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The Debate From Hell

October 11, 2016
Plain English Version
Photo credit: (Reuters/Rick Wilking)

Photo credit: (Reuters/Rick Wilking)

The reason to debate is to help voters choose a president. This did not happen Sunday night. It was a verbal battle between a schoolyard bully and the “good student.”

 For Donald Trump the personal attack is the way to go. The topic could be the Middle East, the U.S. tax code or the economy. He said these are “disasters.” Hillary Clinton was “there,” he said. That means she is the reason for the disasters. 

 Trump spoke about the celebrated videotape. On the tape he spoke about his approach to women. It was ugly and insulting. Some say it was an example of sexual assault. Trump apologized to the audience. He said it was “just locker room talk.”

 He brought up Bill Clinton. He said that there were women in the audience who Mr. Clinton had sexually assaulted. Mrs. Clinton did not respond.

 Most of Mr. Trump’s statements were misleading or just plain wrong. He did “sort of” say he has not paid federal taxes for years. Then he went on to say he pays millions in taxes. He still has not released his tax returns. We do know he did not pay federal taxes.

 Trump knows his supporters believe him. For many years he said President Obama was not born in America.  Mr. Obama proved he was born in Hawaii. That fact did not stop Trump. When the issue came up in the debate, he said a friend of Mrs. Clinton started the rumor.

 For Trump, the idea is to keep repeating something even if it is not true. For example, The San Bernardino attack. He said “many people saw” bombs in the apartment of the terrorists. It is not true.

 Observers said Trump kept his campaign alive by his performance in the debate. He has vowed that he will stay in the race. Many Republicans are deserting him.  Trump said he would “get even” with them.

 He said the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a “disaster.” This is a good example of his overreach. It is true that the ACA is not working as well as Democrats hoped it would. Trump said he would “repeal and replace it” but did not say how he would do so.

 With regard to Mrs. Clinton’s emails, he said that if he were president, she would “be in jail.”

 The atmosphere at the debate was tense. Mr. Trump stalked around the state. The exchanges between the candidates were sharp and often ugly. He interrupted Mrs. Clinton and charged the moderators with being “unfair.”

 Everybody agrees on one thing. Donald Trump is the most bizarre person ever to run for president in memory.

Source: The New York Times October 10, 2016

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