On the Day of the Last

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The last Trump-Clinton debate is later today. As a matter of fact, many are readying themselves to watch … especially the partisans. To my non-U.S. audience, excuse this lengthy post about US politics, so I understand if you switch to my previous post about Walktober, which you will probably find more interesting and satisfying.

I’ve enjoyed following politics for a long time. I liked conventions because of the good speeches. I watched debates out of curiosity and being informed to make a judgment. I started this blog in August 2008 around politics and sports. I’ve morphed since then, but politics is still in my gut – although I’ve been more silent this year than in the past.

The 2016 election is (unfortunately) different. I didn’t watch either convention. I didn’t watch any of the debates during the primaries of either party, nor any of the debates in the past few weeks. The list of why not was always longer than the list of why. Tonight isn’t any different because I’m going for the shutout.

One reason to not watch is simply because the chances of a candidate answering the question is (at best) remote. The moderator will ask a question, then the candidate figures out a way to segue from the question to the prepared talking point. (In my debate rules, the microphone would be turned off and the candidate would enter the Cones of Silence.

Candidates have been doing this for years, but that doesn’t mean we the people don’t deserve better. Because I’m tired of it, watching would be a waste of time – so, instead, I’ll probably spend my time writing a future post about my recent trip.

2016 is also interesting in other ways. It seems that Hillary Clinton was proclaimed the nominee-in-waiting many years ago. I wonder what the Democrats would have done if she didn’t seek the nomination? After all, I never got the impression they were grooming anyone.

Nonetheless, she is the nominee – she’s also smart and experienced. On the other hand, besides being a polarizing figure to many, I don’t trust her. Although the email issue is mainly an issue for her partisan opponents, it’s a non-issue for me … but, it is an example of why I don’t trust her. Deep down I sense that she means well, but the Clintons are who they are. (Note: Overall, I think Bill Clinton was a good president.)

Donald Trump is the Republican nominee. When he announced his candidacy way back when, I stated (and repeatedly stated) that he wouldn’t be the nominee. I admit missing that one, but I’m still amazed he did so, thus wonder, why have Americans lowered themselves to that standard?

Regardless of “knowing more about ISIS than the generals”, Donald Trump’s candidacy has never been about issues and never been about substance. The man lacks intellectual depth that a U.S. President requires. Several times he promised to be more presidential and talk issues. Each time he failed as he reverted back to his ways. That’s simply him being him.

His candidacy is based on fear and shallow promises. His based his candidacy on making fun of people as low-energy Jeb – let alone other unnecessary personal attacks on individuals and groups. His candidacy is based on false information, misconceptions, and misleading statements. His candidacy is based on saying anything – even contradictions of his own words – all in the name of exciting his base that gives him a free pass on most things he says simply because he isn’t Hillary Clinton.

Interestingly, Hillary Clinton’s candidacy really wasn’t a secret or a surprise – and she was very beatable. The Republicans countered by nominating:

  • A candidate who is finding it difficult to beat a beatable candidate.
  • A candidate who stoops low.
  • A candidate with pathetic moral fiber, yet flying under the banner of the party of family values.
  • A candidate who used his personality to effectively use the media to get the nomination, but one who now blames the media for his current troubles that he brought on himself.
  • A candidate who claiming the election is rigged. (For the record, states run the election … and most states have Republican governors, officials, and legislatures.)

Elections shouldn’t be about likability because the major question in 2016 (now more than ever) is who is most fit and capable of leading this country? Election 2016 much less about ideology. Likability aside,and given the choices, the answer is more than obvious. Whether one supported Mitt Romney in 2012 or not (and I didn’t), there was no question in my mind he was fit to serve.

Fortunately for me (and others), two alternatives exist in Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. The latter had no chance of my vote, but I listened to Johnson as I looked for an alternative. To me, he lacked substance during a time when I was looking for substance.

I’m having a difficult time understanding how so many people can support Donald Trump. The two main reasons (in my opinion) must be blind partisanship and a total disdain for her. The sheer numbers raises my concerns about my country much more than the concerns I have about each candidate.

