I guess it would be too much to ask that either Trump or Clinton lead off the debate with a Rosary. Or a salute to Our Lady of Guadalupe. So, I guess I’ll need to keep my wish list to things more temporally satisfying.
Before I even start, I’ll tip my hand. I cannot in any case ever, ever, ever see myself voting for Hillary Clinton. Never ever. Ever. There is zero common ground I have with her on issues of morality, but then extending beyond that we have no common ground on any of the other temporal matters at hand, either. I find her entirely and utterly despicable. Or, to use her word, deplorable. I won’t say she’s unredeemable (another of her words, which is not actually a word) because God can do anything, and in fact Christ redeemed us all if only we accept that redemption. But she labeled a number of Americans with that word as well, which further speaks to her character.
Having tipped my hand, I suppose I need to do what everyone else feels compelled to do, and to make it clear that I don’t really like Trump either. I find it somewhat fascinating that people always feel the need to be apologetic and squeamish about supporting a candidate. I am neither apologetic, nor am I squeamish. I have a choice to make here, and I’ll make it, and I won’t apologize for it. If I am perturbed by anyone, it’s the other voters who ultimately gave me this choice. I did not vote for Trump in the Primary, and he was never my favorite or even close to it.
But I can’t change that, so I can either throw a tantrum and not vote, under the delusion that he’s as bad as Hillary, or I can vote third party under the delusion that either of those nutjobs are any better (OK, I suppose that wasn’t charitable. This is a Catholic blog and I suppose I should be more careful. On the other hand, I’m not supposed to lie, so I’m in a conundrum. So I’ll keep the comment and you can feel free to judge me.). Or I can suck it up and be an adult and recognize that I have only one choice to make. And since I’m forced to choose between these two, I choose one and will not apologize in any way for it. It doesn’t mean I’ll defend him on everything, it means that I think he’s imperfect but still a lot better than the alternative.
And so, there it is. Full disclosure on my feelings.
So, with that, here is my wish list:
- In Trump’s opening remarks, he paints the backdrop for the entire debate. That while Clinton spent the last week resting and rehearsing every detail and every scenario, and turning herself into a robotic and programmed policy wonk who is incapable of authenticity, he spent the last week traveling around and meeting with every day Americans. That he didn’t rehearse at all, except to talk about some things that might come up in the debate. That he didn’t have stand-in Hillary practice. So, in the next 90 minutes, the American people are going to hear my real, unrehearsed, authentic thoughts. It may not be finely tuned and rehearsed, and he may not have decided to memorize and encyclopedia’s worth of details on every issue under the sun. As President, he will have trusted advisers to provide all the details, while his job is to stay big picture and provide direction. And so on. Basically, he needs to set the entire debate up in his favor so that every time she throws out statistics and facts and policy, he can engage where comfortable but always have a default response of “you did a nice job of memorizing in the last week there.” This will use her strength against her and sow doubt. He doesn’t need to beat her on facts and figures if he can create a sense that whenever she goes there it’s just not authentic and not what the voters care about. He may or may not win that argument with the high-brow intellectuals, but he will win it with typical Americans who have proven that they simply don’t care about all these details. They are no watching the debate to find out who knows more about the issues. They just aren’t. That is a bit sad, but true. It caused me angst during the Republican debates. Trump clearly doesn’t know as much about policy as many others on stage. And yet, he won the nomination. Trump just needs to find a way to equalize that advantage so that he keeps people unimpressed by the know-how, and makes it about stature and personality.
- I want to see a 5-minute coughing fit from Hillary about 45 minutes in. Maybe prompting Trump to offer her a glass of water. I am not wishing for a major medical event, let me be clear. I just want coughing. It would provide entertainment value, it would be incredibly embarrassing for her, and quite frankly I think something as goofy as that with 100 million people watching would simply be her death knell. Politically speaking. I suppose this isn’t particularly charitable of me either.
- I want to see Trump wear a tie-pin that clearly says “Les Deplorables.”
- I want to hear Hillary Clinton say the words “radical Islamic terrorism.
To be perfectly honest, I think we’re just living in sad times where, as a friend of mine said, this whole thing is just one big garbage fire. I think I’m well past the point of hopefulness that the process, at least this year, actually is redeemable.
So, I can choose to stew in bitter disgust, or I can at least try to enjoy it. Admittedly, it’s kind of like enjoying the view of the ocean while on the deck of the Titanic.