Friday, September 30, 2016


As a reluctant supporter of Hillary Clinton, due to the fact that my preferred candidate never got in the race, I was very concerned going into Monday’s debate.  This is because I know Donald Trump was the more likable of the two.  This is part of what made him such successful media and ultimately reality TV personality.   It is this charisma that allows him to go on several racist rants, such as questioning a judge’s ability to be impartial because of Mexican ancestry or insulting gold star parents who lost their son, without the normal social consequences that would typically befall a candidate.   No matter what he says a good portion of his supporters brush it off like they would some random statement their crazy uncle made.  “He may be politically incorrect but at least his heart is in the right place.  He is not really racist he just says occasionally things that men of his generation say.”[1]   

                American presidential election history has shown when a more likable candidate goes against a person who perceived to be more experienced they have a built in advantage.  They don’t have to win the debate; all they have to do is look presidential and the voters will go with who they like.  Examples include Kennedy vs. Nixon in 1960 and Bush vs. Gore in 2000.  In both cases the more likable John F. Kennedy and George W. Bush were able to strengthen their candidacies against the incumbent Vice President, Richard Nixon and Al Gore[2].   In both years the incumbent party was coming off a popular presidency and they were expecting triumphant victory but what they got was a close race and the White House going to the challenger[3]

                So I was concerned that Donald Trump would follow this pattern.  Fortunately America ended up seeing the worst debate performance in presidential history, surpassing even 1976 when Gerald Ford seemingly forgot the Iron Curtain existed.   

                For me, the most important part of this debate was not Trump admitting he doesn’t pay taxes, his frequent interruptions of Clinton when it was her turn to speak, admitting he didn't pay taxes, or coming unhinged while claiming he had great temperament.  To me the issue was his birtherism, and how he is so proud of himself for creating enough noise in the media to get Obama to release his birth certificate. 

                The reason I find this so important because I remember it when it first happened.  Trump flew in down in one of this Trump helicopters stood in front of reporters and announced how deeply proud of himself that he had harassed the first African-American President to the point he had to show his papers.  Here is a video of that day.

                When this memory was triggered another memory immediately popped up.   Trump’s replaying his pompous pride of his birther roots brought back not only the memory of his foolish helicopter press conference, but a more pleasant memory of national nightmare ending when in less than a week after Trump’s prideful announcement  President Obama announced this:

                He was dead.  The number one of the United States of America in the 21st century, Osama Bin Laden was dead.  U.S. Seal Team 6, acting under the orders of the President, went into Pakistan and killed him.  Just as then-Senator Obama had promised to do during the 2008 campaign. 
Bin Laden

                So while Donald Trump was looking in Hawaii for a birth certificate for a man whose birth was announced in the local newspaper nine days after he was born, our President was hunting down the most horrific terrorist in U.S. history.  He wouldn’t stop with Bin Laden either.

So talk about priorities!  While Trump worked on his TV show and mounted a campaign saying one hurtful remark after another, President Obama was making America safe from its enemies by crippling the organization of al-Qaeda by killing off all its leaders.  It was quite an improvement over the previous president who vowed to bring them to justice but got lost in Iraq.  President Obama took the fight right to the enemies by, in his words, “using a scalpel not a hammer” to solve problems.
            Donald Trump was proud of himself for his work as birther, I however am proud of my President.

{Rule on comments any comment that doesn't directly refer this post will be deleted.}

[1] Those are the least scary of his supporters, the worst ones are those who hear his bigoted statements and get excited by them.
[2]  To be fair both Nixon and Gore also made serious errors in their respective debates.  Nixon refused to wear makeup not understanding how that would reflect on his appearance on television and Gore kept sighing and going on about his “lock box.”
[3] Although in Gore’s case he won the popular vote. 

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