Clinton’s Performance Keeps Much of White America on Trump’s Side – Yael Sternhell – Haaretz

Clinton’s Performance Keeps Much of White America on Trump’s Side

Despite the cozy ‘town hall meeting’ debate, Hillary Clinton’s inability to speak to people who feel they’re losing control of the country was evident.

Trump vs Clinton at Second Debate

Trump vs Clinton at Second Debate

– Yael Sternhell – Haaretz

The second presidential debate lasted only 90 minutes but at times seemed to embody the entire race. The corruption of U.S.A. political culture that made Donald Trump’s candidacy possible, the personal insults, the attention to sex scandals, the open hatred between the candidates – all this was present every minute of the televised event that was sometimes hard to watch.

Even though the preceding week was the stormiest and most disturbing in the race, both candidates gave performances that reminded us how they got there. Trump was sharp and aggressive; some of his attacks were direct hits exposing Hillary Clinton’s weakness. He provided his usual stock of lies and outlandish statements, above all a threat to imprison Clinton after he’s elected.  

Trump also added a sprinkling of relevant arguments based, if only in part, on facts. Expectations of him now are so low that any connection to reality on his part wins praise from pundits supporting his cause.

As for Clinton, she provided a solid performance and nothing more, yet again giving people finding it hard to be enthusiastic about her reason to fidget in their seats. Beyond her overly long answers and inability to strike hard and conclusively at Trump, she once again found herself grappling with the main obstacle confronting her party in the 2016 election cycle.

The former secretary of state’s and the Democrats’ vision for the United States is one of a pluralist country that provides a home to immigrants and acts for minorities discriminated against. Unfortunately, this vision is exactly what’s making many white Americans fling themselves into Trump’s embrace.

There may not be any solution to this, but Clinton’s inability to speak effectively to frightened people who feel they’re losing control of the country was evident in the debate. This issue is a key factor in the way the Democrats are trailing Trump in states with a white majority like Ohio and Iowa, even after the recent scandals. It’s pretty clear that all the way to the ballot box the Democrats will continue to rely on a coalition of blacks, Hispanics and the liberal elite.

Many people expected that given the timing, the debate would mark the end of Trump’s candidacy. But as has repeatedly happened since he joined the race, they have been proved wrong. The Republican candidate survived the event, and despite indications that a large part of the public is getting fed up with him, many are still supporting his candidacy. Trump’s power rests on the deepest desires of voters seeking a man who will turn back the clock to the days when America was an undisputed empire controlled by white Christians.

Throughout the campaign with its many ups and downs, Trump has enjoyed the steady support of about 40 percent of the voters. According to a Wall Street Journal poll conducted after the release of the “bus tape,” Trump’s support dropped to 38 percent, but it’s still too early to say that a critical mass of supporters is about to disintegrate. Of course, there’s no knowing what lies ahead in the coming month; maybe new incriminating material will emerge from the archive.

Thus, despite the dramatic events of the past few days, Trump is still in the race and American politics are expected to be dragged even further into the gutter. This fact could be seen most clearly in the “town hall meeting ” format of Sunday’s debate; that is, it was held before an audience of undecided voters.

The town hall meeting is a splendid American tradition that began nearly 400 years ago after the first English settlers arrived in Massachusetts and established towns run by elected local governments. The use of this format today, when it’s a matter of televised political theater – not an authentic expression of community autonomy – reflects the deep connection Americans feel to the roots of their democracy.

But in the debate Sunday, even this unmediated encounter with voters couldn’t conceal what was clear to everyone – the U.S.A. political system is at one of its lowest points and could be expected to be dragged even further into the gutter. Clearly, this “town hall meeting” format of Sunday’s debate that was held before an audience of undecided voters highlights that fact.

In other words, the distance between the traditional town hall meeting and 21st-century American democracy couldn’t be greater.

