I watched my first full length presidential debate tonight. My first one. So it only took me 45 years. My husband remarked that this is one thing that Trump has done for the country; more people are paying attention than ever before.
Okay, I’ll give him that one.
Though it wasn’t Trump who first got me to start clicking on the political headlines more than the pop culture ones. It was Barack Obama. The first time I ever heard of the guy was when he was giving some sort of speech saying that the people of America needed to do a better job of governing ourselves than we have been. A bit of irony there, given Michelle’s hell bent need to determine the legality of what we can eat these days. I feel as though we’re divided by parents – he’s the easy going chill dad and she’s the obsessive meddling mom.
I wasn’t sure what to expect this evening. I’m not on the side of either candidate, really. One thing that Obama instilled in me, and I believe in many, is a hope for the nation that the majority will do the right thing. Right now we’re caught in some pretty faraway places. It’s like living in the land of Oz, and we’re having to decide between the blustering, deceptive Wizard and the wickedly misunderstood Witch of the South.
Some things were a given; the delicious sound bites, the trademarked snarling at each other, the color by numbers body language. At one point I was almost proud of Hillary when she placed her hand over her heart and brought her late father into play. Classic emo move to play to those who want any reason to feel superior over The Donald. The one tactic that I recognized immediately was how easily Hillary was able to bait Trump into his usual playground behavior. Every time he barked, she just laughed. It’s a style of goading that my brother used to do for the first two thirds of my life until I learned to beat him by simply ignoring him. Donald Trump couldn’t ignore anything if he ever even wanted to. The claim that he is so easily provoked by something as insignificant as a tweet isn’t untrue.
Someone – I can’t recall the name – put it rather succinctly in saying that in tonight’s debate, one needed to prove she had a heart and the other needed to prove he had a brain.
We’re having to choose between the lesser of two gigantic evils. On some level, Hillary wants to do the right thing for America, but it’s similar to receiving useless trinkets and polite but meaningless gifts at Christmas. They’re giving us what they think we should have, not what we actually want. The exception in politics has been the last 8 years in which many strides have been made in civil liberties and a war that wasn’t his but an inherited responsibility. If Obama could be elected for another term or three, I just might be persuaded to vote. Trump, however, is so blatant in his egotistical power trip that people are dazzled into buying their own gifts, and they come with his name stamped right on them.
I have no prediction to what’s going to happen this November. My job isn’t to foretell, but to examine what is happening as it unfolds, and it’s been one hell of an eye opener. I have talked with people on and offline from both camps and asked them many questions. It’s fascinating to listen to both when I am on the side of neither. It’s not quite the unobjective view, as if I were to choose between the two it sure as hell would not be Donald Trump. I am not the 1 in 5 who may have been persuaded to change my opinion after having watched this 90 minute circus.
What I can say is that I am not surprised by this uprising of the dark lord known as The Donald. He speaks to people I grew up with, to the ones who are blinded by anger over everything they feel has failed in the United States. They want a country that will be great again, and ignore the many of whom it was never great to begin with. Ignorance – whether by IQ or attitude – is the real problem of America. To quote a Dixie Chick, “it’s been a long time gone and it ain’t comin’ back again.”
If we were to examine the difference in these campaigns, Trump has consistently brow-beaten any and all opponents and any who disagree with him, and he has fed on the fears of us all by shoveling it back at us with a shiny golden spoon. Clinton may not be the likable sort and she’s taken her shots. She had one thing right on the money tonight though: “I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And yes, I did. And you know what else I prepared for? I’ve prepared to be President.”
Game. Set. Match.
She ain’t wrong, folks. She’s been preparing for this moment from the moment she said “I do” to Billy Boy.
So, America, how’s it going to be? This land is your land, but this land is our land too. Are you going to emanate the Cheeto Demigod and look only as far as your front door or your next paycheck, or are you going to take a look around and start helping each other up the ladder?
Because the only way out of this mess is the way we got into it. We need to take a look at how we’ve gotten to this place we are in. It’s quite likely that we’re all so angry because it’s not an answer we want to examine so closely.