The Arizona Republic (Phoenix newspaper) have never endorsed a Democratic presidential candidate in its 126 year history. This year their endorsement headline was the following: Endorsement: Hillary Clinton is the only choice to move America forward.

Because of their stance, the newspaper received many threats. So many that it wrote a second op-ed responding to the threats. This column is worth reading (and the endorsement is linked within it).

Under normal circumstances, I would leave my presidential spot on the ballot blank. I’ve done it before and am willing to do it again – but in 2016, the stakes seem too high for me. On Election Day 2016, Hillary Clinton will get my vote – but it is more of a vote against Donald Trump than it is for her. She is unquestionably better than the alternative.

Back to me watching the final debate. No, no, no … I’m still not watching because the odds of something changing my mind are between slim and none. Besides, I would rather watch this clip from Ellen.

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77 thoughts on “On the Day of the Last

    • Debra,
      The non-Americans are amazed at the political situation here … amazed how DT has come so far … and amazed that he has a chance …. and I say “amazed” in a way that isn’t flattery to him.

      Like

  1. I don’t know of anyone who knows anyone who would vote Trump. I don’t know of any American who thinks Trump is a good idea in any way – yet there he is and because his is the name that is most mentioned it is likely he will be the one elected. [This is where I really, really want to be wrong!] The rest of the world is likely to build a wall about America if he is!! Down my way there is no talk of either candidate being suitable and the question raised is ‘Is this the end of American Democracy?’ I’m watching DWTS, it’s way more fun and edifying!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As a Canadian, who hasn’t lived in the United States, but has many friends who do, I find the American election in one word to be very “scary”. God help us all if Trump does somehow win, and if he doesn’t I truly hope many Americans do not take “arms” to correct the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Again I come back to a fundamental problem. Neither should be running. I have decided to write in my candidate so at least I would not be giving one or the other the advantage of my avoidance vote. This is a shameful point in our history and I’m not proud of the choice I have to make. Excellent post, Frank and I support your thoughts. Still and all it is Obama’s fault.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A most thoughtful and civil post! You treated both candidates with honesty. I will start watching tonight but will turn it off if it becomes to ridiculous as I have done with other “debates.” Hillary is not the perfect candidate but she is the most qualified and will serve with dignity.and represent the US well in the world. Trump is an embarrassment to the county. Loved the video!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have watched every debate for the past year, more out of morbid curiosity than anything else. Tonight will no different. However, twenty days from the election, I’m feeling exhausted by it all. I do know people who are voting for DT. Most don’t talk about it, a few can’t shut up about their hatred for HC. Regardless of who wins, the next four years are not going to be easy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Angela,
      To what them all takes a lot of strength! Exhausted is a good word. The best thing the parties can do is shorten the process for the future … but wait … I can’t imagine them doing that!

      Yes … regardless who wins, the next 4 years could be trying … and much will depend on how Congress is divided. (Oh boy ….) After all, I’ve already heard a prominent GOP senator say that his party will work against all Clinton Supreme Court nominees.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I just made a hardcopy of your post, which I find truly amazing in it’s completeness. You hit all the points of why Donald Trump is unfit to be President of the United States.
    I too will be voting for Hillary Clinton, for all the reasons you mentioned.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As I cruise Facebook and stumble upon people who are voting for Trump, especially women it baffles me. I agree with your conclusion on each candidate and it is a matter of the lesser of two evils. DT may be a pawn thrown in to secure a Clinton win. Those who are voting for Trump say they wouldn’t vote for Clinton because she’s a liar but Trump blantly lies every time he opens his mouth.

    I watched the first debate between HC and DT but I don’t feel like watching them play the dozens and skipped the last one and I’ll miss this one and catch the recaps. Hopefully we survive the next four years and find a worthy candidate for 2020.

