In case you missed last night’s second presidential debate, here are five observations of what went down.
1. The media is solidly in Hillary Clinton’s corner
Imagine a heavyweight boxing match in which the referee blatantly favors one fighter over his opponent and even throws punches on that fighter’s behalf. Such corruption would be an outrage. That is exactly what happened last night. Moderators are supposed to moderate not debate, yet Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz frequently interrupted Donald Trump and sparred with him on issues ranging from his lewd remarks to the Syrian crisis. This breach of neutrality may have been forgivable had they done the same thing to Hillary Clinton. But alas, Clinton received preferential treatment the entire evening, prompting Trump at one point to exclaim “It’s three against one!” He was quite right.
The post debate analysis was equally one-sided. One of the networks even fact checked Donald Trump’s claim that Hillary Clinton’s tax proposal would raise taxes on the Middle Class by quoting Clinton’s own website as its sole source of authority. Then, with utter sincerity, they pronounced Trump’s claim as “Not True.” But they never actually fact checked anything. If that same logic were applied evenly to Trump’s lewd remarks caught on video, then we would have to reject Hillary Clinton’s accusation that Trump does not respect women solely on the grounds that Trump himself denied it.
But as the night proved, that kind of shoddy logic only works for Clinton not against her.
2. Trump finally went on the offensive, but he needs to be more effective
The opening question last night was on the leaked video in which Trump made some deplorable and lewd remarks. His strategy was clear from the onset: downplay the remarks as “locker room talk” and move on to other more important issues. It was an unfortunate misstep in strategy because the moderators quickly sought Hillary Clinton’s response, which she gave eagerly and said all the right things from the Democrats’ perspective. Only after that did Trump circle back to Bill Clinton’s own lewd behavior while in the White House and Hillary’s alleged treatment of the former president’s victims. It was a valid comeback but too late and too weak.
He also failed to point out Hillary Clinton’s most glaring double-standard of the evening. In response to Trump’s leaked video remarks, Clinton spoke at length about how it revealed Trump’s true character even if it was merely locker room boasting. Later, however, when she admitted to using her private server for classified emails, she defended herself by using Trump’s own reasoning, saying that there was no evidence classified information fell into the wrong hands, thereby she downgraded her own egregious error to merely a mistake which she would readily take back if given the chance.
But certainly if Trump’s perverse remarks, even if you allow them to be taken in context of mere locker room banter, reveal a character flaw inherent to his person then Clinton’s use of a private email server for classified information should also reveal a character flaw, this one of startling incompetence on a level which should disqualify her from holding any high political office.
But again, Trump failed to capitalize on this double-standard and if the moderators noticed the hypocrisy, which is doubtful, they were certainly not inclined to point it out.
3. Trump is a jerk, but we already knew that.
If you skim through our articles here at On The Rocks during the course of this election cycle you will note how often we denounce Donald Trump because of his character.
The leaked videos are deplorable and lewd, yes, but that is not a new revelation. We are being forced right now to plug our collective noses and throw our support behind Donald Trump in spite of his character, not because of it. We do this because the alternative is far, far worse.
As one of my relatives put it: “I would tell the Grand Old Party ‘I told you so,’ but at this point we’re just beating a dead elephant.”
4. Don’t call anyone evil (unless they’re Russian)
A Muslim woman in the audience asked each candidate about Islamophobia and the future of American-Muslim relations. Hillary Clinton pounced, devoting her time to talk about how Muslims have always been an integral part of American society and how she fears that by using belligerent terms like “Islamic Terror” it paints all Muslims with too broad a brush.
But only a few questions later, when asked about the Syrian crisis, she quickly pointed out that “Russians” were the real problem. Not Putin, not Russian leaders, not even Western “extremists.” She kept saying “Russians” were the problem, like she was a grade school boy playing war with his friends – the Russians were always the bad guys.
If we apply her own standards regarding the use of the word “Islam” to her use of the word “Russians,” then by her own measure this unnecessarily alienates Russian-born Americans. Doesn’t it rile up hatred and outrage against Russians living in the United States and paint with too broad a stroke?
Once again, Clinton applies a double-standard.
5. Christians should not vote for Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton summarized this election very well: “There’s a lot at stake. This is not an ordinary time and this is not an ordinary election.” To her point, she presented the Supreme Court vacancy as Exhibit A. She expressed deep concern that one of Trump’s potential nominees to fill the open seat actually wants to repeal Roe v Wade (gasp!).
To Clinton, the protection of Roe v Wade was the singular most important issue in nominating a new Supreme Court Justice, followed only closely by upholding the redefinition of marriage. This alone should cause every Christian to withdraw their support. I have heard many of my friends denounce Donald Trump for his antics, but nothing Trump has said is in the same realm of evil as the detestable practice of murdering the unborn in their mother’s womb.
Hillary Clinton is not some social justice warrior who just hasn’t thought about abortion long enough to recognize it’s evil. Neither is she a politician who frowns upon abortion even while allowing it to thrive on her watch. She is, in fact, a champion of infanticide, promoting it as one of the most important issues in nominating a Supreme Court Justice.
If we can all recognize the fictional Cruella de Vil as an evil villain for wanting to skin 99 Dalmatian puppies for a fur coat, then why can’t we all recognize Hillary Clinton as an evil monster for wanting to uphold such a deplorable practice as abortion?
No professing follower of Christ should allow their conscience to be so seared to this reality, and no professing follower of Christ should cast their lot with so evil a villain.