I just finished watching the first presidential debate and was expecting it to be painful to sit through. To my surprise, I actually found it informative and it held my attention. Recognizing my own confirmation bias, I tried to listen critically to both candidates. Could my own world view keep me from making a rational judgement? I owed it to myself to try to listen to both candidates as if I’d never heard them before. Here were my takeaways from the debate:
- Trump just can’t tolerate being called wrong. Over and over he interrupted when he disagreed with Clinton’s remarks. You could see on his face how angry it made him to have his judgement questioned.
- Where Trump either sidestepped questions or answered in generalities, Clinton answered in specifics (to the degree that the format allowed).
- Trump continued to ignore history and pretend that he never said the things he said. And when he admitted to them he said they were either said “lightly” or were unimportant.
- Trump proved to me he does not understand international treaties and foreign relations while Clinton had an excellent grasp.
- The best Trump could say on court cases where his companies were sued for racist practices was that he settled without admitting guilt and that it happened to lots of other companies also.
- Trump as much as admitted it was his strategy to blame Clinton for everything and anything. Either his grasp of recent history is woefully inadequate or he just doesn’t care and will say anything. He blamed Clinton for virtually every woe in the world today for things that predated her entry into politics. That woman has some amazing influence by Trump’s reckoning.
- Trump basically says almost every idea that comes from Clinton was “failed” or “a disaster” without providing any evidence. His ideas are “great” but, again, no evidence to support that other than the words came from his mouth.
The only Trump positive I could find was that he actually remained relatively calm. This was the same Trump we’ve seen just quieter. He dismisses any idea that isn’t his; can’t tolerate criticism and dodges responsibility for anything he’s done. By comparison, Clinton was articulate. She was prepared and her arguments made sense. It was clear to me that Trump does not have the temperament to be president and Clinton does.
Congratulations to Secretary Clinton for a great job and further solidifying my confidence in her.