#Debate Headache was the trending tag all through the debate. Although as I watched, there was less of a headache, and more groans of “oh man.” This debate, while it had some zingers and much better questions was still a cluster of missed opportunities.
Let’s start with the abortion topic. Chris Wallace specifically asked how each candidate viewed the constitution. Is it living or not? Should it be interpreted literally or changed to fit the times? Neither one of them answered this question, and neither of them pushed on it. Hillary made her answer about equal rights for all people, specifically abortion and LGBTQ. Trump had the perfect opportunity to bring up the rights of the unborn, but he didn’t do it. If she is so for everyone’s rights, why isn’t she for the rights of the unborn? He could have pressed this, but he doesn’t have the knowledge of abortion and pro-life to do it. In addition, she brought up late term abortions and the health of the mother. She played a sympathy card for all these women who don’t want to abort, but end up having to. If Trump were truly pro-life, he would have been able to say that less than 1% of abortions are done for the health of the mother. 99% of abortions are done for convenience sake, late term or not. In fact, a former abortionist said he had never seen a case where an abortion was necessary for the health of the mother. Sometimes in treating the mother, it caused a miscarriage but it was never necessary to cut the child to pieces for health of the mother. A truly pro-life candidate would have hammered her on this issue.
And later when he was pressed on Roe V Wade, Trump could not say that he hoped the courts would overturn it. He said he was appointing pro-life judges and it would go back to the states. That sounds an awful lot like he doesn’t want to overturn it. Even though I know overturning it will probably never happen, I would say “yes, absolutely I think it should be overturned.” I think most true pro-life people would agree.
Then Chris Wallace brought up Wikileaks and quoted a part of Clinton’s speech where she said her dream “was open borders.” Of course she dodged the question and brought it around to Wikileaks conspiring with Russia. Trump had the perfect opportunity here to just state that regardless of how Wikilieaks got the information that it was all true. She would have then had to defend her open borders answer, but instead Trump went down the rabbit hole of Putin and Russia again and let her off the hook. From someone who competed in Debate in High School, I just was shaking my head that he didn’t press her on these issues. Someone should have taught him how to flow a debate. Maybe then he could have made more points.
Of course Hillary missed a few as well. The problem with being as scripted as she is is that you don’t listen to answers. You are too focused on what you’re about to say. When Trump was asked about the allegations of sexual misconduct, he said “they were largely debunked.” Now, I know in Trump speak that might mean something different, but “largely” generally means mostly, which means not all. Hillary should have hammered him on this. “Largely, but not entirely?” should have come from her mouth, but no. Then Trump goes on to say he’s never met these women, except one of them worked in his building and one of them was on The Apprentice with him, so he’s met at least these two. Again, why didn’t she hammer this home?
On the economy, I thought they both did pretty terrible. Neither of their plans are affordable and both will raise the deficit. Of course the answer from both of them was basically, “no, it won’t” followed by no substance, so that was a wash. However, according to the numbers Chris Wallace reported, Hillary’s will cost slightly less and raise the deficit slightly less. Yay, I guess.
Then of course came the crazy statement from Trump that he may or may not support the winner. Let’s be clear on this: he has no intention of supporting the winner unless it’s himself. He flat out said that he would not support the winner in the Republican Primaries because he thought they were rigged against him. He’s already said the general election is rigged against him and it hasn’t even started yet. This is the pattern of Trump and many other bullies – win at all costs, claim it’s rigged against you if you lose, and never take responsibility for just being bad. Now, I do believe the election is rigged in Democrats favor. The proof of dead voters and illegal voters is there, but if Trump loses it won’t be because of a rigged election.
It will be because he scares voters the most.
As the debate came to a close, the pundits once again began praising Trump. I will admit that this was his best performance so far, but it still wasn’t a great performance. Like him or hate him, someone like Ted Cruz would have eviscerated Hillary Clinton.
I like that Trump didn’t sound as scripted as Hillary, but some practice in listening and writing down points he wanted to make would have made his performance better. Also, someone needs to give him a grammar lesson. As an English teacher, I cringe every time the word “bigly” comes out of his mouth. For someone who touts his intelligence, he often sounds very uneducated when he uses the wrong word, and also when he says “no one respects women more than me” after his vulgar words and his assault charges.
I watched Evan McMullin tweet his answers to the same questions during the debate, much better answers in some cases. All in all, I think America will lose “bigly” with either of the two candidates in the debate tonight.
Lorana Hoopes is a Christian author who focuses on the inspirational with a touch of romance.Her books are available at Amazon.