    Hello Frank, I am trying to ease back into the blogging world. I missed our little community. I enjoyed the video, needed that laugh out loud. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kim,
      No politician is perfect … not even close … but the parties have done the rest of us any favors. Hope all is going well for you. I haven’t been around much in recent months for a variety of reasons.

      Like

  8. Thanks for the overview–you are right, of course! I know people who are voting for DT to not vote for HC. It scares me. He scares me. Not sure HC will be great, but better than him. The next four years will be a challenge no matter who wins–well actually, the American people are likely to be the losers no matter what.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think you have already, in a way, made one argument why one would vote for Trump – you don’t trust Clinton. And a lot of people don’t, and the fact that Trump lies much more often may not matter as long as he’s not Clinton and says the things people want to hear (“Islamic terrorists bad, illegal immigrants bad, criminals bad, China bad, and I’ll lower the taxes and will fix everything”). It’s all just a matter of how much you don’t trust Clinton – and if you don’t trust her, you don’t like her, and if you don’t like her, you trust her even less, and so on.
    And then there’s the fact that the middle class is not doing any better, if not worse, compared to where it had been decades ago, while the rich are getting richer and richer. And Clinton is probably one of the best-known insiders of that very political establishment that let it happen. So Trump would mean drastic unending of the system (or at least, would be more likely than Clinton to bring change). The problem is that the change he’ll bring – if he’ll even bring any, in my and many people’s opinion, would be for the worse, not for the better.

    Like

    • X,
      There is one thing that was in my head that didn’t (unfortunately) make it in this post. Voting for U.S. President is not the same as voting for class president or prom king & queen. It’s note a popularity vote or a vote about likeability. Yet, many are treating it as such (which to me is crazy).

      Yes, I said I didn’t trust her …. but in this case, she is unquestionably the most fit … regardless of likeability.

      Like

  10. I feel your pain, Frank, because I’m experiencing it too. I don’t get it. None of it. This has to be the worst presidential year I’ve ever witnessed. Perhaps there were some that were worse in our history. I don’t know. Ever since I saw DT coming down the escalator looking like any dictator would look (for some reason, that scene brought to mind North Korea), I thought that his candidacy was surely a joke that no one would take seriously. As for Clinton, not a big fan there, either, but will be following you in voting for the lesser of two evils.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robin,
      There is so much to dislike at the 2016 election. For me, the process is too damn long and too expensive. … and then I get to the candidates.

      The candidates carry many bags of pain … horrible. However, in my analysis I didn’t like of it as the lesser of two evils … but simply, of the two, who is best to lead the country … and that (to me) is a slam dunk. Of course his pathetic nature surely helped make the choice much easier.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I really enjoyed reading your succinct analysis of the two candidates and our national dilemma. I honestly don’t disagree with you on any point. I am also deeply troubled that Trump could garner this much of a following. I have distanced myself from a few friends who remain Trump supporters, and I’m not so sure the rift isn’t permanent. I’m too bothered to know they can accept him simply along party affiliation, overlooking all else! I watched all debates. I simply couldn’t stay away. I’ve never seen anything quite like Trump’s open hostility and I would probably look at a train wreck when I shouldn’t, too! The Ellen clip was great! I can enjoy the humor!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Now that clip of the little dance may just have been worth all those debates. Just maybe. That was great. Such a polarizing, emotional time and for many it brings a lot of anxiety. I hope for a peaceful outcome, Frank, whatever happens. Although it looks pretty clear Hillary will win the election now. For me, it’s not over until it’s really over! Thanks for sharing your views.

