The ‘P***y’ and ‘F**k’ Candidate Turned the Tide in Debate Two

The second debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump following soon after nationwide news coverage of Trump’s 2005  “p***y” and “f**k” tape was a do or die debate for him.  I expected to see Hillary deliver the coup de grace on her miserable opponent who had been lambasted by the media coast-to-coast for his infantile, boastful remarks. Obviously, she would belittle him as an arrogant, sexist madman.  Yet, wonders of wonders, DJT rose to the occasion, and Hillary allowed his supposed personal insult of women everywhere to dissipate into an intellectual assessment of his character by speaking in a detached manner how he was not qualified to be President because of his low, anti-woman character.  Instead of saying to him, “You are arrogant, sexist, and a foul-mouthed woman hater,” she immediately attacked him as having a character unsuitable to be President. She considered it to be a sharp rebuke, but it was only a diluted smear.  Instead of learning from DJT that for an attack to win points it must be graphic and personal, she instead adopted a ladylike persona and announced his self-disqualification for the Presidential office in a detached manner. 

He apologized, but at the same time managed not to be so contrite as to seem to walk away from HRC with his tail between his legs; moreover, he came out on a double offensive.  First, he listed all the things she should apologize for and most especially her deletion of 33,000 emails.  Here, he really rubbed-in her lie that she had only deleted a few personal emails exchanged with her husband.  He told the assembled viewers that would account for five or six emails at most, but not 33,000 (at one point he slipped and said 39,000).  Second, at a later point in the debate, he insisted that she apologize for saying of his supporters that they were deplorable, and even that they were irredeemable. Although he had apologized for the 2005 tape, she did not apologize for either of the items for which he demanded an apology from her. Trump, the candidate who stated on air a few months ago that he never asks for forgiveness, was the only one who apologized in Sunday night’s debate.

Then, with intuitive brilliance, when she refused to apologize for the 33,000 deleted emails, he dropped the super bombshell.  He seemed to wrestle for a moment about whether he would say it or not.  Whether it was planned or not, we may never know, but he suddenly turned on her and said that if he is elected, he will appoint a special prosecutor to deal with her emails. He hurled his onslaught at her to remind her and the public that Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch, the Attorney General, had talked at an airport in Arizona only days before the announcement about the FBI’s investigation was made public.  Trump thus branded her as worthy of criminal prosecution.

Further, throughout the debate Donald repeatedly called her a liar.  Calling someone a liar and repeating it is not the same as referring to this or that statement as a lie, which she did repeatedly when referring to his wrong facts.  A lie is a wrong behavior.  A lie can be reversed by telling the truth. However, to call someone a liar is to cast an aspersion – a fundamental aspersion – on their character.  Thus, compare the name calling.  She characterized him as anti-women, anti-Muslim, anti-minority.  She characterized him as not telling the truth.  But it was detached.  His venom was direct and personal.  She was a liar, and she was likely a criminal who deserved and would be prosecuted by him.  He repeated these points relentlessly, and she did not have a comeback. She could only smile a superior smile that tried to communicate that The Donald was either a fool or a madman or both.   It took its toll on her, and I believe on the public consciousness.

Further, Trump lambasted Hillary in an even more profound way.  For him, their disagreement was not only about attitude, not only about issues, and not only about policies that were better for the country.  Rather, Trump, with great urgency, asserted that Hillary was filled with hatred, that her heart was filled with hate.  Thus, his criticism of her went even deeper than deed or character.  He went for the jugular by attacking her very raison d’être, her motives.

One member of the audience asked a last question before the close of the debate. He asked if each candidate could say one thing they liked about the other candidate.  It was a great question in light of a debate that was one of the nastiest public encounters between Presidential candidates, if not the nastiest in American history.  Mrs. Clinton complimented his children thereby implying that Mr. Trump must have done something right to raise such well-spoken, intelligent, and mature humans. Compared to Trump’s answer, she was evasive.  He flatly stated that he admired a quality of her character, namely that she does not quit. He said, “She’s a fighter.”  In so doing, her answer appeared mealy-mouthed by contrast.  The Donald had risen above the fray, above the name calling, above the intensity of their encounter, above the negatives.  He said something positive about her and seemed to mean it.

Donald Trump came into the debate as the scorned violator of women who had dirtied himself by improbable and offensive use of politically incorrect language. By the end of the debate, the bad press preceding the debate had been eclipsed. He had pounded his smarmy, pre-packaged, self-righteous opponent and his critics into the ground. He left the stage having turned the tide.

