Last night’s debate was, at least for me, a tense affair: Hard to watch Hillary attempting to communicate with the audience on issues that concerned them while batting away Trump’s bombastic stream of falsehoods and accusations. Really, it took me back to the Cold War days when we were constantly fighting the Soviet strategy of the Big Lie. Just lie so big and so often that it is simply impossible to counter all of them. Trump to a T. He was banking on the fact that Hillary wouldn’t have time to correct every lie that came out of his mouth and still talk sense about her programs.
A second problem is that there is a total disconnect in their styles. Hillary favors clear, logical presentations of ideas, while Trump spins a salesman’s narrative. He is not about presenting facts and detailed plans for you to judge; he’s out to hook you. Once he has done that you are no longer important, and neither are the promises he’s just made. Companies will spend a great deal of time and money to lure customers, and once caught, customer service becomes tertiary. That’s what he would call a brilliant deal.
As usual, Trump played his role as Alpha Male – not realizing that for most people that translates into “bully.” He stalked Clinton as she moved around the room, a looming, ominous presence. Threatened to jail her if he becomes President. Many of his people will respond favorably to that. The rest of us see a dictator manqué.
Two Trump lies that I wished Clinton could have addressed were the rise of ISIS, which he attributes to the vacuum left when “Obama and Hillary” left Iraq too soon and his ‘investment’ in his campaign. Any informed person knows that ISIS is the continuation of Al Qaeda in Iraq, which in turn was created by the Bush team’s ineptitude. That needed to be said, because fear is his Trump card, so to speak.
The other (I’m only focusing on two among the many that really bugged me) is that Trump said he has spent a hundred million on his campaign –and why hasn’t Hillary? Because, he says, paraphrasing Sanders, her big money friends made it unnecessary. She might have pointed out that he has mostly lent, not donated, that money to his campaign, to be paid back later, and that much of his campaign’s spending was directed to Trump businesses–then a nice segue to his foundation’s illegal activities. Donald doesn’t do anything for anyone but Donald.
She made her case well, as she always does, despite a lukewarm defense on emails and, well, Abraham Lincoln? But I worry that it isn’t as seductive as Trump’s nonsensical narrative. I haven’t seen anything yet about people’s reactions, but I doubt that many voters out there have failed after all this time to make up their minds, whatever they may tell pollsters. I’m still betting that Hillary will be our next President. The alternative is truly so awful – who wants to wake up on a January morning with the DTs? – that I don’t even want to think about it.