The Professor and The Debate

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The first Presidential debate of 2016 had just finished and the spin rooms were already active with talking heads. Professor Clark shut off the wide-screen TV that dominated his home office. He said, “It is a pleasure to have this class in my home for this historic debate. There is no question that this is the most important election period in my lifetime. There are serious issues at stake. Many have been postponed for years. The very direction of the nation is being decided. The kind of world you will live in for the rest of your lives is being debated now throughout the nation. To verge on the sensational for a moment, I don’t think it is a stretch to say the very existence of this unique nation could be a casualty of the election.

“I know it is late and the sleep time hard-working students get is precious, but I want to go around the room and get some one-liners from you. Alison, let’s start with you.”

Alison said, “Secretary Clinton stayed on message and showed very good debate discipline, but I don’t think she scored many points. Her poll numbers will remain relatively constant.”

“Robert, you’re next.”

“It’s hard to pick a clear winner. Trump missed several opportunities to score but he did as well as he needed to. The moderator was clearly helping Hillary and that will resonate with his followers.”

“Carlos, what’s your take?”

“I agree with Alison and Robert. The debate was a draw or close to it. Secretary Clinton had the worst hand, having to run on the direction Obama put this nation on when the people are screaming for change.”

“Katrisha, comments?”

“I saw the debate nearly the same as my colleagues, but was struck by the body language. Hillary was ‘smirky,’ stiff and her voice was too high-pitched. Trump showed anger and some petulance. He couldn’t get over his ‘counter-punching’ instincts. As a result, he let his opponent direct the substance of the debate.”

The Professor nodded at Paul and said, “Go.”

“I thought at a presidential debate even a moderator from NBC would play it fairly straight. It could have been worse, but his frequent interruptions of Trump, the selective fact checking and the avoiding of any questions on e-mails, illegal servers, BenGhazi, the Clinton Foundation and many others showed a clear network biases.”

“Barbara you’re on.”

“I was struck by the fact the contestants seemed to be unconsciously addressing different audiences. Hillary’s comments, I believe, were directed to the wonks and the Washington establishment. Trump seemed to be ignoring that audience and speaking to the people outside the handpicked inside audience. His pitch should have resonated with mainstream America. Especially the working people and those who are having difficult times just feeding and housing their families.”

“Edward, comment?”

“Yes. Irrespective of the judgments coming out of the spin rooms, the wonks and talking heads have been wrong about nearly everything associated with this campaign. And they have been wrong because they dislike the Republican candidate deep in their core. Trump is not of them, he doesn’t look like them. He doesn’t share their beliefs and perhaps worst of all, he is not an ideologically pure right-wing conservative Republican. The Conservative establishment class, including those in Congress and the feckless national security crowd, are giving, at best, very tepid support to the Trump campaign. The entire Bush crowd is an example of these political correct Brahmans.”

“Not exactly a one-liner but then the one-liners have been growing with each speaker. Alice, it is up to you to wrap this up.’

“I’ve enjoyed the comments and have to admit some of them surprised me. Indicating that while we all witnessed the debate, we saw different things. This is not a traditional presidential campaign. Maybe this is closer to a revolution than an election. Maybe, just maybe, in most countries these issues would now be being fought in the streets.”

“Excellent comments. This is a remarkable class. Go get some sleep and we will pick up these threads in our next class. Thank you.”

 

 

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Filed under Barry Kelly, Capitalism, Clinton, Conservative views, democrats, Intelligence & Politics, Obama, political solutions, Presidential Debate, Republicans, trump

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