Yesterday BBC News aired a story centered on Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster. (“Trump won the debate but it was close.” That Frank Luntz.) He had conducted a little experiment during Wednesday’s debate, asking undecided voters to respond on a dial as to which candidate was winning at what point and over what issue. It was all very scientific (hey, it had a dial and a readout) and to no one’s surprise Luntz’s Trump did much better than the real Trump. I understand his viewpoint—he’s a partisan—but at the end Luntz asked if the participants wished there were two different candidates and most of them raised their hands. One woman who had gone from neutral to Trump did so because Hillary lied about stuff.
Really, is anyone actually paying attention? She lied about stuff? Trump stands in front of them denying a litany of recorded statements—a litany anyone with the most rudimentary concept of research could uncover—and Hillary lied about stuff?
Politicians do occasionally lie about stuff, whether it’s campaign promises or their enthusiastic affirmation at every rally that “it’s great to here!” Lying isn’t their most endearing quality, but we all accept a little bit of truth-bending as long as we think the candidate is qualified and able get the job done. One of them is.
Hillary Clinton gave an eloquent and impassioned plea for the rights of women to govern their own bodies and make their own difficult choices. (Read her quote—it could not have been more pointed or more cogent.)
She spoke with accuracy about the state of the Middle East, even though she didn’t accept enough of the responsibility. (Sorry, it’s true.)
She specifically delineated a tax plan and its effects on all income groups, including how it would benefit small business owners.
She spoke out against the destruction of Obamacare, maintaining that one does not throw out the baby with the bathwater. It does need repair, but does not need to be discarded or reinvented.
She defended herself against the gun nuts, saying that she would not abandon the Second Amendment but hoped to prevent the sales of guns to dangerous people…as she was debating one of them. Most NRA members and gun owners agree with her.
She spoke eloquently about the role of immigrants in this nation, a theme she enlarged upon the following evening at the Alfred E. Smith Dinner.
She reproached her opponent for his history of objectifying women, citing his own words to verify her statements.
Meanwhile, at the other podium Donald Trump…well…didn’t. Instead he displayed himself as what he is—an ignorant, egocentric, and abusive sociopath with only a passing interest in the welfare of the United States and a consuming interest in the welfare of Donald J. Trump.
Tell me again how she’s the lesser of two evils?
Here’s a funny thing, and you know it’s true. When the debate was over on Wednesday, there was a lot of talk about how well Trump had begun and how this was, overall, his best debate. Two days later, having had time to digest what we saw and heard, he sounds like an even bigger fool and liar, and that doesn’t even include “nasty,” “hombres,” or his final disturbing threat.
The next time someone shakes his head and says he’ll grudgingly vote for Clinton but doesn’t like either candidate, ask why. I’m not sure if even the indecideds genuinely believe that anymore, not if they’ve been paying attention. And for BBC-America to air that story at this late date when we all know better was beneath them…as if their news department has stopped paying attention too. They can and should be unbiased, but falling back on the same old trope does little other than provide people with an excuse not to vote—and we cannot allow that to happen.