QED

Trump’s Surplus, Hillary’s Deficit

hill and donTrump is a never-ending story. Who in their right mind would ever tune in to see and hear Hillary? Trump on the other hand is interesting. That is one reason why I think he will win. But being interesting has its drawbacks. You have to talk as do ordinary people. And sometimes ordinary people say things they shouldn’t. Those of you who have ever been drunk know too well what I mean. But even short of inebriation we all fall foul of high standards of civility at times.

Take this erstwhile fat Latino chick (oops! Sorry), Miss Universe 1996, Alicia Machado from Venezuela, who is attacking Trump allegedly because he made certain derogatory remarks about her weight twenty years’ ago. I have no idea whether, in fact, he referred to her as Miss Piggy as she claims and, if he did, to whom and how loudly. He may not have said this at all. The lady in question seems to have had a chequered past and might be making it up. But would you be irritated if you were running a beauty pageant and the winner with a calendar of subsequent appearances to fulfil proceeded to get fat?

OK, if you are a man, you might be struggling with the sheer sexism of considering a woman’s weight. And, moreover, you know what dangerous territory it is. So, switch topic and subject. Suppose you are a flamboyant boxing promoter who sets up a tournament to find the next new contender. A winner emerges and the schedule of fights towards the big pay-off is set in motion. Subsequently your prize-fighter spends most days not in the gym but on his couch eating chips and drinking beer. Oh dear, you might say, you are being a naughty boy.

Steve Kates wrote an excellent piece on the great debate and I don’t want to go over his ground. I don’t know who won. I don’t even know how to tell who won. We all see what we want to see.

There are some people apparently who are undecided and can be persuaded to shift one way or the other at the drop of a hat. A drop of a hat might be Trump sniffing or Hillary shimmying while grinning. I found both annoying. However, while Trump was clearly unconscious of the effect he was having on his microphone during the early part of the debate, Hillary’s display looked as though it had been choreographed beforehand. Let me admit to being hopelessly biased and finding Hillary’s grinning demeanour insufferable rather than merely annoying.

One thing stood out. Under the guidance of the moderator, NBC News anchor Lester Holt, the debate was largely a staged event to shield Hillary and get Trump. When Holt brought up the so-called birther issue and premised a question with his own debatable fact that Trump had changed his mind about the Iraq war, they were illustrative of two things. First, this was largely to be a policy free zone; and, second, omission of inconvenient subject matter being a well-practiced technique of the left, it was to be a Hillary-scandal free zone. There was to be no Holt-initiated talk of Benghazi, or of Libya, or of the Russian reset, or of emails, or of the Clinton Foundation, or of what she said to Wall Street bankers, or of dodging imaginary bullets in Bosnia.

As complete by the way, can anyone tell me why querying where someone is born is racist? I seem to recall questions about the birthright of Cruz to run for president. Is that racist too? I suppose it is, after all, his heritage is Cuban. It is only not racist if the birthright of a white man is queried. I would also emphasize ‘man’ because if a white woman’s birthright were queried, while it would not be racist, it would most definitely be sexist.

Conservative criticisms of Trump’s performance focus on the things he should have brought up and didn’t and on him being too easily tangled in the weeds of his own affairs in responding to Clinton’s well-rehearsed personal barbs. I think he should practice doing something about this second line of criticism in the next debate. As to the first; so far I must have counted up twenty or thirty things conservatives have said he should have said. He can do better obviously; perhaps, by making list of, say, five things he must bring up one way or another. But, it is impossible to say everything. A debate takes on a life of its own and to a large extent you have to go with the flow.

Maybe Trump can use his opening statement to good effect. And start it with something like this:

“I am not going to dwell this evening on the messes Secretary Clinton has helped create in Iraq, in Syria and in Libya, or on her role in beginning the disastrous and demeaning Iranian deal, or on the pay-for-play corruption of the Clinton foundation, or on the tragedy of Benghazi and the lies which followed, including to the bereaved parents of those needlessly killed, or on the extremely careless handling of classified information on her home server and the lies which followed, or on the destruction of some thirty thousand emails subpoenaed by congress and the lies which followed. I think the American people are already sufficiently aware of Secretary Clinton’s record. This evening I want to talk about my policies to put America and Americans first.”

