Presidential Debate or Reality TV?

If you’re interested in politics, excuse me, if you are interested in reality TV, you probably witnessed the humiliating events that were the first and second presidential debates.  Though the GOP website claims Republican nominee Donald Trump won both debates, and Google and CNN polls claim the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton clearly won both, it really comes down to your personal perception of the debate and who you supported to begin with.  We should also keep in mind that these polls weren’t necessarily one vote per person, and some probably did the online equivalent of stuffing the ballot box.

Through all of the chaos, there was a pattern in the debates, Clinton was given the floor, and Trump constantly talked over her.  Clinton ignored him and continued to deliver her position but their squabble for the floor would make it impossible to hear what either of them was trying to say.  Clinton often ignored the authority of the moderators.  Next, Trump would take the floor, he’d back up his beliefs with lies, and when Clinton or the moderators would confront him about sexist or contradictory remarks from his past he’d respond with “wrong”, or “where did you find this?”

In the last debate, moderator Anderson Cooper asked Trump about the recent leak of a recording of an obscene conversation he had with Billy Bush on an “Access Hollywood” bus in 2005 in which he brags about his ability to sexually assault women because of his fame.  His defense of these comments was that he was in his words, “younger and less mature”, because obviously 59 years and becoming the father of two girls isn’t quite enough time for anyone to grow up.  He also referred to the conversation as “locker room talk” in attempt to downplay his statement then quickly changed the topic to ISIS “chopping off heads”, nice vocabulary Trump.  His response to Cooper’s question took up less than half of his speaking time, the rest was spent trying to distract the audience by bringing up ISIS.

On top of his crude remarks, Trump often provided false evidence for his arguments.  Among these were blaming Hillary for the birther controversy, denying his previous support for war in Iraq, and claiming neighbors saw “bombs all over the apartment” in San Bernardino while responding to a young Muslim woman's question regarding Islamophobia. Trump has lied so much throughout this election Clinton now has live-stream fact checks on her website while the debate is running.  

Though Trump’s recent comments have made it even harder to take him seriously as a politician, the moderators also seem to favor Clinton.  For example, in the first debate moderator Lester Holt continued to question Trump about issues that seemed like they could be straight out of Clinton’s campaign ads, but never brought up pressing issues against Clinton such as Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation, or her email scandal.  Though the moderator is intended to be neutral, Holts obvious favoritism towards Clinton was displayed when he questioned Trump about the “presidential look,” and his tax returns.

The third and final debate was by far the most immature performance by both candidates.  Trump went as far as calling Clinton a “nasty woman” and immaturely stated that he wouldn’t accept the outcome of the election if he didn’t win.  He explained that both the media and election are  “rigged” against him.  Later Clinton pointed out that whenever Trump loses he always blames something else for being rigged, from the Emmy Awards to his own Republican Party, even to the FBI.  And though these three accusations are ridiculous, Trump is correct to some degree about the media as we seem to have suddenly brushed off Hillary’s scandals and emphasized Trumps rude and condescending attitude and out-of-line statements.

Another unsettling point Hillary brought up was Russia’s cyber interference with the election and Democratic National Committee.  In the past Trump has praised Vladimir Putin, claiming he could help take down ISIS, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that Russia is attempting to actually rig the American election in Trumps favor.  And when questioned about the hackers, Trump was suspiciously hesitant to say he does not condone Russia hacking American databases.

The audience hasn’t gotten much out of these debates.  In reality, if anyone is losing this election, it’s the American people.  Our president is supposed to be our country's best, and all we can find for the presidency of the most influential country in the world are a TV personality and a politician nobody seems to trust.  Both of whom are too busy hurling insults at each other to answer Americans questions about their plans in office and to mend out apparently deteriorating country.

Posted on October 31, 2016 .