———

This article was submitted by Clyde Duncan.  Here is his comment:

[Here is the test for Hillary Clinton – she is a woman. Here is the test for Barack Obama – he is a black man. Neither one of these two can afford to get overly aggressive against any white man in public in the USA – not even an obnoxious Donald J Trump. What appears like “inability” is a considered political strategy – we will deal with you another day tack.-clyde]

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Comments

  • guyaneseonline  On October 12, 2016 at 5:58 am

    Trump Is Not the Only Grabber Who Must Go – By Michael Moore

    The rats are quickly jumping from the sinking ship of Trump. But not so fast, dear Republican senators and congressmen. Trump may have verbalized his misogyny, sexism and abuse of women into an open microphone, but over the past decades you – YOU – have LEGALIZED it. He may talk of “grabbing” sexual organs, but YOU have created laws that legally grab control over women’s bodies. Trump may brag about his power over women; YOU, the Republican legislators (and your backers, the Christian Right and rich businessmen), have made sure women aren’t paid the same as men, don’t have paid maternity leave, or can’t get easy access to birth control

    Trump has been called “disgusting” for his remarks. But you, by actually blocking women’s equal rights, you’ve been rewarded for your misogyny with re-election, campaign cash and future lobbying jobs. You think by disowning Trump now that we, the people, are going be grateful to you. But we know that Trump is only the natural result of a Republican culture that has viciously fought the women’s agenda for years. Trump hasn’t destroyed your party; he’s your end game, the grim reaper from the seeds you have sown, showing up now to preside over your demise.

    Defeating Trump, or pushing him to drop out, is NOT what will make this right for the majority of us Americans. Like any good doctor, we need to remove the cancer from its source, and that source is you.

    Don’t try to make Mike Pence out to be some sane, better alternative. This guy was behind the legislation to require women who have an abortion to hold an actual funeral for the fetus! The rest of you have tried to kill Planned Parenthood and many other things that make life a bit easier for women.

    Trump bragged to Billy Bush about his “grabbing pussy.” But those of you who are the elected officials, who have spent this weekend decrying Trump with your crocodile wails of “shame” and trying to distance yourselves from him, YOU are the ones who’ve been “grabbing” women the legal way by passing laws that, in effect, assault them. It is an assault to pay women less. It is an assault to block day care for all. It is an assault – and a form of gender apartheid – when only 20% of Congress is women, the majority gender.

    As far as I’m concerned, there are 54 Trumps in the US Senate and 237 Trumps in the House. You can’t make this look good by removing your endorsement from Trump. Yes, Trump has to go — but so do you, all of you. Starting with the election on November 8th, we need to show up at the polls and remove as many of you as possible. This abuse of women stops now. I believe that most women and many men are going to determine their vote with this one thought, thanks to you and Trump:

    “YOU’RE EITHER WITH WOMEN, OR YOU’RE AGAINST THEM.”

    And if you’re against women, you’re over. There’s a fourth wave of feminism afoot now — and you are going to be its first casualties.
    Or, as I prefer to see it, its first victory.

    Thank you for letting the American public see your true (orange) face. I’m glad you “grabbed” our attention and mobIlized the masses against you. The only thing sweeter than seeing the lot of you gone would be a 50-state sweep for Hillary.
    GOP, RIP?
    — Michael Moore

  • guyaneseonline  On October 12, 2016 at 6:12 am

    REALITY CHECK

    Reporting by Brian Wheeler, Nalina Eggert and Jonathan Marcus
    Second Clinton v Trump presidential debate

    Here are some of the statements made by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in their second presidential debate and how they compare with the facts.

    Claim: Donald Trump was quizzed at the start of the debate on his obscene comments about women made in 2005. He went on the offensive with a series of claims – including this one – about women who have alleged sexual assault or obscene behaviour by Bill Clinton.

