It’s also terrible for Trump.
Photo: (Zac Bears/Double Standard)
As we all know by now, Hillary Clinton baited Donald Trump into being a jerk in the first debate. All we’ve heard in the four-day media parade of Trump’s mistakes confirms what everyone already knew. Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s in over his head. And he won’t take advice from anyone who knows what they’re doing.
No one’s surprised. No one’s shocked. We’re all just disappointed.
Since Trump and Clinton secured their nominations, this entire election has been Clinton or some other Democrat tricking Donald Trump into another racist or sexist or ableist outburst. Whether it’s his insults of Judge Curiel because of Trump University lawsuits. Or his attacks on the Khan family because of Khizr Khan’s speech at the DNC. Or his racist “outreach” to black voters because people called him out for being racist on TV.
Now it’s Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe and subject to Donald Trump’s sexist bullying on live TV during the 1990s. Trump reminded voters that Machado “gained a massive amount of weight” in a phone interview on FOX News the morning after the debate.
What do we get from this? Eight minutes of policy discussion in a 90 minute debate between the two viable candidates for president of the United States?
Only one thing I saw, heard or read during the debate really got to me. It was a text from a friend.
Sure, this ‘Miss Universe’ election helps out Clinton. It reminds almost everyone, besides the 20% of people who think Trump won the debate, that Trump is entirely unqualified to be president.
Machado said it best herself in a CNN interview: “I believe and I think this person, he thinks of us as a second class of people. And somebody like that can’t be a president.”
This entire tabloid process makes it impossible to talk about issues that actually matter to people, and that’s what people in focus groups across the country said on TV after the debate. What about medical costs? What about college debt? What about the climate crisis? What about racism and police violence? What about the rent that’s way too dam’n high?
I watched the debate with friends. We didn’t shut it off or switch to football until afterwards. But I don’t think any of us honestly learned anything from it.
Worst of all, no one’s even talking about the only good thing in the entire debate, a candidate (Clinton) finally admitting that every American has implicit racial bias and saying that we have to address it.
My friend Charlotte Kelly, 22, said she’s been asked about the U.S. presidential election “every day” since moving to Copenhagen, Denmark a couple weeks ago. Sometimes the questions are about how the election process works, but sometimes they’re about “how our country has allowed for such an arrogant, misinformed egomaniac to get this close to the presidency.”
She told me she was out with friends the other day when a Dane said to her, “I just think Americans are so stupid.”
“I have definitely heard negative things about the US before but not so bluntly put,” Kelly added. “So I asked why, and she said it was because we, collectively, have allowed the rise of this kind of right-wing politics.”
“Its disheartening that our political system has gotten to this point where we have a political system so viciously divided that political debate has turn in to antagonistic arguments. Our political system has always been flawed and disenfranchised many, but the violence we are seeing in our political system now is worse than ever. Political ideology has demonized compromise, and people have forgotten the purpose of an organized political system, which to me is meant to take care of people,” Kelly explained.
“We are truly failing people here in the U.S., and its hard to see a future where our political system begins to take care of people. The American people are soon to reach a tipping point, either where we decide to address inequality and social violences very seriously, or we continue to ignore and exacerbate the problems that exist in our culture and implode.”
Now Trump is shooting off 3 a.m. tweetstorms about sex tapes and calling Hillary the worst abuser of women in the history of American politics. So we won’t be hearing anything about economic inequality and social violence any time soon.
I think I can hear someone screaming “SHUT IT OFF!” in the distance.
Zac Bears can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.