How Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump measured up to American expectations during the Second Presidential Debate 2016
The much awaited Second Presidential Debate (10/09/16) at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri moderated by Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz is behind us.
To begin with, the presidential candidates didn’t shake hands which didn’t bid well for the debate ahead and set the tone for it. Next, to deflect attention from his sexual assault tirade video which came to light only days before the debate, Donald Trump invited several women which accused the former president Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct to be in the audience. For a man running as an outsider and not a part of the political establishment, Trump acted like a seasoned politician skillfully changing topic whenever asked about his self-described “locker room” banter recording. He denied committing any of the acts he himself brags about in the recording. Confronted about the sexual assault talk tape directly, Trump responded with a speech on how he would eradicate ISIS. His ultimate defense? “Bill Clinton did worse.” (The fact that someone else committed similar misdeed is not an excuse in the court of law or in the court of public opinion for that matter.)
During the debate Donald Trump was often vague in addressing questions, ducked inconvenient questions altogether, steered off the subject and interrupted his opponent. He made faces at Hillary and behind her back. He physically hovered over her and gestured excessively. He didn’t stop short of attacking the debate’s moderators (Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz) for allegedly affording him less time than Clinton: not so, both candidates were afforded the same amount of time.
Donald Trump is a master of criticizing and promising. His plans for our future are based on his version of reality:
- since for Donald there is no such a thing as global warming, he’ll bring back industries destructive to natural environment
- he plans to exploit fossil fuel resources and make so much profit on them that they’ll balance our national budget
- Roe vs. Wade will likely be repealed
- when it comes to our financial future, even though Mr. Trump promises tax cuts for the middle class, tax experts say that his proposal won’t lower middle class taxes. He will however reduce taxes for the rich and corporations, effectively
Donald Trump is known for being a good father and a good friend. If you happen to be one of his buddies, should he get elected, you’re in luck: he’ll take good care of you!
Having acted as the total opposite of a respectable statesman throughout the debate, at one point Trump granted Hillary Clinton the right of way by saying “Go ahead, I’m a gentleman”. (A gentleman?….)
Personal attacks were limited this time around but still blatant. Even though some accusations were exchanged, the biggest chunk of mud came when Donald Trump dreamed aloud of appointing a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton and her email mishap to which she responded that thankfully people like Trump don’t run the justice system. Without missing a beat he fired back: “You’d be in jail”.
All things considered Hillary Clinton’s vision for the future of America is more solid and true to the spirit of American democracy. She was specific. She took on issues. She answered questions. She will lower taxes for the middle class and increase them for the rich and corporations. She focuses on developing green energy sources. She was also remarkably tactful and didn’t take advantage of the newly revealed recordings that reveal Donald Trump’s attitude toward women. Instead, Hillary quoted and channeled Michelle Obama “When they go low, you go high”. She was well-informed, well prepared, talked about specifics of her proposed course of action for America. She was calm, factual and yes, presidential.
Having exchanged niceties (Hillary expressed her respect for Donald’s success as a father while Donald praised her qualities as a fighter who doesn’t give up) the candidates shook hands at the conclusion of the debate.
Donald Trump is decidedly more entertaining, after all saying what boils down to “I’ll make all America’s dreams come true” is easier, faster and more appealing than elaborating on individual points of one’s proposed policy. (To elaborate on proposed policy one would have to have one.) We’ve learned how Trump would achieve his objectives as a Commander-In-Chief, he demonstrated his intimidation skills for all to see during the debate: he brought women from Bill Clinton’s past into the room, he tried to show his “dominance” by hovering over Hillary and the line “You’d be in jail” sets a precedent in the history of American presidential debates and presidential races. He would enrich the rich, disempower women, advance environmental destruction and accelerate global warming.
This time, it’s not about choosing one political party over the other. This time, the question we all have to answer is: do we want to have a President with the moral authority of Bill Cosby?….
Neither of the candidates is perfect or controversy-free. Considering the fact however that the candidates are running for the leadership of our country and not the good ol’ boys club’s, one of the candidates will define big chunk of our future, set the climate at home, create an image of the United States in the world and represent us with the rest of the world, it would be wise to have a President that won’t ruin the middle class, degrade women, seek to do away with abortion, restore discrimination, destroy natural environment and enflame international conflicts. And what do you think? (See what others think about the Second Presidential Debate 2016)
Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / L. Rich