Welcome back to the OTV Debate Coverage 2016. Today we’re recovering from not only the 2nd Presidential Debate, but also Columbus Day, the holiday when we celebrate the arrival of a clueless outsider into an arena where he was unwanted and uninvited, whereupon he set in motion the events that would lead to more than 500 years of suffering and turmoil on this continent.
I’m sickened. (and not just about Columbus Day, but that, too). If you watched the debate, you’re probably sickened, too. In fact, I was so upset at the 1-hour mark that I curled up into a shivering ball under my lavender blanket and had nightmares of a Cold War II.
I know we don’t want to relive it. I know it hurts, BUT — can I promise you something? I promise if you read this post aaaaaallllll the way to the end, there will be a happy ending. And READ it, don’t just scroll to the bottom like it’s one of the chain letters your Aunt forwarded to your AOL account in 1998! Read it to the end and you’ll get a happy ending, I promise.
OKAY! So here’s my take on the debate last night. We watch the debates to gauge the candidates’ sincerity. Right? By now, we know all of their policies, they’ve made their platforms very clear, it’s been eighteen months of this. A month away from the election we’re looking to see who is the most sincere. I believe that not only did Donald Trump demonstrate an abject lack of understanding of how the government works, the only time he appeared sincere was when he was throwing tantrums:
COOPER: Please allow her to respond. She didn’t talk while you talked.
CLINTON: Yes, that’s true, I didn’t.
TRUMP: It’s nice to — one on three.
RADDATZ: There’s been lots of fact-checking on that. I’d like to move on to an online question…
TRUMP: Excuse me. She just went about 25 seconds over her time.
RADDATZ: She did not.
CLINTON: Well, here we go again. I’ve been in favor of getting rid of carried interest for years, starting when I was a senator from New York. But that’s not the point here.
TRUMP: Why didn’t you do it? Why didn’t you do it?
COOPER: Allow her to respond.
CLINTON: Because I was a senator with a Republican president.
TRUMP: Oh, really?
Clinton brought this up, I believe, to illustrate that Donald the Dictator doesn’t understand the concept of “checks and balances,” so let’s help him out:
He can use all the help he can get, because he’s the presidential candidate who stood on stage and addressed the nation with this perplexing, piss-poor excuse for a sentence:
The education is a disaster.
Hrrrrm, yeah, okay. That’s not…really…you don’t need to say “the”…Okay, moving on…
And we’re back in Tantrum Town!:
TRUMP: She said a lot of things that were false. I mean, I think we should be allowed to maybe…
RADDATZ: No, we can — no, Mr. Trump, we’re going to go on. This is about the audience.
TRUMP: Excuse me. Because she has been a disaster as a senator. A disaster.
Okay, so let’s talk about disasters. How about the disaster in Syria? Donald, thoughts?
TRUMP: … for weeks — I’ve been reading now for weeks about Mosul, that it’s the harbor of where — you know, between Raqqa and Mosul, this is where they think the ISIS leaders are. Why would they be saying — they’re not staying there anymore. They’re gone. Because everybody’s talking about how Iraq, which is us with our leadership, goes in to fight Mosul.
Oh look! Another Trump Tantrum!:
TRUMP: You know what’s funny? She went over a minute over, and you don’t stop her. When I go one second over, it’s like a big deal.
RADDATZ: You had many answers.
TRUMP: It’s really — it’s really very interesting.
The final question of the debate came from this guy:
“My question to both of you is, regardless of the current rhetoric, would either of you name one positive thing that you respect in one another?”
What the heck are you talking about, guy? This is the Presidential Debate, not RuPaul’s Best Friend Race! (I’m still waiting for that to actually exist) (please!)
Hillary responded “IDK his tie is cool,” and Donald actually gave Clinton some high praise: “I do disagree with her judgment in many cases. But she does fight hard, and she doesn’t quit, and she doesn’t give up.”
AND GUESS WHAT! We’re at the happy ending!
Now you may have noticed – I hope you noticed – that I did not once during this post bring up either of the candidate’s pasts. Nope. Check me! I didn’t. The reason I did that is because a lot of people have turned this election into a grudge match of who-did-what-worse-bad-thing-when. I’ve decided to only focus on that thing I talked about at the beginning, what was it? Oh yeah — sincerity.
While Donald Trump paced the stage like a standup comedian at an open mic practicing for The Comedy Central Roast of Bill Clinton and Sidney Blumenthal, Hillary Clinton really impressed me by looking the voters in the eye, thanking them for their questions, and giving thoughtful, sincere answers like:
“We are not at war with Islam. And it is a mistake and it plays into the hands of the terrorists to act as though we are. So I want a country where citizens like you and your family are just as welcome as anyone else.”
“I want a Supreme Court that doesn’t always side with corporate interests. I want a Supreme Court that understands because you’re wealthy and you can give more money to something doesn’t mean you have any more rights or should have any more rights than anybody else.”
“I respect the Second Amendment. But I believe there should be comprehensive background checks, and we should close the gun show loophole, and close the online loophole.”
The happy ending is that we have at least one candidate running for president who is prepared to execute the office with skill and sincerity. The next and final debate could be very different, so until then, hold on to your sanity, dear friends. Keep following the fact-checkers, keep your cozy blanket handy, and let’s hope that, sometime in the next nine days, someone shows Donald how to use a neti pot.
Meghan Sara has written obnoxiously opinionated pieces for Queenthings, Femnasty, xoJane, and BUST. Meghan has spent the past seven years of her life blogging incessantly at meghansara.com, and the last five years of her life telling ghost stories on the streets of Manhattan with Ghosts, Murders and Mayhem Walking Tours. Fervent feminist, outspoken opinionist, and not half-bad taco chef, Meghan dotes over her garden of homebred succulents by day and hasn’t met a sangria she didn’t like by night. When Meghan isn’t oversharing her opinions on Twitter, she’s at Burning Man. When she isn’t at Burning Man, she’s wishing she was.