    Reality Check verdict: Bill Clinton did pay out the money to Paula Jones but it was not a fine. In 1999, the then-president reached an out-of-court settlement with Ms. Jones, an Arkansas government employee who claimed he had exposed himself to her in a hotel room eight years earlier, when he was governor of Arkansas. He paid Ms. Jones $850,000 for agreeing to drop the case but did not offer an apology. Almost half of this sum came from the Clintons’ family savings.
    Ms. Jones had sued Mr. Clinton for sexual harassment. It was this case that led to the investigation in which then-President Clinton denied under oath having sex with Monica Lewinsky.
    ‘Mrs Clinton was no longer secretary of state for President Obama’s ‘red line’ in Syria’

    Claim: Hillary Clinton had left President Barack Obama’s government by the time he drew a “red line in the sand” over the use of chemical weapons by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria.
    “First of all, she was there as secretary of state with the so-called line in the sand,” said Mr Trump during Sunday’s debate. “No I wasn’t. I was gone,” Mrs. Clinton responded.
    “At some point, we need to do some fact-checking here,” she added. Mr. Trump then went on: “You were in total contact with the White House, and perhaps, sadly, Obama probably still listened to you.”

    Reality Check verdict: Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state when Mr. Obama made his “red line” comment in August 2012. She stayed in office until February 2013.
    In fact, she repeated Mr. Obama’s comment several times, including at a news conference in Prague in December 2012 when she said: “”We have made our views very clear. This is a red line for the United States. I’m not going to telegraph in any specifics what we would do in the event of credible evidence that the Assad regime has resorted to using chemical weapons against his own people, but suffice to say we are certainly planning to take action if that eventuality were to occur.”
    However, when the “red line” was crossed and more than 1,000 people died in a chemical attack in Damascus in August 2013, Mrs. Clinton was no longer the secretary of state. She had been replaced by John Kerry.

    Claim: Donald Trump attacks Hillary Clinton over her record on defending women’s rights.

    Reality Check verdict: It would be a stretch to say Clinton was laughing at the victim. Trump was referring to a case from the mid-1980s, when Mrs. Clinton was working as a lawyer. She defended a factory worker accused of raping a 12-year-old girl.
    In unpublished audio recordings of an interview she had with an Arkansas reporter, she is heard laughing four times while discussing the trial. In one instance she says: “Of course he [the defendant] claimed he didn’t [rape her]…He took a lie detector test. I had him take a polygraph, which he passed, which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs”. Clinton and the reporter are then heard laughing.
    The accused ultimately admitted a reduced charge and the victim has since said Clinton put “me through hell”.
    ‘Acid-washed emails’

    Claim: Donald Trump claims Hillary Clinton “acid washed” 33,000 personal emails to delete them, something he said was an “expensive process”.

    Reality Check verdict: A claim that has been debunked before. The FBI said Clinton’s team used a free software programme called BleachBit. No chemicals were used. When he first made this claim, Trump’s campaign said that he did not literally mean “acid washed”, adding that it was a play on words and reference to a joke made by Clinton about “wiping” her email server with a cloth. BleachBit debunked Trump’s claim on its website saying the software is not “very expensive,” adding that it is completely free of charge.
    US nukes are ‘old’ and Russia’s are ‘new’

    Claim: Mr. Trump said that the US nuclear programme has fallen way behind that of Russia. The Russians “have gone wild with their nuclear programme” he said, and Russia’s nukes are “new” while America’s are “old”.

    Reality Check verdict: Mr. Trump has a point.
    Even the US Defence Secretary Ash Carter accepted in a speech last month that the US has not built “new types of nuclear weapons or delivery system for some twenty five years”. He acknowledged that most of America’s nuclear weapons delivery systems “have already been extended decades beyond their original expected service lives”.
    Meanwhile Russia has been modernising, though not at a pace that might be described as going “wild”. Russia’s military doctrine certainly places growing emphasis upon nuclear weapons and it is not only modernising its arsenal, but also making nuclear threats against a number of NATO members. Russia’s modernisation effort though is constrained by its budget and it still has many older systems deployed too.
    The fact is that the world changed at the end of the Cold War. The emphasis moved away from nuclear deterrence and arms control treaties, prompting significant reductions in the two main nuclear powers’ arsenals.
    Now things have changed again. As Russia gets more assertive, North Korea quickly develops its nuclear programme and China grows its arsenal, the US is seeking to modernise many of its nuclear systems.

