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My take on the second debate

October 10, 2016

We know who doesn’t want Trump to win. Hillary for one, along with the Democrats in general, the 47% who have probably grown to around 55% by now, to which, strangely, you can add many if not most of the wealthiest financial institutions across the world. There is then the media, and not just the journalists and reporters but the owners who are all-in for Hillary. And there’s a large proportion of the Republican Party which must include the #NeverTrumps who are the supposedly right-side conservative writers, bloggers and columnists, but who are part of the political establishment with no obvious allegiance to small government and the preservation of the American Republic. And, of course, there are the dead citizens and non-dead non-citizens who will also be lining up to vote her in, along with those who vote early and often. Not to mention those who will vote for her because she is a woman irrespective of any other considerations whatsoever.

Formidable. Almost impossible odds. And the fact is that even after a flawless presentation against his Obama-clone opponent, in which he took Hillary apart in every phase of the debate in spite of every effort by the laughably “impartial” moderators, the bad news is that Donald Trump remains no better than 50-50 to win. But that is also the good news. He has not yet lost and might yet win.

And why that is so is because he represents the last chance for the United States to save itself, and approximately 51% of the voting American public know it.

The supposed killer issue was a 2005 tape made of Trump discussing in crude terms his approach to women. And possibly in anyone else’s hands, this would have been the death blow that it may even still turn out to be. But for Hillary Clinton, married to a genuine sexual predator, this is an issue that can only be used carefully since the blow back is so enormous. Whatever Trump has done is as nothing in comparison with what Bill Clinton has done, who was protected by Hillary in quieting the many and various “bimbo eruptions” (her term). I regret to have to deal with this, but since you’d have to have been born before 1980 to have an active memory of any of it. I will deal with only one, the story of Paula Jones, and I will include it only at the end.

I find all this repulsive, and the Paula Jones story which is summarised below is the least disturbing among the stories that surfaced at the time, and it is plenty disturbing since it was only one instance of what must have been more common at the time. But what is more repulsive is listening to others go on about Trump, as if Clinton were not orders of magnitude worse. But what is actually significant is that bringing that tape to light has enraged Donald Trump so that we ended up with the single most devastating, one-sided debate in American political history, since with Bill’s past in everyone’s mind, Hillary could not truly exploit the tape to the full extent. Trump’s was a cold anger, but it was devastating.

Donald Trump had two tasks before him. The first was to demonstrate Hillary’s immense hypocrisy in even bringing the tape into the conversation. Trump said that his misdeeds were words but Bill Clinton’s involved deeds. Whatever Hillary might say about Trump, applied with immensely more force to her husband.

The second task was to insist that all of the above was a distraction from the real issues a presidential election should be about. He then forced Hillary to deal with policy issues and on each of these, the substance of the argument was entirely with Trump. There was not an issue that at the end of the debate one could say Trump had not shown a better understanding of the complexities, and that the policies he intended to put in place were not superior. This, in particular, I found quite remarkable. It is Trump speaking.

“These are radical islamic terrorists and she won’t even mention the word, and nor will President Obama. He won’t use the term ‘radical Islamic terrorism’. Now, to solve a problem, you have to be able to state what the problem is or at least say the name. She won’t say the name and President Obama won’t say the name. But the name is there. It’s radical Islamic terror.”

And just as Trump had said, she would not use those words. But irrespective of the words one chooses, there was no denying, as Trump repeatedly pointed out, that Hillary was deeply complicit in creating the problem we now face in ISIS, and Trump made that point very well. In discussing the Middle East, and the “stupidity” of our military strategy, what may have been the most remarkable part of the debate was Trump disagreeing point blank with his running mate, Mike Pence, over the use of the American military in Syria. Pence thought America should. Trump’s reply: “He and I haven’t spoken and we don’t agree.” Not only did he show decisive leadership, it was an answer that ought to quieten at least some of those who worry about Trump leading the US into war. It was also the right answer politically, since the controversy that has occurred since has been over the disagreement with Pence, not whether Trump had the better answer.

What must, of course, be included is this, which is for the ages:

Hillary: You know, it’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.

Trump: Because you’d be in jail.

What he said is that he’d appoint a special prosecutor to look into the many scandals that have surrounded her time in politics, not least the email server she illegally used during her time as Secretary of State. There is much more that could be said, but at the end, what matters is that Trump is back. The obstacles are formidable, but at least it is possible. And there is still the third debate to come.

________

A BRIEF OUTLINE OF THE PAULA JONES SAGA

Let me quote from Paula Jones’s written deposition and then the events that led to Bill Clinton resigning his licence to practise law. First the Paula Jones deposition:

13. We talked for a few minutes. Mr. Clinton asked me about my job. He told me that Dave Harrington (who at that time was in charge of the AIDC) was his “good friend.”

14. Mr. Clinton then unexpectedly reached over to me, took my hand, and pulled me toward him, so that our bodies were close to each other. I removed my hand from his and retreated several feet.

15. Mr. Clinton approached me again, saying “I love the way your hair flows down your back” and “I love your curves.” While saying these things, Mr. Clinton put his hand on my leg and started sliding his hand toward my pelvic area. I did not consent to him doing this. He also bent down to kiss me on the neck, but I would not let him do so.

16. I exclaimed, “What are you doing?” and escaped from Mr. Clinton’s reach by walking away from him. I was extremely upset and confused and I did not know what to do. I tried to distract Mr. Clinton by asking him about his wife and her activities, and I sat down at the end of the sofa nearest the door. Mr. Clinton then walked over to the sofa, lowered his trousers and underwear, exposed his penis (which was erect) and told me to “kiss it.”

17. I was horrified by this. I jumped up from the couch and told Mr. Clinton that I had to go, saying something to the effect that I had to get back to the registration desk. Mr. Clinton, while fondling his penis, said: “Well, I don’t want to make you do anything you don’t want to do.” Mr. Clinton then stood up, pulled up his pants and said: “If you get in trouble for leaving work, have Dave call me immediately and I’ll take care of it.” As I left the room, Mr. Clinton detained me momentarily, looked sternly at me and said: “You are smart. Let’s keep this between ourselves.”

Was he guilty? He has, of course, never owned up to a thing, but the eventual result was that Bill Clinton was disbarred from practising law in the State of Arkansas. The details are at Wikipedia: Clinton v. Jones. The outcome:

The Arkansas Supreme Court suspended Clinton’s Arkansas law license in April 2000. On January 19, 2001, Clinton agreed to a five-year suspension and a $25,000 fine in order to avoid disbarment and to end the investigation of Independent Counsel Robert Ray (Starr’s successor). On October 1, 2001, Clinton’s U.S. Supreme Court law license was suspended, with 40 days to contest his disbarment. On November 9, 2001, the last day for Clinton to contest the disbarment, he opted to resign from the Supreme Court Bar, surrendering his license, rather than facing penalties related to disbarment.

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