Thursday, October 20, 2016
After the Third Debate
Unless you've spent the last few weeks in a cave in Outer Mongolia*, you know that last night was the third and final** "presidential debate" between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. I put the term "presidential debate" in quotes because it was not particularly presidential, although it was somewhat closer to a debate in the sense that word is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary***.
A debate is generally considered to be a lively, if gentlemanly† affair in which contending ideas are bounced against each other with a goal of determining which side has best supported its positions (won, as it were). There was more of an exchange of ideas this time, although it was generally couched in terms of attacks and salvos of often-questionable statistics. There was more emphasis on policies, although not as much as I would have liked.
Both candidates dodged uncomfortable questions.
Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News did a tremendous job of maintaining order and keeping the candidates on topic ... as much as anyone could. It was the finest example of professional and non-partisan moderation I think I've ever seen.
But here's the biggest takeaway for me: Donald Trump will not commit to accepting the results of the election. He continues to whine - against all current and historical evidence, and without providing the least amount of evidence of his own - that everything is "rigged" against him, and that enormous levels of voter fraud will "steal" the election. Mr Trump is undermining the very essence of American democracy - the peaceful and orderly transition of power as a result of popular election. Appalled is not too strong a word to apply to my feelings.
If Secretary Clinton is a flawed candidate - and I believe she is - the flaws of Mr Trump are so huge and manifest as to underscore his complete unsuitability for the presidency.
The flaws of both candidates were in view last night, as they have been throughout the campaign. Now, it's up to the voters to decide which flaws they are willing to accept.
One hopes they will make the right choice.
Have a good day. Come back tomorrow, when we will name the Left-Cheek Ass Clown for October. Hint - the winner has nothing at all to do with politics, presidential or otherwise. You're welcome.
More thoughts coming.
* And even if you were in a cave in Outer Mongolia and had a satellite TV or radio connection.
** Thank God.
***A formal discussion on a particular matter in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward and which usually ends with a vote.
† Sorry for the non-gender-neutral term. Sue me.