Well, it’s over. The long-awaited first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump happened last night and I’m not quite sure where it leaves us.
The most interesting thing to me about this whole debate has been the media’s response. The debate itself was actually predictable. More on that later.
After the debate and into this morning, I have been watching the media’s reaction to last night and I must say, it is astonishing that “journalists” in today’s industry can get away with what they get away with.
There is an absolute obsession with ‘fact-checking’ today, which is strange considering facts were literally optional in 2012.
Every single outlet today has their own version of fact-checking. CNN even set up their own page on their website.
The problem with the fact-checking so far is that the media is taking a statement, looking at the authenticity of that specific statement based on their own interpretation of what the statement meant.
When the entire media is in bed with one side, this is extremely harmful to the other candidate.
One of the most alarming things from this morning was on CNN’s Newsroom with Carol Costello. This lady is the epitome of what a journalist should not be. She clearly takes sides, she doesn’t understand broadcast posture and she literally dismisses facts that she doesn’t want to believe.
This morning, the show had a guest on that supported Trump, but in my opinion was extremely fair and more journalistic than the host of the show.
When discussing Clinton’s effectiveness with women, the guest cited that Trump is ahead by 17 points in the polls among married women. Costello said, “He’s not ahead 17 points…” to which the guest immediately fired back and said that he was – she even had the numbers in front of her from an, ironically enough, CNN poll.
Costello literally just said, “No…” and continued to shake her head and moved into the next question. How can a “journalist” get away with that?
So the media can’t be trusted for either side. I don’t think this is a surprise.
The actual debate
The only thing that was surprising about the content of what we saw was Trump’s approach, because he was actually fairly calm and on track.
Clinton was, no surprise, her typical robotic self. She even used the, “baited by a Tweet…nuclear codes,” line again and Trump called her out for it saying it was, “getting a bit old.”
I enjoyed the format of the debate better than most debates I’ve seen. Lester Holt did a pretty good job moderating because he actually didn’t do much moderating.
Finally, we got to see two candidates respond to each other’s claims without being asked dumb, irrelevant questions to try and pull ratings.
The few questions that he actually asked were definitely made to put Trump on the defensive. Holt also didn’t try and cut Clinton off nearly as much as silenced Trump…or tried.
One of the most disturbing things was Clinton’s charge at Trump about his treatment of women. She literally said that women should be get paid the same amount as men even if their output is not equal.
What she is essentially saying is that, regardless of work quality or performance, people should all receive equal compensation. This is one of the most economically dangerous positions I have ever heard.
That means, when your car breaks down, no matter which mechanic you take it to, whether it be the dealer or an under-the-table shack garage, you should expect to pay the same amount no matter how poorly or well your car is fixed.
The other problem I had with Clinton last night was her position on her husband. She literally used Bill’s presidency last night to boost her own resume. When talking about the economy, she cited several figures from her “husband’s administration” that people were happy with in the 1990s.
Since when can a candidate claim their spouse as an extension of them when it’s good politically, but run away from them and deny association when it’s a negative issue?
If Bill’s presidency is a legitimate judgement of Hillary’s qualification, then fine, but that means his entire presidency is legitimate, including NAFTA and the women.
Trump was a calmer version of Trump. He did a little bit better with policy, but I will concede that he needed to be more offensive as he was at the beginning. He has some tremendous point against her, and she is honestly a weak debater.
She is not quick on her feet. Every attempt at a “comeback” she made fell flat besides a very small collection of one-liners.
She can continue to beat a dead horse on her specific positions. But I don’t think she or the media realizes that it is her positions that people don’t like.
She pressed Trump on his tax returns again, and his email challenge was brilliant. But another thing that proved her obliviousness was her shot about hime not paying emails for years.
Trump’s response to “not paying taxes” was, “That makes me smart.” I completely agree with him.
Americans aren’t worried about Donald Trump not paying taxes. I champion people who use the laws to avoid taxes, because tax dollars are largely wasted.
Instead of being angry at the rich people for not paying taxes, I think most people want their own taxes to be lower. So good for Donald Trump for not paying taxes if he hasn’t. That is an aspiration for me, not a corruption.
Where do we go now?
I don’t think anybody learned anything.
People know who Trump is. People know who Clinton is. Neither candidate did anything to pull middle-ground voters to their side last night.
Before the debate, I would have guessed that Clinton was going to be crafty enough to make Trump look bad and win new voters. After last night, I’m convinced that she is not capable.
I honestly think Trump has the advantage going forward. If he stays on a clear message and refuses to be baited into her trap statements, he will win the next two debates. He is the only one offering new things.
The reason people are undecided must be because they are waiting on something new.
Like Trump said, Hillary has been there for 30 years, why would we expect anything new from her now?
The ball is in his court.