The second debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump following soon after nationwide news coverage of Trump’s 2005  “p***y” and “f**k” tape was a do or die debate for him.  I expected to see Hillary deliver the coup de grace on her miserable opponent who had been lambasted by the media coast-to-coast for his infantile, boastful remarks. Obviously, she would belittle him as an arrogant, sexist madman.  Yet, wonders of wonders, DJT rose to the occasion, and Hillary allowed his supposed personal insult of women everywhere to dissipate into an intellectual assessment of his character by speaking in a detached manner how he was not qualified to be President because of his low, anti-woman character.  Instead of saying to him, “You are arrogant, sexist, and a foul-mouthed woman hater,” she immediately attacked him as having a character unsuitable to be President. She considered it to be a sharp rebuke, but it was only a diluted smear.  Instead of learning from DJT that for an attack to win points it must be graphic and personal, she instead adopted a ladylike persona and announced his self-disqualification for the Presidential office in a detached manner. 

He apologized, but at the same time managed not to be so contrite as to seem to walk away from HRC with his tail between his legs; moreover, he came out on a double offensive.  First, he listed all the things she should apologize for and most especially her deletion of 33,000 emails.  Here, he really rubbed-in her lie that she had only deleted a few personal emails exchanged with her husband.  He told the assembled viewers that would account for five or six emails at most, but not 33,000 (at one point he slipped and said 39,000).  Second, at a later point in the debate, he insisted that she apologize for saying of his supporters that they were deplorable, and even that they were irredeemable. Although he had apologized for the 2005 tape, she did not apologize for either of the items for which he demanded an apology from her. Trump, the candidate who stated on air a few months ago that he never asks for forgiveness, was the only one who apologized in Sunday night’s debate.

Then, with intuitive brilliance, when she refused to apologize for the 33,000 deleted emails, he dropped the super bombshell.  He seemed to wrestle for a moment about whether he would say it or not.  Whether it was planned or not, we may never know, but he suddenly turned on her and said that if he is elected, he will appoint a special prosecutor to deal with her emails. He hurled his onslaught at her to remind her and the public that Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch, the Attorney General, had talked at an airport in Arizona only days before the announcement about the FBI’s investigation was made public.  Trump thus branded her as worthy of criminal prosecution.

Further, throughout the debate Donald repeatedly called her a liar.  Calling someone a liar and repeating it is not the same as referring to this or that statement as a lie, which she did repeatedly when referring to his wrong facts.  A lie is a wrong behavior.  A lie can be reversed by telling the truth. However, to call someone a liar is to cast an aspersion – a fundamental aspersion – on their character.  Thus, compare the name calling.  She characterized him as anti-women, anti-Muslim, anti-minority.  She characterized him as not telling the truth.  But it was detached.  His venom was direct and personal.  She was a liar, and she was likely a criminal who deserved and would be prosecuted by him.  He repeated these points relentlessly, and she did not have a comeback. She could only smile a superior smile that tried to communicate that The Donald was either a fool or a madman or both.   It took its toll on her, and I believe on the public consciousness.

Further, Trump lambasted Hillary in an even more profound way.  For him, their disagreement was not only about attitude, not only about issues, and not only about policies that were better for the country.  Rather, Trump, with great urgency, asserted that Hillary was filled with hatred, that her heart was filled with hate.  Thus, his criticism of her went even deeper than deed or character.  He went for the jugular by attacking her very raison d’être, her motives.

One member of the audience asked a last question before the close of the debate. He asked if each candidate could say one thing they liked about the other candidate.  It was a great question in light of a debate that was one of the nastiest public encounters between Presidential candidates, if not the nastiest in American history.  Mrs. Clinton complimented his children thereby implying that Mr. Trump must have done something right to raise such well-spoken, intelligent, and mature humans. Compared to Trump’s answer, she was evasive.  He flatly stated that he admired a quality of her character, namely that she does not quit. He said, “She’s a fighter.”  In so doing, her answer appeared mealy-mouthed by contrast.  The Donald had risen above the fray, above the name calling, above the intensity of their encounter, above the negatives.  He said something positive about her and seemed to mean it.

Donald Trump came into the debate as the scorned violator of women who had dirtied himself by improbable and offensive use of politically incorrect language. By the end of the debate, the bad press preceding the debate had been eclipsed. He had pounded his smarmy, pre-packaged, self-righteous opponent and his critics into the ground. He left the stage having turned the tide.