When facts don’t matter what good is a debate?
I wrote right after Tuesday night’s vice presidential debate that no doubt about it, Mike Pence, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s VP pick, won. And he did. He simply overpowered Tim kaine, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s VP pick, with condescending smiles or smirks and shoulder shrugging and by simply refuting charges of the outrages everyone knows Trump has spewed — because they are all on video tape and have been widely reported by the news media who have been forced to report every word, every tweet, and maybe to use Trumpist-type language, every belch the Republican presidential candidate has said or made.
Now I do think Mr. Pence in some respects was on to something — although not much. For instance, Trump did call Mexicans coming over the border criminals and rapists but he also in some way noted that not all Mexicans are bad (how benevolent of him). You see Trump speaks crudely and is, have you noticed? not at all articulate (and yet he claims to be sooo educated — top of his class). He does not speak in complete sentences. So sometimes some thoughts get separated. There is a reason for speaking correctly and clearly beyond trying to show off — it’s called communication.
And even I, who cannot defend nor stand Trump, can see a reasonable explanation for Trump’s call for banning Muslims from entering the country or for banning refugees from Syria. I am pretty sure I have heard him say or at least I have understood him to mean that until we can make sure people are properly vetted and that terrorists are not intermingled with innocent refugees we have to do something. Actually, even though we can probably never know if some terrorist is within that group (we cannot read minds, yet), it is only prudent that we take special precautions in admitting people from certain areas and from a religious environment that is so out to get us. I did not mean all of Islam is out to get us — but there are one heck of a lot of terrorists who claim to be Islamists or Muslim who are.
But unfortunately Trump is not at all careful with his words, and too, I think he simply has malice in his heart — and I don’t know why. He is just a bad boy, I guess. And he does show signs of being mentally unbalanced.
And I in no way can come up with any defense or legitimate explanation or his anti-woman tirades or his implications that women are here to look and act a certain way for the likes of him.
But again, Pence won the debate — but he won it in part by standing logic or reason on its head.
We all know that Trump has engaged in disgusting name calling for months, but confronted with this fact by Kaine who accused Trump of running an “insult-driven campaign”, Pence turned it around by correctly noting that Hillary Clinton called Trump supporters a “basket of deplorables”.
So two things here: one insult by Hillary somehow equals the constant insults from Trump? And more importantly, while Hillary may have overreached by suggesting that all Trump supporters were deplorable, I would imagine what she meant was that a vast array of bigots and disgruntled white people who fear a rising power of minorities (or even unfair advantage via affirmative action) and women’s rights opponents are the deplorables who make up Trump’s base. So to me it seems that Pence’s logic is that if I call out Trump for being deplorable then I am myself deplorable because I have insulted him, even though he might actually be deplorable.
I did not fully read the fact check stories, but I know that they claimed both vice presidential candidates apparently made deliberate misstatements. Pence I guess claimed Trump did not say things we know he said and also denied some of Trump’s asserted foreign policy positions. And Kaine gave Clinton credit for things she did not do and misstated positions.
I’m not sure how you keep debaters honest, but I have always felt that we the voters would be better served by a more formal debate format in which two people face off giving opening statements, argument, and closing statements. And definitely no interrupting each other allowed. And moderators should not become participants. (The lady who handled Tuesday night’s debate did the best she could under the circumstances and did not become a participant and that is good).