Last night, Donald Trump managed to behave himself by the very low standard we’ve collectively set for him for almost the first half hour of the final debate. Was he as good as some in the punditocracy suggested?
Is he ever?
No, no, no, no. To put things in perspective, think of the dog you trained to defecate on newspaper versus your freshly shined wooden floors who finally follows directions. That’s Trump for that period of time.
When the subject of the Supreme Court came up, Trump seemed more upset that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had bad things to say about him than anything else. Trump did speak passionately about abortion from his suddenly pro-life stance.
He was far too gory, hyperbolic, and not truthful about the number of late-term abortions actually performed, but he managed to form complete sentences that didn’t include insults. I imagine he lifted these lines from Mike Pence. His lies aside, it was about time we had discussions about reproductive rights in the presidential debates – you know, when it was Hillary Clinton’s turn to speak.
Per usual, Trump was vigilant in his objections to NAFTA. If there is one constant about these debates, it’s Clinton’s reluctance to directly address legitimate complaints about the trade deal her husband signed in the 1990s. If Trump were a more disciplined debater, he would have stuck to creating moments like these as opposed to…everything else. Say, referring to undocumented immigrants as “bad hombres” and revealing that he doesn’t get the Second Amendment.
But super first half hour for Trump, y’all.
For much of the debate, Clinton and her expansive book of receipts highlighted what an uninformed fool she’s running against. Trump more or less went “nu uh!” at every claim Clinton made, only to have her follow it up with a direct quote.
As the debate went on, Trump knocked the voice of campaign manager Kellyanne Conway out of his head and returned to the sniffling, face crunching, rude somebody we’ve known him to be.
And it bears repeating: Trump knows nothing.
Trump spoke in incoherent circles about Syria. Trump couldn’t just flat-out say his “MCE” Vladimir Putin is not the most amazing person and that the U.S. Intelligence community is correct about Russians hacking email accounts of American institutions and citizens to meddle in our election. Trump also did little in the way of detailing his economic policy or any policy outside of building a big wall.
Instead, Trump continued to deal in generalities and gibberish before moving on to flat-out conspiracies. Say, when he accused the Clinton campaign of coordinating with the media to compel nine women to accuse him of sexual assault. This man thinks like an alternate on Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine.
What will stick out most about this final debate is Trump being asked if he will accept the results of the election and answering, “I’ll keep you in suspense.” This man acts like he’s up against Kenya Moore at a Real Housewives reunion, doing what it takes to secure a peach for the next season. Meanwhile, it’s interesting now we can talk about rigged elections – which is not a thing in America – yet forgo having the candidate address voter disenfranchisement efforts actually happening across the country.
Read the rest at Essence.