    Like

    • Amy,
      The dance clip is great in so many ways …. especially because this is an election that needs some good, honest laughs. Yes, at this point HC is the odds on favorite, but stranger things have happened, so it’s not ever yet … but in the end, let’s hope for civility.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Frank!
    I wouldn’t have thought that Trump had a chance if it wasn’t for two things – firstly us here in the UK voting to leave the EU, I totally didn’t expect it, and neither did most of the UK I would say, even those who voted for exit didn’t actually expect it to go that way; it was a real shock to a large percentage of the UK as I’m sure you’re aware. And the second thing was finding out that a friend of mine from the states is a Trump supporter. A woman a few years younger than me who I’ve known for about 18 years, someone who I consider to be intelligent, kind, thoughtful, level-headed. When I found out she was a Trump supporter, then I got scared for America, for the world. Your comment to someone about voting for U.S. President not being the same as voting for class president or prom king & queen also highlights the immaturity of many people – when the country here voted to leave the EU, many of us protested about the result wherever we could, on facebook, or wherever our outlets were, and the amount of cries along the lines of “sore losers!” we got was unbelievable, as if it was all just some kind of game!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vanessa,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughtful comment.

      At first I didn’t get your link between Trump and the Brexit vote … but in the end, I got it. Yes, Many here are treating the election as Facebook or a school election … statements as “I don’t like her” is a poor reason to vote for an arrogant, bloviating, disrespectful, poorly informed narcissist. I may not be her biggest fan (and did say I don’t trust her), but with the contrast in this election, I couldn’t sit this one out ….. thus will vote for her.

      In a similar story as you and your friend, my cousin in Italy was surprised by an American (whom she considers smart) said she would vote for DT because she hold HC in such low regards.

      Like

      • The link with Brexit was really nothing more than it gave me the realisation that a crazy choice CAN win a vote! (Not sure if that’s what you got in the end). I had a bit more faith in the electorate before that (even if I often didn’t agree with the outcome of a vote).

        Like

  14. Speaking from the UK, I agree with Vaness-Jane that the Brexit vote shows that if we are careless, as our political leaders were, then something crazy can happen. For so many reasons Trump is unfit to serve.
    Loved the video!

    Like

    • Phillip,
      Welcome first-time commenter and thanks for following up on Vanessa’s comment. Being a informed voter is extremely important. I know there are people who always vote for a particular side (no matter who is running), but that doesn’t mean they are informed … in the same thought, that doesn’t mean they aren’t informed.

      Regarding Brexit, is there much regret in the UK about the vote? (I ask because I don’t know).

      Like

      • Thanks for the welcome. You asked about Brexit and regret. I have yet to meet anyone who voted for Brexit but that reflects where I live and who I meet. I also read the Guardian newspaper which probably says a lot.
        Among the Remain people that I know there is huge regret and foreboding for the future.
        I read that some people voted Brexit in a fairly lightweight manner and they also now are regretting their action. Many Brexiteers, however, are keen to push ahead despite the consequences as we will regain our sovereignty and the UK will reclaim its rightful place – reminiscent of “Let’s make America Great again”.

        Like

  15. I wondered the same thing about Hilary. What WOULD the Democrats have done if she decided to sit this out? As for the Republicans, they have been asking for this. For years. I didn’t imagine it would look this way, but really, who did?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cayman,
      No question the GOP has been asking for this … and it’s something they set up themselves. But I’ll wait to say more until after the election once we get the results.

      Hey, hey, hey … How about those Dolphins today!

      Like

  16. aFA:

    Sorry to respond so late but I was busy escaping from the locals bearing pitchforks and torches.

    Other than the political hacks – Giuliani, Christie, Sessions – all hoping to become Attorney General and overturn bunches of liberal laws, the reason that so many people support (enthusiastically) The Donald is that we have a nation that has a substantial portion of its population who are ignorant of how our country works, both nationally and internationally.

    These blue-chinned, knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing wonders listen to The Donald and hear the same talk that emanates from their blowhard Uncle Don at the dining room table or their buddy Don gulping down his fourth beer at the local watering hole.

    They honestly believe that, if they were put in charge of the country and allowed to administer their form of enforcement without interference from all those unnecessary government rules and regulations, they could cure all our nation’s ills. Hence, they support the man who promises to do just that.

    As to how we end up with two unsavory candidates from the two major parties, it may be the fact that many otherwise worthy candidates simply do not wish to endure the seemingly endless (and mindless) requirements of lengthy campaigning.

    C-a-L

    Liked by 1 person

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