because they perceive pollsters to be hostile to Trump, and they fear pushback or confrontation.
This is a long, grinding process. I am certain that tens of millions of Americans have a bleak, anxious view of how it will play out and what the future holds for our nation. With cyber-leaks galore, master manipulators working behind the scenes, enemies including terrorists seeking to meddle in the election, and the utter corruption that permeates both major political parties and the entire federal government, it is extremely difficult to feel optimistic.
I would say that I’ll be glad when this dark, foreboding cloud lifts and Nov. 8 is behind us. But I deeply fear that the destructive charlatan of the Left will come out on top. And I also recognize that, no matter who wins, the bitterness and polarization will not go away. In fact, they will intensify to a dangerous level.
We are likely in for some rough times, indeed – the usual chaos of a lousy job market, stagnant wages, violence in the streets, terrorism, strained race relations and unchecked immigration all being amplified by toxic, corrosive cynicism, disillusionment and pessimism.