Debate offers nothing new

September 29, 2016

Mike Wilcox Editor/Publisher

Mike Wilcox

Man, I couldn’t wait to sit myself in front of the television and watch the first presidential debate of 2016. As an undecided, I was hoping to see a clear cut win for one of the candidates. In reality, however, I should have known. Hillary came out and delivered the performance we expected, having a better grasp of the issues and was the more polished debater. But Trump, as he repeatedly has in previous debates was able to hammer Hillary on a number of issues, particularly her inability to get things done even though she has spent 26 years as a key government decision maker.

Thus in essence I do not expect any movement in the polls that had the two candidates in a virtual dead heat. Trump supporters were happy with their candidate’s performance and vice-versa Hillary supporters proclaimed victory for their candidate.

Quite frankly, I learned nothing new. Clinton, who has been a participant in fifteen presidential debates was comfortable at the podium, deflecting criticisms and inserting her talking points. Trump, who has never even run for political office, didn’t make any glaring errors that would cause a major shift in the polls.

Trump did fail to make debate hay on Hillary’s private email server. It was brought up only once, despite moderator Lester Holt’s questioning both candidates on their plans to fight cyber attacks. Benghazi was also never mentioned. However, Hillary didn’t miss chances to go after Trump on his refusal to release his income taxes and the birthing issue.

But that has a lot to do with debating inexperience. You knew going in, Hillary would touch on her key points. You knew she would be prepared and not afraid to go in to attack mode. Trump likewise, would take plenty of jabs at Hillary, and actually landed a couple of stinging blows.

As in primary debates, neither was afraid to stretch the truth. This truly is one election where you can’t believe much of anything that comes out of either candidate’s mouth. It really boils down to whether you want a successor who will carry on the policies of President Obama, or do you want a president who will bring a fresh perspective to our problems.

In other words a vote for Hillary is a vote for the status quo. She and her supporters see America as a world leader on the rise. They see the economy getting better. They see no reason to implement wholesale changes.

Trump’s vision is nearly the opposite. He sees America on the decline, and he sees the leaders in Washington as having failed the American people. He wants wholesale change to make America a stronger country.

That said, their differences couldn’t be greater. But in the end, neither’s vision will make much of a difference for you and I, and how we go about our daily lives. A president, thank God, can’t get much done without the support of Congress, and some respects, the Supreme Court. When our forefathers put together this great Democracy of ours, they made sure the checks and balances were in place to limit the power that a president might have.

Thus when you are watching the next presidential debate, realize what Hillary and Trump propose, are just that – proposals. They can say I’m going to do this, or I’m going to do that, but in the end, they can’t do much of anything without the support of Congress.

That is why when friends say they fear a Trump or Hillary presidency, I simply scoff. Our nation will be just fine, whomever we elect.

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