Just a thought from a non-expert when it comes to debates. Mind you, I’ve had many a to and fro with companions after a few glasses in earlier years. I suspect I might even have said a few a few uncivil words, though perhaps not with quite the abandon of Trump. But before we get all precious, Churchill’s reputation remains intact despite verbal indiscretions, real or made up. When tackled for being drunk by Labour MP Bessie Braddock – who I can personally attest (she was from my home town of Liverpool) would not have won a Miss Universe contest – he reportedly replied to the effect that, yes, he was drunk but would be sober in the morning while she would still be ugly. I haven’t heard that Trump has said anything quite so cutting and unkind. So let’s give him a break and concentrate on his policies which might work to produce a better America and better world, as compared with Hillary’s which won’t.

16 comments
  • [email protected]

    An excellent review of the first debate Peter. Also, your penultimate paragraph is a clear call to Trump to keep talking on his agenda for the country and to not be provoked to focus on his personal issues.
    This year being a first time subscriber to Foxtel, so I would have access to Andrew Bolt’s TV program each evening, I have much appreciated the additional access to view conservative US commentators including the energetic and experienced Sean Hannity. In Australia without cable TV one has no choice but wall-to-wall Lefties.

  • Keith Kennelly

    Want to see the lefties gag? And have a huge laugh.

    Tell them you bet on Trump for pres and Abbott to return as PM and that your bet is looking pretty good.

    Then to see them in meltdown mode.

    Tell them the South Australian premier admitted SA was dependent on the Vic Interconnector for baseload power, moments before Vic turned it off, and SA plundered into darkness.

  • en passant

    peter,
    Given the 37 scandals (or is it 57, it’s hard to keep up) , crimes, endless incompetence and fabrications of Hillarity, the fact that she will get more votes than seven day old roadkill is an indictment of American democracy and the illegals, dual & multiple voters and dead people who will turn out to support her. Surely she cannot win without a massive corruption of the electoral system (not to mention the usual intimidation, threats and cheating at which she and Bill are so adept)? Actually, it would be a disappointment if she does not cap off her life of successful organized crime by stealing the Presidency. The ultimate proof that crime does pay.
    Good patriotic brave men, dead in Benghazi but what does that matter when there is money, money, money to be scooped up through payola and a few meaningless speeches for favours? No wonder the Hollywood supernovas are falling over themselves to fete her as the biggest blockbusters are about organised crime and corruption, and no story of of unpunished crime is greater than that of predatory Bill and his not so Ladylike Mrs Macbeth Clinton. What exactly is their married story that she enable his behaviour and sticks by her (and every other available woman’s) man. Actually, the rumour is that noPeter,
    Given the 37 scandals (or is it 57, it’s hard to keep up) , crimes, endless incompetence and fabrications of Hillarity, the fact that she will get more votes than seven day old roadkill is an indictment of American democracy and the illegals, dual & multiple voters and dead people who will turn out to support her.
    Surely she cannot win without a massive corruption of the electoral system (not to mention the usual intimidation, threats and cheating at which she and Bill are so adept)? Actually, it would be a disappointment if she does not cap off her life of successful organized crime by stealing the Presidency. Hillarity and Bill are the ultimate proof that crime does pay, but the joke is on the USA.
    Good, patriotic brave men, died in Benghazi but what does that matter when there is money, money, money to be scooped up through payola and a few meaningless speeches for favours and paybacks? No wonder the Hollywood supernovas are falling over themselves to fete her as the biggest blockbusters are always about organised crime and corruption, and no story of unpunished crime & corruption is greater than that of predatory Bill ‘Macbeth’ and his not so Ladylike Mrs Clinton. What exactly is their married story that she enables and supports his behaviour and sticks by her (and every other available woman’s) man. Actually, the rumour is that not all his victims were ‘available’, but Bill was up to the task of taming the reluctant recalcitrants.
    This is the Clinton team that is going to save the western civilisation from the barbarians – for a fee, of course. I think not.
    The American voters either play our Trump card or it is a lay down misere that the decline of Western democratic civilisation to the point of no return will come sooner rather than later
    t all were ‘available’, but Bill was up to the task of taming the recalcitrants.
    This is the Clinton team that is going to save the western civilisation from the barbarians – for a fee, of course.
    I think not.
    We either play our Trump card or it is a lay down misere that the decline of civilisation to the point of no return will come sooner than later.