    Claim: Donald Trump says he has the backing of 200 military leaders.
    Reality Check verdict: This seems overblown. The Trump campaign website, in September, said 88 retired US admirals and generals had signed a letter endorsing the Republican candidate. The BBC covered this at the time – you can read the story here.
    Canadians are going to America for operations

    Claim: Donald Trump says Canada’s universal health care system, which he says is similar to the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, leads to longer waits for operations, with Canadians increasingly travelling to the US “when they need a big operation”.

    Reality Check verdict: There is some truth in this. The number of Canadians who travelled abroad in 2014 to receive non-emergency medical treatment increased 25% from 2013, according to the Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank. The figures do not say which countries they went to, although it would be fair to assume many went across the border to America. But medical experts say there are several key differences between the US and Canadian healthcare systems.

    Claim: Donald Trump refuses to back down over his claim that he did not support the Iraq War.

    Reality Check verdict: It has been debunked. Trump did not publicly speak out against the war before it started. More details from the first debate Reality Check.

    Claim: Donald Trump mocks Hillary Clinton for saying she was just quoting from the film Lincoln when she said that politicians should have different positions in public and private. “Abraham Lincoln never lied – that is the big difference between Abraham Lincoln and you,” he tells his Democratic rival.

    Reality Check verdict: The Clinton quote Trump is referring to – “you need both a public and a private position” – comes from an April 2013 speech to the National Multifamily Housing Council. It was one of the paid speeches she gave before launching her presidential bid, which she refused to release, but details of which have now been revealed in leaked emails.
    In the speech, she referred the film Lincoln, and the deal-making that went into passage of the 13th Amendment, a process she compared to sausage-making.
    She said: “It is unsavoury, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be, but if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back-room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.”

  • Clyde Duncan  On October 12, 2016 at 10:22 am

    I am sure some of you have played bat and ball with other kids, and run into one kid in the group who cannot control himself after losing. He grabs the ball ( not pussy) and throw it in the trench or some place far where the rest of us cannot get it. He then takes the bat and lash down the wicket in a mad effort, trying to destroy everything in his path. Essentially a sore loser and a little bully in the school yard.

    That is exactly what Trump’s recent tirades remind me of . The man has not grown up. He is still that little bully boy he probably always was. The way I see Trump now.

    Recently, his rabid supporters have threatened a revolution if he does not win. What a bunch of sore losers he has for supporters.

    I had to post this one from a friend of mine on another thread.

    If you’re Guyanese or West Indian and played cricket as a child, then you know about these things, I’m sure!

    Robert Parry called it The White Man’s Last Tantrum

  • Clyde Duncan  On October 13, 2016 at 12:42 am

    Again: The question is – “… Beyond her overly long answers and INABILITY to strike hard and conclusively at Trump. ….”

    The answer to that question of “inability” is do you want to be RIGHT or do you want to WIN …?!!?!

    Both Barack and Hillary are accomplished attorneys – they know how to prosecute their cases – the “HOW?” is the strategy that appeals to the public.

    Sometimes they have personal views that conflict with the public opinion. The public wants them to speak FOR THEM – not a lecture or scolding – some holier-than-thou fools call it lying ….

    So, what does Joe Public do at their job when the boss orders them to do something that is NOT illegal or unsafe????

    The campaign is a job interview for political office … that’s all !!

  • Malcolm Heydorn  On October 13, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Crooked Hillary is a dirty WHITE woman. is she demonstrating The White Woman’s Last Tantrum? You are an unadulterated RACIST.

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