By, Jason Taylor
I was scared hearing Donald Trump’s pledge to throw Hillary Clinton in jail if he is elected. Democracy, Donald Trump style could be like Democracy in Putin’s Russia. Hillary will be the first among many to be jailed for political reasons. Since I’ve been blogging a lot against Trump, guess I’ll be seeing the editors of the NY Times, Senator McCain and others in jail if Donald is elected.
All this focus Trump’s misogyny, as sickening as his treatment of women is, obscures a single over-riding fact about this election: electing Trump could destroy American democracy. It’s no joke folks: this is not partisan hyperbole. Political systems don’t last forever, and democracies often fall in particular precisely because a strong man, backed by a large portion of the population, comes to power with the promise to overturn the system. Why should it be any different in the USA? What hope does a Congress weakened by partisan division have in restraining him? While Trump’s totalitarian qualities were clear enough before, they have become crystal clear now with his threat to jail his opponent.
Trump needs to be called on this “locker room” reference he is using to excuse his twisted behavior on that video. I’ve been in my share of locker rooms and have never heard guys advocating sexual assault. As HIllary says, the video is part of a broader pattern of behavior that suggests he has a problem with women.
Trump was like some kind of trapped animal with all the pacing during the debate. He was not contrite about his vulgar comments and brushed them off as locker room talk”. He looked somewhat disheveled and looked as though he had not slept in a long while. He was constrained, as if he really wanted to explode, but he did manage to hold it together. He was short on substance and long on unfounded accusations. However, I agree with my daughter that Clinton should have forcefully stated that any questions concerning her private server or Benghazi had been “asked and answered and she had been cleared of any wrongdoing”.
She also failed to mention all the conservative newspapers which have endorsed her, some of which have never endorsed a Democrat since being in existence. Further, she should have hammered Trump on all the Republicans who have withdrawn their support for him. Still Clinton showed herself to be well informed and intelligent, while Trump showed he is short on facts and not well informed. He also had trouble staying on point when asked a question.
My take away is that Trump is still standing, and Hillary missed some prime opportunities, and that this town hall debate changed no one’s mind. But the one thing that does stick in my mind was when Trump was asked by one of the participants what attributes Clinton had, he answered (to paraphrase): “ She is a fighter and never gives up”. That is exactly what we need in a President.
I think there is a very low standard for what would be considered Donald Trump “winning” the debate. He didn’t melt down, he attacked Hillary, he was able to use words like “terrible” and “horrible” and “really, really bad” in describing her record or policies. But he said very little of substance and carried on acting as a petulant bully. And that isn’t even going into his shrugging off his boasting of sexual attacks and saying how he wanted to lock her up.
If we want to assess if someone succeeded in this debate we need to consider what their objective is coming from their situation in the race right now. Did Trump accomplish in the debate what is needed given this past week (besides the last 48 hours), his lower standing in the polls, etc? A baseball team that is at bat being three runs down in the eighth inning needs to accomplish something different than the pitcher and his team in the field. Those at bat, don’t just need hits, they need runs, and quick.
Trump doesn’t just need to keep his core supporters happy (lock her up, etc.). The undecideds are not going to go in an avalanche toward one candidate or another, but he needs a sizable number of them, given his polling and the realities of how things are lining up in terms of the electoral college, AND he needs to peel away support from Hillary in key states.
He didn’t do that.