  • en passant

    Apologies that half the first draft was not deleted

  • Jody

    I entirely disagree. Trump is a dangerous narcissist of the type the Phillipines people are dealing with right now; he’s every bit as vulgar, offensive and unstable as Duterte.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-03/rodrigo-duterte-apologises-to-jewish-community/7897090

    And Trump hasn’t even paid his taxes. That last is the final nail in what will prove to be his coffin. I’d mortgage my house on it!!

  • Dallas Beaufort

    The media will take every last cent of the Democratic Parties $1 billion advertising election fund while the so-called disconnected groundswell will elect Donald J Trump

    • Jody

      Would you like to make a small bet about that?

  • [email protected]

    Jody, while I generally agree with your assessment of Trump, I’d be interested in your source for the taxes comment. Even the egregious New York Times does not claim that Trump hasn’t paid his taxes. Unless I’ve missed something, all it says is that he “could have avoided” taxes since whenever having claimed a nearly $1 billion loss some years ago. Now, while tax evasion is illegal, unethical and even immoral, tax avoidance is legal, ethical and, surely, a CEO’s bounden duty. No doubt you will recall Kerry Packer’s famous comment on that issue. I’m one of those who believes that no matter how unsavoury Trump might be, what the Diplomad 2 calls “the Clinton Crime Syndicate” is infinitely worse.

    • Jody

      By all means, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but if Trump had paid taxes and was challenged on that – and might lose the election by not providing it – you can bet your sweet life he’d provide that information. He’s up to dodging/evading/minimizing – the whole works – right up to his eyeballs. Such a bad look. And writing of $1 billion! Heck, I thought he was a ‘successful entrepreneur and businessman’. These are losses on the scale of BHP Billiton!!!

      • Rob Brighton

        Google just informed me he is worth 3.7 billion, his financial disclosure doesn’t give exact detail as most of the assets are in the “more than 50 million” box. Estimates range from 3.7-7 billion number.

        In 1989 he was worth 1.5B.

        How would you describe a guy that survived losses of up to 60% of his net worth and went on to rebuild his business value up to 3.7-7 billion except as a “successful entrepreneur”?

        • Rob Brighton

          Given the parlous situation USA finances find themselves in, are these not the exact skills needed to get them out of the hole?

          • Jody

            Not when he doesn’t pay his employees – aka trades people and other contractors.

  • [email protected]

    I think it’s fair to say that the US IRS under the Obama administration is utterly corrupt. See their targeting of the Tea Party and its associates. Whenever the administration has been given the opportunity, it has used various instruments of government to attack its perceived enemies. Dinesh D’Sousa was a loud and persistent critic, so they found a way to throw him into jail on relatively trivial charges concerning illegal campaign donations amounting to mere tens of thousands. Meanwhile, the Clinton Foundation has been reaping tens of millions of foreign donations most of which have been diverted into Hillary’s pockets, or Bill’s, not one cent of which would have been spent on her campaign, of course. And all the pigs are fully fueled and cleared for takeoff.

    Now, unless the IRS is as incompetent as it is corrupt, something I’m prepared to believe in most cases but not in this, you can guarantee that they’ve gone through Trump’s taxation affairs with a fine tooth comb for years and years. I don’t know whether he has been formally audited, but unless he’s entirely stupid he would have been long since aware that, as a threat to the Democratic succession, they would do everything in their considerable power to bring him undone. So far they haven’t.

    If, as you say, he’s refused to release his returns, then someone leaked them because the nasty bits about his write offs are everywhere. I wonder who might have done that. Oh, wait! But nobody is suggesting he’s done anything illegal.

    At my age, these might be the last presidential elections that I’ll see, and it makes me very sad that a once great nation has been reduced to such a parlous state that out of its 350 million people it cannot find two more suitable candidates. I fear for my children and grandchildren whose lives will almost certainly be jeopardised by the fools and rogues who have destroyed the Pax Americana under which we have ourselves thrived. Trump may well be a foo, but Hillary is certainly a rogue.

    • Jody

      Now you’re into the realm of conspiracy theories.

      • [email protected]

        I think it is well established that the IRS targeted Republican supporters under the Obama administration. Do you disagree?
        Similarly, do you disagree that the Democratic machine would have gone through Trumps affairs down to the last detail.
        None of that is a conspiracy theory, just common sense.

  • Jody

    I think it’s a magnificent irony that the nation which once advocated so strongly and aggressively for globalization and free trade should now be on the pointy end of that.

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