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Trumped or bumped?

By John Hargreaves - 4 October 2016 7

Trump-vs-Clinton[1]

A month after we go to the polls next week to decide whether Andrew Barr or Jeremy Hanson will lead us for the next four years, United States voters will elect the successor to Barack Obama.

How many of you saw the debate between the Democrats’ Hillary Clinton and the Republicans’ Donald Trump? Apparently about 30 million tuned into the telecast.  I don’t know if that is worldwide or just in the good old US. But it is a record.

My thoughts are that Clinton was measured, dignified (most of the time) and well versed.  She had obviously rehearsed and had listened to advice on the attacks likely to come from Trump. She had taken advice on how to deal with the email issue and probably any reference to Bill’s indiscretions.

She showed a command of foreign and domestic political issues, as she should have as a former Secretary of State. I thought she handled the Donald very well and tickled him up a bit along the way.

She showed Trump to be the bully and the xenophobic misogynist that he is. His reference to the weight of the Miss Universe and his description of a women as being pigs, slobs and dogs, and his diminution of Ms Machado as Miss Housekeeping showed his underlying contempt for women.  She also showed him as being capable of lying whenever it suits him. He said that he opposed the invasion of Iraq when he did no such thing. She also showed him to be thin skinned and trigger happy.

But an outstanding knock out performance it wasn’t. She didn’t win the debate, rather Trump lost it.

Trump huffed and puffed but didn’t blow the house down.  He resorted to flowery language, bluster, illogical answers to reasonable questions and was not able to articulate his policies other than he rhetorical sloganeering that has characterized his campaign thus far.

Now I know that most of the people I associate with are left of centre in their politics and have a dislike for the Republican Party almost by instinct. But here we have abundant reasons to do so.  We have a party in the Congress hell bent on opposition for its own sake, and a presidential candidate who is downright dangerous. 

His utterances on foreign policy are as outrageous as Kim Jong-un and as dopey as Tony Abbott’s threat to shirtfront Vladimir Putin. His attitude to Muslims, Latinos generally and Mexicans specifically are xenophobic in the extreme.  His solutions to the madness which is the Middle East is to bomb ISIS out of existence.  Yeah right! 

And many people in the US want to give him the red button and the nuclear codes!

Back to the debate.  I hadn’t seen much of either candidate until that telecast and I was amazed at the gulf between them. 

I haven’t spoken to anyone who has had a good word to say about Trump’s performance.  But I guess there are some out there in the ether who would say that the man is an “agent of change”, that he is just the tonic to make “America great again”, that a man who is a financial success is just what they need. A three-time bankrupt who was given $US13 million by his father to start off his working life and who lost $1US billion last year and hasn’t paid taxes for ages is a success? Mmmm.

But is a man who has no compassion for the struggling class, as evidenced by his purchase of buildings housing low income battlers and turning them out, “to make money”, and avoiding tax as being “good business”, a good choice for the leadership of the free world?  Is a man so driven by his own ego and sense of destiny fit for the Oval Office?

Is Clinton fit for the job?  I think so.  She showed dignity and class against Trump’s bullying and bluster, she showed a command of her subject against Trump’s meanderings and illogical thought processes, she showed calm under stress against Trump’s reaction to being tickled up, she, when fact-checked, was not telling porkies yet Trump’s fact-checks revealed a porkie every three minutes.

Clinton will make history as the first female President of the US after the November 8 vote, but nowhere near the first female leader of a democracy.  There have been many more leaders of the free world who have been women.  Some have paid a high price, Golda Meir, Sirimavo Bandaranaike and Indira Gandhi for example, and some have strutted the world stage successfully and less so, Angela Merkel, Helen Clark, Julia Gillard and Margaret Thatcher to name a few.

No, Clinton is fit for this job because she is an all-round good performer, who is highly regarded internationally, she is experienced and she is politically tough.  I think she is and always was better than her husband.

Anyway, that’s how the debate struck me. If you want a counter view check out Andrew Bolt in the Daily Telegraph of September 29.  It is a good laugh.

 

What’s Your opinion?


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7 Responses to
Trumped or bumped?
devils_advocate 10:51 am 05 Oct 16

creative_canberran said :

1) Politicians shouldn’t micro-manage. She could have done something. But it was up to CIA, DSS and military to organise protection.

2) Her use of a private email was consistent with previous secretaries of state.

The Director of the FBI publicly condemned her as being ‘extremely careless’. Do you want a person who is ‘extremely careless’ to be holding the nuclear launch codes?

devils_advocate 10:48 am 05 Oct 16

Ian said :

Meanwhile, Trump’s problem is merely insanity.

It could be insanity. Or, he could be acting entirely consistently with his modus operandi that was very clearly spelled out in ‘the art of the deal’. In that book, first published in the 80’s, he outlined how he makes a ridiculous opening offer and then negotiates down to something acceptable to both sides. Ring any bells?

creative_canberran 10:47 pm 04 Oct 16

devils_advocate said :

There are 3 key reasons why Secretary Clinton is not fit for office:
1) Benghazi
2) email server
3) Clinton foundation “pay for play”.
The polls are narrow because people are struggling to choose which is the lesser of two evils.

1) Politicians shouldn’t micro-manage. She could have done something. But it was up to CIA, DSS and military to organise protection.

2) Her use of a private email was consistent with previous secretaries of state.

3) Charitable foundation made money and some people got a bit more attention. That’s how politics works and at least the money didn’t go to lining their own pockets. Compared to Trump who dodged taxes for two decades and left people out of pocket for billions of dollars?

Now Clinton is no saint. She’s the candidate you need to settle for in this competition, not the candidate you want. And I suspect if this were Trump v Biden, Trump would already be finished. But she is “fit” for office, certainly compared to a a former actor and a former alcoholic in recent terms.

Good piece John. Interesting you mention Trump with his finger on the red button. If he ever tried that, no joke you would see a mutiny at the highest levels of the US military. The Generals may be trigger happy, but they’re no dummy. As Powell one said, nuclear weapons are useless.

dungfungus 10:27 pm 04 Oct 16

Ian said :

devils_advocate said :

There are 3 key reasons why Secretary Clinton is not fit for office:
1) Benghazi
2) email server
3) Clinton foundation “pay for play”.
The polls are narrow because people are struggling to choose which is the lesser of two evils.

Meanwhile, Trump’s problem is merely insanity.

Do you have a certificate to table to prove that?

Ian 10:14 pm 04 Oct 16

devils_advocate said :

There are 3 key reasons why Secretary Clinton is not fit for office:
1) Benghazi
2) email server
3) Clinton foundation “pay for play”.
The polls are narrow because people are struggling to choose which is the lesser of two evils.

Meanwhile, Trump’s problem is merely insanity.

Masquara 9:39 pm 04 Oct 16

I would say that putting on 30 kilograms if your job is beauty queen might not be appropriate in today’s media world. It may well have been in her contract. And apparently this woman was involved in a murder. So i’d just leave it to Trump and her to slug it out without taking sides, frankly.

devils_advocate 5:00 pm 04 Oct 16

There are 3 key reasons why Secretary Clinton is not fit for office:
1) Benghazi
2) email server
3) Clinton foundation “pay for play”.
The polls are narrow because people are struggling to choose which is the lesser of two evils.

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