In this week’s debate, Hillary’s goal was to show that she has a pulse and a heart, and Trump’s goal was to show that he’s something like presidential. Trump went into the debate as a psychopath with stamina and Hillary — as a tell-tale lung on the take.
I didn’t care much for either candidate on the issues. I would like to hear a serious discussion about Liberty, the Constitution and the size and scope of the federal government. Because no conservative was present on stage, it didn’t happen.
Watching as a suburban middle class woman with a college degree, a demo that might turn this election, I have to say Hillary won. Not because she was any good — she was mediocre, but because Trump destroyed himself. For Donald Trump, the optics were just awful. Bill Kristol thinks he choked under pressure; many other commentators noticed his lack of preparation.
In my demographic his lack of preparation was off-putting. We run our families sweating every detail: kids’ pick up time from different schools rounded up to the nearest 3 minutes, the tempera colors for the class auction art project, the volume of Harry Potter to be ordered on Amazon for niece’s Birthday. It’s not because we are particularly uptight (in fact, I praise myself on being relatively lax), it’s because what it takes to maintain the normal flow of life. That volume of Harry Potter means a whole lot to somebody. Organization is a simple necessity, and even the most laid back among us have to start each and every day prepared.
Enter Donald Trump, who appears for presidential debate unrehearsed. It’s not just that he missed many opportunities to hit his opponent and hit her hard, the most damage came when he bursted into bumbling, incoherent tirades. Consider his unexplainable references to celebrities or his answer to the question about nuclear weapons, of all things, which deserves to be reprinted in its entirety:
Well, I have to say that, you know, for what Secretary Clinton was saying about nuclear with Russia, she’s very cavalier in the way she talks about various countries. But Russia has been expanding their — they have a much newer capability than we do. We have not been updating from the new standpoint.
I looked the other night. I was seeing B-52s, they’re old enough that your father, your grandfather could be flying them. We are not — we are not keeping up with other countries. I would like everybody to end it, just get rid of it. But I would certainly not do first strike.
I think that once the nuclear alternative happens, it’s over. At the same time, we have to be prepared. I can’t take anything off the table. Because you look at some of these countries, you look at North Korea, we’re doing nothing there. China should solve that problem for us. China should go into North Korea. China is totally powerful as it relates to North Korea.
And by the way, another one powerful is the worst deal I think I’ve ever seen negotiated that you started is the Iran deal. Iran is one of their biggest trading partners. Iran has power over North Korea.
And when they made that horrible deal with Iran, they should have included the fact that they do something with respect to North Korea. And they should have done something with respect to Yemen and all these other places.
And when asked to Secretary Kerry, why didn’t you do that? Why didn’t you add other things into the deal? One of the great giveaways of all time, of all time, including $400 million in cash. Nobody’s ever seen that before. That turned out to be wrong. It was actually $1.7 billion in cash, obviously, I guess for the hostages. It certainly looks that way.
So you say to yourself, why didn’t they make the right deal? This is one of the worst deals ever made by any country in history. The deal with Iran will lead to nuclear problems. All they have to do is sit back 10 years, and they don’t have to do much.
Trump’s inability to form a complete sentence, let alone use the sentences to express his vision for our country, is most troubling. W got knocked down for clumsy wording of otherwise well-thought-out ideas. The Donald is not even halfway there; he showed himself unable to form an idea. For our demographic, for people who went to college, who write essays, who give presentations on a regular basis, this is unacceptable.In the weeks leading up to the debate, instead of immersing himself into policy details, Trump chose to bask in the attention of admiring crowds and spend his time chatting with friends. This is not aspirational middle class behavior, this is not what we teach our kids. If he was their son, some mothers I know would go as far as to put Donald Trump on Ritalin for his inability to focus and pay attention. I personally don’t approve of it: the GOP candidate is a brat; he doesn’t need meds, he needs discipline.
As I mentioned above, Trump’s strong suit, according to his admirers at least, was his stamina, a component of muscular vigor. After this debate the myth of Trump’s stamina is busted. While he started out on more or less equal footing with his opponent, his energy and focus evaporated within a half an hour. A man unable to participate in an intellectually challenging conversation for a few hours should occupy a rocking chair, not the Oval Office.
His asking for my vote is paramount to an insult. His lack of respect for the American people is stunning: If you are running for the president of the United States, have some decency and prepare for the nationally televised debate!
To remain a Trump fan at this point is to ask for more abuse. Monday night Donald Trump went in front of the audience of 80 million people and let his supporters down. Their votes, the money they contributed, their hopes and dreams — all of it means absolutely nothing to their Cheeto idol. He could have easily found the time to master basic facts, to commit a few dozen coherent paragraphs to memory, and he didn’t. He was winging it, and you need an intervention.