The horror! The horror! On Monday night we were subjected to the first presidential debate between the Republican candidate Donald J. Trump and the Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton. I hadn’t decided if I was going to vote in the election or not, or what I was going to do when faced with the ballot come November if I decided to vote. I figured, maybe the debate would help me decide what to do. Besides, Monday Night Football was only the New Orleans Saints facing the Atlanta Falcons; hardly a game that interested me. With how divisive the campaign was looking, I was sure the debate would be more compelling television.
I have to say initially I was disappointed in the debate. I wasn’t surprised that Hillary’s first few responses were classic politician’s responses where the answer flirted with being coherent and relevant to the question asked, but had enough buzzwords to make you feel good about it. I was surprised, however, to see a much more tame and subdued Donald Trump during the opening minutes. He didn’t bring his customary zeal and temperament that has made him very popular among his supporters. Frankly, he was boring. And he made the career politician he claimed to be the antidote for look perhaps like the more appealing candidate to someone who was undecided.
This all changed when Hillary Clinton made the mistake of drawing first blood. She went after Donald Trump in the first more personal attack, and the tone of the debate took a dramatic turn. All of the sudden Trump was back in the swing of things that made him popular before and has him surging and surpassing Hillary in the polls. He started getting fiery and heated and using his old rhetoric. I have to admit, I was playing a debate drinking game with my friends, and I was already pretty buzzed having to drink for every one of Hillary’s brazen lies, but Trump’s continued mentions of China and using the phrase “believe me,” started to send me over the edge.
If I had to pick my favorite parts of the debate, based purely on entertainment value, both candidates had some very amusing lines that made me laugh. There was the time where Trump was under fire for not releasing his tax return, and he assured that he would release them as soon as his audit was done, or as soon as Hillary released the 30,000 odd government emails she had on her private account. Clinton at one point accused Trump of “baiting and switching,” and then proceeded to continually bait and switch whenever negative attention was focused on her.
Then there was also the doozy where Trump accused Clinton of not having the stamina to be president, likely referencing the concerns over the evidence that Hillary is in poor health. To this, Hillary Clinton responded that she would like to see Trump spend hours in Congressional hearings giving testimonies, as if her Benghazi scandal or being under investigation for breaches in national security and for committing a federal crime is something to be celebrated and qualifies her for the presidency. It should be noted that she received applause for this hysterically horrible answer.
But if I had to choose the best line in the whole debate, it was when Hillary Clinton complained that Donald Trump would like to blame her for nearly everything wrong with the country in the last several years. Before she could continue her rant, Trump leaned in to the microphone and asked “why not?” to laughs and clapping from some of his supporters. Being pretty insensible by this point, my friends and I heard this and almost went insane with surprise and amusement. That was the Donald Trump we have come to know over the last several months. Truly a witty and accurate retort.
The debate ended in a fairly heated fashion, and despite its slow start I was not disappointed. I was entertained but I don’t think my mind was made up after watching it. Hillary Clinton has been cemented into my mind as a crooked and dangerous candidate. She will not receive my vote, though I could never in good conscious as a Catholic vote Democrat so that was never on the table. But if that was already decided, what do I do instead? I am still unsure, but I have started to lean in one direction.
Here’s the thing: I believe that despite his unpolished demeanor and what some would consider his un-presidential personality, Donald Trump is the better of the two candidates. He has the no-nonsense attitude that I think our country needs now; he knows what needs to be done and isn’t afraid to discuss it. He rebukes those when necessary, and I respect him for that. I was thinking of abstaining from voting this November, and the jury is still out. However, seeing him drop the gloves against Crooked Hillary may convince me to join the Deplorables and vote to Make America Great Again.