Monday, September 26, 2016


I am attempting to unpack why I do not want to watch tonight's debate.

A number of things to point out.  In our history, ever since televised debates became common, the events have had dramatic effects on the elections. Kennedy's first debate with Nixon vaulted him to a national figure and made Nixon seem relatively apprehensive and incompetent.  The Reagan-Carter debate in 1980 was held on the final weekend of the campaign season.  When they went into the debate the polls had the contest neck and neck.  In the debate, as on the election two days later, Reagan won by a landslide.  When Dukakis ran against the elder George Bush, his response to a question about capital punishment torpedoed Dukakis's candidacy.   Ford misspoke in his debate with Carter in 1976 revealing ignorance or, one hopes more likely, just misunderstanding of the nature of the question. Ford's response was a pivot point in the election.  Gore's sighing and eyeball rolling could have been the tipping factor in the crazy 2000 election with the hanging chads.

So, the debates matter.

And the stakes here are very high.  I follow the election polls closely and as of this writing it seems likely that Clinton will win with 272 electoral votes.  Since a winner needs 270, this is a slim comfort margin. Any one state now in Clinton's column swinging to Trump means we have this Trump person in the white house.

It is frightening to me that in many states there are more people who think that Trump would be a viable president than those who recognize this egocentric goofball for who he is.  My favorite quip about Trump was one I heard in an interview. "This guy was born on third base, yet waves his arms and jumps up and down as if he hit a triple." No humility. No sense of how he is not fit for this office.

I think our economy and national safety are on the line.  If we get close to election day and it is still a close race, I will take whatever meagre sums I have in it, out of the stock market and put them in an insured account.  And who knows if that will matter if the person with knowledge of the nuclear codes is this person who always thinks that there is a safety net because for him daddy always provided one.

So, I don't want to watch because I am afraid that Clinton will stumble and, apparently, Trump can fall on his face and dirty his underwear and people in the Dakotas and Kansas and Utah and Oklahoma, and Idaho and Arkansas, and Mississippi and and and, will still vote for him.

I'll take a long walk and then hope someone will tell me that Trump showed his true self and Clinton held her own.

No comments:

Post a Comment