The big – whatever you want to call it – “elephant,” “matzo ball,” “dark cloud” – in the second presidential debate in St. Louis was Donald Trump’s disgusting misogynistic language he’s used in the past when he thought the mics weren’t on.
For the record, this controversy puts people like me in an awkward position. On the one hand, we Christians will never be able to countenance any of the lewd and lascivious behavior that our presidents have engaged in. On the other hand, it should be obvious that there exists a deafening hypocrisy in the media when it comes to sex. The idea of someone abstaining from sex is so alien to our journalists that news of Christian youth initiatives to wait until marriage barely cover an eye roll and a snigger of “yeah right.” Remember when PromiseKeepers came out? Various articles highlighted the suspicion that this men-only initiative was an “anti-woman’s movement.” And of course, anyone daring to call the media itself on its increased use of nudity and sexual innuendo in prime-time is automatically shut down by cries of “Prude!”
So it was in this atmosphere of the media’s “we’re the free speech guardians” sanctimoniousness that the debate began (transcript). From the outset, the elephant was front and center. Clinton took the bait offered by the moderators, and Trump hit right back in spectacular fashion. Trump responded with Bill Clinton’s disgusting actions with women (and, by the way, given Clinton’s history with women, would it surprise anyone but the most hamstrung Democrat that he had had similar banter with Trump on the golf course?). Trump also reminded listeners of Hilary’s vicious attacks against those who had brought charges of misogyny against Bill.
This thrust-and-parry continued for a just a few minutes more, because it became clear that Trump had successfully wrested the focus from his comments and and back onto the substance of their policies.
The way Trump did this was vintage: he wasn’t afraid to attack Bill Clinton – who was there – and he had brought to the debate several of the women from Bill’s alleged or real sexual past. The idea, of course, was that “they’re there if I need them; if she’s hung up on attacking me for my words, They’re ready.” The success of this was evidenced by none other than BBC, who whined that “Trump launche[d] ferocious attack on Clintons.”
That pretty much put the matter to bed, despite the moderators’ grade-school attempt to keep it going by saying – to presidential candidates, mind you – that “[The tape with Trump’s comments] is generating intense interest. In just 48 hours, it’s become the single most talked about story of the entire 2016 election on Facebook, with millions and millions of people discussing it on the social network.” Let’s see…A nation that made the Kardashians famous, and whose viewing tastes range from “Jackass: The Movie” to “Housewives of Orange County,” and who made “Fifty Shades of Grey” an Oscar winner, likes to talk about a sex tape. Wow, let me write that down.]
But this playground shoving match seemed to take all of the oxygen with it, because after that there was nothing new left to say. Clinton continued with her plan to open the store and let everyone come in and take what they want, and even debuted a duct-tape-and-bailing-wire approach to fixing what they both agreed was broken with ObamaCare.
For his part, while continuing with his themes of unfair business practices and general economic conditions, Trump again brought to the light of day several things that should be disturbing to most voters. He mentioned Jonathan Gruber’s boast regarding the Obama administration’s deception of the “ignorant” American public. (Anderson Cooper did a great job of reminding us that Bill Clinton himself basically said that Obamacare “tastes like crap, but you can live on it.”) And he put on display the DNC’s duplicity in their support of Hillary against Bernie Sanders as well as Bernie’s own comments regarding Hillary’s “bad judgement.”
But Trump also, in talking about the driver of political campaigns – money – brought up what has to be one of the more attractive things about his campaign: because of his wealth, he is not beholden to special interests from whom he must squeeze every last dime, but that that Clinton is:
So I will have in my race more than $100 million put in — of my money, meaning I’m not taking all of this big money from all of these different corporations like she’s doing.
…I ask Hillary, why doesn’t — she made $250 million by being in office. She used the power of her office to make a lot of money. Why isn’t she funding, not for $100 million, but why don’t you put $10 million or $20 million or $25 million or $30 million into your own campaign?
It’s $30 million less for special interests that will tell you exactly what to do and it would really, I think, be a nice sign to the American public… [W]hy aren’t you putting money into your own campaign?
If we’re not looking at style (Trump had none) or “polish” (watching him campaign is like watching someone use steel wool on chrome wheels) or the “rules of debating,” or any of the other things that are superfluous in deciding who will be our leader, in the humble opinion of this writer, Trump won the debate. After quickly dispatching Hillary’s and the media’s “would you elect a potty-mouth?” distraction, he continued to highlight the things that really matter: the lies, deception, untrustworthiness, and hypocrisy of the Democratic Party’s Big Government Smarmism and, at the very least, the businesslike and finance-centric way in which he would approach the biggest problems we face. But it remains to be seen how the American voters will see it when they enter the voting booth in November.
Categories: Political Punditry