Donald Trump won Monday’s presidential debate against libertine Hillary Clinton with his characteristic blunt spirit of America first, business savvy, and common sense, and he did so despite facing tougher, tilted questions designed to place him in a negative light and Hillary in a glow.
While Hillary’s sophistry appealed to conventional debate graders – we are all so used to seeing and accepting the masks politicians ties around their characters – she lost because her plans amount to a continued crippling of America.
In short, Trump generated more substance if not more details. Here are the concrete reasons – not stylistic nor conventional debate scoring points – that Trump demonstrated:
1. Resume: Trump’s successes vs. Hillary’s “bad experiences”. Once again, the Donald enumerated his business successes in building a multi-billion dollar empire and doing so by coming in under budget and ahead of time on various construction projects. Meanwhile, he pointed out Hillary’s resume of economic incompetence: her and her party’s standing by in the Senate as jobs fled the so-called Rust Belt, an area whose workers had placed their blind faith in Hillary and other Democrat leaders even as empty, decaying homes and factories littered the landscape of the Midwest, Mid Atlantic, and Southern states, killing the spirit of urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods of whites and minorities; failure not only to improve or deter the stagnation and suffering in Americans’ economic life, including wage stagnation, but to actually provide her support for trade deals and economic policies that ripped jobs out of the hands of Americans and shoveled them overseas to the non-Americans she loves and the few she favors, crushing working Americans.
It’s simple to ask: which candidate demonstrated at the debate that he or she has the proven track record of financial management and efficient productivity? The answer is simple, too: Donald Trump.
2. National Security: Which candidate exuded a spirit of America first? Hillary gobbledygooked about her “plans” and the need to follow treaties contracted more than half a century ago and make our allies feel secure in their relationship to us, even though we are footing the bill to protect them. She spouted a platitude about nuclear nonproliferation, even though nonproliferation has been a failure. Trump clearly stated – again – that he will destroy ISIS and he will not take guff from Iran. He’s a fighter. Hillary made fun of his desire to protect our ships and our men from being threatened, boarded, captured, and made to kneel to their captors. Trump reiterated that his plan was to protect and defend America. Which is the posture of a commander-in-chief? He demands that our allies do their fair share. Isn’t that the posture of a leader who places our interests first?
We all understand that one must be careful acting in the international arena. Within that context, however, do we act with courage or do we act with submission. You have seen what has happened during the Obama administration. Hillary wants to continue his legacy.
And Hillary deliberately exposed our country’s secrets to our enemies, though she tried to downplay it last night as only “a mistake”. Can we afford mistakes like that? Is that a sign of competence or incompetence? Good judgment or bad judgment?
Add in Trump’s brilliant line he delivered last night about the cyber war being waged successfully against the United States during the Obama-Hillary time: “We’ve lost control!”
Would you rather have Trump looking out for our boys and our security or Hillary? The answer that comes out of the debate is clear: Trump.
Hillary gave us no reason to trust her on national security and kept telling us to read the lawyerly fine print in her plans. That’s not bringing substance to the debate.
3. Race Relations: Although I think Trump has had a good message to the black community, he did not articulate it as well as he could have last night. In my opinion, he should have emphasized and detailed the economic relief and opportunity he wants to bring to everyone, including blacks. Economic strength solves a lot of issues. The financial suffering and lack of opportunity blacks have undergone spurs much of the anger and violence that afflicts their communities and the extremely difficult situations in which police officers find themselves. Ironically, the trade and immigration policies Hillary has been supporting actually fuel that misery. Her proposal to “retrain” police officers is itself prejudiced and discriminatory, and it utterly fails to address the multi-sided perspective needed to sort out and improve race relations.
Unfortunately, Trump did not explicitly reiterate all the things he said during the economic segment of the debate when the issue turned to race: he will use the power of tariffs against American companies that abandon America and Americans to prevent jobs from leaving and to bring jobs back, and he will spur job creation through tax reform that will entice investors to bring back more than $2 trillion dollars they have stashed overseas. Those things are not merely “trickle down” as Hillary calumniated. They are proposals that give rogue American companies the financial push they need to act as if they had some civic spirit, even if they don’t.
The Moderator’s Questions
If anyone watched the MSNBC feed, as I did, they saw moderator Lester Holt before the debate: nervous, running out of air, gulping, clipping off words. He’s NBC’s national news anchor. Could it be that he felt the weight of the bias his questions were about to evince?
Holt did not ask Hillary any tough questions. Did not challenge her record. And only once did he mention the emails that violated our national security protocols, as if they were nothing. Yet he asked Trump about Obama’s “birther” issue, a sidetrack that has no practical impact on the policies in question to improve our country’s financial and military position. Who cares whether Trump believes Obama was born in this country? Some leaders believe in UFOs, the Illuminati, no God, God, etc., questions that are likely to have far more impact than what a person believes about Obama’s birth. Same with questions about Trump’s businesses and remarks about a woman from decades ago.
Of course, Holt tied the birther issue to race, though there is no connection. Whether a presidential candidate was born in the U.S. isn’t a racial question, it’s a question of fact that relates to constitutional law. Trump also asked about Ted Cruz’s birth in Canada, and when that came up, I heard pundits, like MSNBC’s Lawrence O’ Donnell, say they had spoken to experts who said it was a legitimate issue. The contexts of the Obama and Cruz birth questions were not the same; however, Obama himself exacerbated the birther issue by refusing for quite some time to produce his birth certificate to put the matter to rest.
Meanwhile, not a peep about Hillary’s secret, expensive speeches to Wall Street, which should have come up during the economic segment, especially when she suggested Trump was favoring the rich. Not a peep about her continuing lie about what she told the relatives of the honorable Benghazi Americans she got killed in Libya. Not a peep about her lie about coming under fire at a European airport. The list goes on. Trump stated recently that he believed Obama was born in America. But Hillary has never admitted nor apologized for her lies. Holt, and NBC, want to shape the election by the framework and details they, and their rabid pundits before and after the debate, want to funnel your vision through.
One candidate demonstrated passion and honesty last night by body language, facial expression, and articulation. Donald Trump.
Viewers saw the same old slick, veteran dissembler Hillary has refined herself into being, hiding behind a pastiche of “plans” and pre-packaged catch phrases.
And viewers saw the same establishment media, rigging the system, tilting the questions, and trying to get a toehold in viewers’ minds by applying their “conventional wisdom” onto an unconventional candidate, Donald Trump.
Govern yourselves accordingly.