Last night’s presidential debate was not what I expected. I went into the debate prepared to hear more insults and attacks on character from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, as I wrote in yesterday’s post. What I got instead was a 90-minute controlled discussion about policy that showed a different side of both candidates. I was wrong in my predictions and pleasantly surprised about it.
With excellent moderation from Fox News’ Chris Wallace, the best we’ve seen so far, the candidates talked at length about the Supreme Court’s future, immigration policy, and the Middle East. Here are my two big takeaways from the third debate.
Don’t take what Donald Trump says at face value
Go home media, you’re drunk. Donald Trump’s comments about not willing to accept the election results have been completely blown out of proportion. Have we forgotten who Donald Trump is? This is the same man who at the Republican primary debate in August was the only one to not raise his hand when Fox News’ Bret Baier asked all the candidates if they would back the eventual GOP nominee. The next month Trump signed the RNC loyalty pledge only to backtrack once again months later. This is a man who thrives on unpredictability and angering the Republican establishment. His very campaign has been a threat to traditional American democracy. After all his recent comments on a rigged election and a rigged media, we shouldn’t have expected anything different from Trump. My prediction? Don’t take what he says at face value. Trump will concede to the election results when November 8 rolls around.
Last night’s losers were undecided voters
Unfortunately for voters still sitting on the fence, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump did nothing to persuade them to come to either side. It’s been four months since Hillary Clinton grabbed Bernie Sanders, the young people’s champion, to join her campaign and yet she’s done very little to incorporate his campaign platform into her debates. Last night, Clinton spoke of Sanders only twice; once to talk about college affordability and once to attack her opponent. If she wants to appeal to the undecided progressives she has to do more. They are still a sizable chunk of the population that could help kick Clinton’s lead into high gear and definitively secure the nomination. It’s too bad her history with the banks and moderate policies are preventing her from seeing that.
As for Donald Trump he made a big mistake by not promising to keep Roe v. Wade in place. A woman’s right to an abortion is something that many female voters have taken for granted for over 40 years. In his argument against the 1973 Supreme Court decision, Trump said “you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month on the final day”. His logic defies common sense and shows his lack of any real understanding of how abortion works. That sort of talk might go over well with supporters who thrive on his extreme, overarching way of speaking but it doesn’t sit well with the undecided who can see through the rhetoric.
We’re now in the homestretch with only 19 days to go before Election Day. The debates may be over but the attacks will continue. Both candidates have a lot of dirt on their hands, far more than we’ve seen in any election season. It’ll be interesting to see what eventually wins voters over — a sex addict or a deceiving politician.
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