There was a debate recently between the two presidential incumbents. Hillary Rodham-Clinton and Donald J. Trump. I haven’t actually watched the debates. What I have done, on the other hand, is read the transcripts of the debate instead. This is not only a faster way of absorbing this clash of titans, what it also does is remove any kind of charisma and showmanship from the verbal sparring match, and leaves only the words. If you want to fell smarter and fulfill the role of smug asshole in your group of friends, there’s no better way than announcing that you only read the debates.
When asked how they prepared for the debate, Hillary responded by stating she’s studied the issues facing our nation. Trump responded by telling the press that he, along with some of his friends, sat down over burgers to prepare some solid zingers. This sums up what this entire election is about. One of these people is prepared to be commander in chief, the other is prepared to host an episode of Saturday Night Live.
I wrote about both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the past. I’ll be honest, I was scathing towards Hillary and pretty light towards Donald. Both articles were written at a time where Bernie Sanders was still competing for the Democratic nomination. I’ve been doing a re-examination of why I was so harsh with Hillary and gave Donald a free pass. At first, I thought it was maybe some weird inherent sexism that might have been lying dormant in me, but I’m usually pretty self-aware of any kind of privilege I might be lugging around. It was definitely in part because I really wanted Bernie Sanders to win. But now that Hilary is the nominee, Bernie is backing Hil-Dog, and the first debate is over, I’m certain I know why I was so critical of Hillary and not with Donald. I fell like I can criticize Hillary as a politician and an adult, whereas I can only criticize Donald as a faux celebrity and an unruly teenager stuck in the body of a 67-year-old man.
About half way through the debate, Trump’s tax return came in the conversation. Trump hasn’t actually released his tax returns to the public yet. Nominees, for decades, have released their tax returns to the voters. This is to ensure the future president doesn’t have any conflicting interests between business and public service. The New York Times recently got a couple of pages of his 1995 tax return, and in that year Donald Trump took a financial hit of almost a billion dollars. This is incredibly significant because it would mean Trump could forgo paying taxes for over the next decade and a half. I’m not under the impression that Trump did anything illegal, but fact remains that he’s tight-lipped about his finances. In the upcoming weeks, that’s going to bode terribly for his campaign. Unless he reveals his tax return, he’ll jeopardize his presidential candidacy.
Looking back on the history of these two candidates reveals a lot about their character. Hillary Clinton spent decades working for various charitable events. When she was the first lady of Arkansas, she co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, worked with the Children’s Defense Fund, and served on the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Legal Services. Not to mention she practiced law during this entire tenure. Donald Trump, on the other hand, hasn’t spent any time doing any kind of volunteer work. He’s purportedly donated millions, but his actual time is spent being a business man. He’s a cut-throat, ruthless business mogul who specializes in real estate. That’s totally fine, but it leaves him woefully unprepared for the presidency. Because, on one hand, you have someone who’s dedicated most of their life to public service, while the other dedicated most of their life to themselves and their business ventures. .
Donald Trump, plainly put, cares about Donald Trump. That’s it. He’s not interested in public service, he’s not interested in politics, he’s interested only in what benefits Donald Trump. He’s always been that way. It’s his entire persona. I’m certain Hillary wants to be the first female president and earn a massive place in history. Her beginnings in politics were someone who championed the rights of women and children. She was someone who fought for those who couldn’t fight for themselves. She had to fit the mold of politics in order to accomplish her goals, as all politicians do, unfortunately.
The debates were a perfect allegory of the battle for the position of commander in chief. You have someone who’s been preparing for a long time and has put a lot of thought into what they’re doing. The other person’s trying to win by being louder and more entertaining. It’s a contest being the class nerd and the class clown. Sure, Donald isn’t part of the mainstream political crowd. He just happens to be from the old family money, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, coke-out one percent. There’s still two more debates, though. Maybe Donald can forgo a tanning session to actually prepare this time around.
The Illustrious Mr. Charlton
p.s. I’m now backing Hilldog.
p.s.s. To those who think Donald is better because he’s more honest and down to Earth, he’s a billionaire who spent the better part of the 80’s doing blow and lingerie models. He’s got more in common with the Wolf of Wall Street than he does with you.