The first Clinton/Trump debate is behind us. Depending upon which publication one sees and of what persuasion we were going in, s/he won the debate. So there; that settles that. What really happened? Donald Trump got an education and he will not likely forget that education in future debates. Hillary Clinton was Hillary Clinton and she’ll not soon change her stripes.
She has warts and he has warts. It is almost impossible to live as long as they each have lived, in the environments in which they have lived, without collecting some of the barnacles of life on their respective hulls. We all knew that, so there was no startling revelation in any of the pronouncements from either.
Donald Trump needs to get over the idea that Hillary is a woman and go after her as he would any competitor in the arena of politics. He will suffer greater damage if he does not do that than he will if he does do that. He might simply give notice that he recognizes this is a battle for the hearts and minds of American voters and that he will treat future debates as just that; there’ll be no kid gloves just as there’ll be no “sucker” punches.
Hillary Clinton is purely and simply a target rich opportunity and she has placed herself in this position by the life she has led. She is not a shrinking violet; she is more like a bothersome nettle that keeps on giving. If Donald Trump really wants to be elected President, he has to show the voters that he is serious but do so in good taste. If she chooses to go after Trump on some building deal or another, he might simply remind her of some of her skeletons from Arkansas days and of the e-mail server fiasco, etc. Both their life histories should be fair game. They each drag that baggage along behind them as do we all every day of our lives.
The press is also complicit in this ‘debate’ thingy. Each major press outlet has its own preconceived ideas of these two people, and, frankly, the preconceptions seem much more favorable to Hillary Clinton than they are to Donald Trump. While Trump cannot ‘take the bait’ and confront the press, he must demonstrate that he understands the reality he faces. Lester Holt is not and was not apolitical, and future moderators likely will not be apolitical. That is very likely an impossibility.
The idea that a person who has his or her own political belief system is sitting in judgment of another as a “fact checker” is ridiculous. The last I heard was that there was to be none of this ‘fact checking’ by the moderator, but, apparently, that is not a hard and fast rule as evidenced by Lester Holt last evening. I believe that each of us can ably serve as our own fact checker. We do that every day during the high political season. If we do not, we are nothing but sponges soaking up whatever is dumped on us.
I believe Donald Trump did not win last evening. If I am gracious, he might’ve tied. But there is really no such thing as a tie in politics. Politics is rough and tumble. It is not for the faint of heart. There is no ‘she is a female’ defense; especially for a female who has fought at least as many political battles as has her opponent, and who has demonstrated she knows no bounds in political infighting. Hillary Clinton has been given so much slack it is virtually unbelievable. Benghazi. Top secret e-mails on a private, NON-SECURE server. Cattle futures. The Justice Department (FBI) bending over backward to save her bacon.
It is sickening, BUT it is what it is and that isn’t going to change. If she is elected President, that will be a black day in our history. Donald Trump has some issues but he is, issue-wise, a lightweight when compared to Hillary Clinton and the league she has played in for years.