By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter
One of my first thoughts after the presidential debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump ended: I’m not going to get that 90 minutes back.
My second thought: Our black pug Peerey went on a barking spree just about every time Trump spoke. Peerey would shut up for Clinton. Run down the hall, loudly barking, when Trump was up. Weird.
The most-watched presidential debate in history is, well, history. And the outcome is pretty much expected: Clinton won big.
But at school Tuesday (I teach English composition and literature at UAB), I realized that didn’t really matter. My Trump students were still for Trump. My Clinton students were still for Clinton.
And many of my students didn’t care one way or the other.
As APR guest columnist Beth Clayton pointed out today, Trump’s most presidential moment was when he agreed he would support Clinton if she wins in November.
I believe that’s what’s going to happen. Trump is dangerous. And all through Monday’s debate, he had that “Angry White Man” scowl, when he wasn’t interrupting and disrespecting Clinton. Oh, Clinton had her turn as well. She strongly criticized Trump about his business dealings, including six bankruptcies, and Trump’s failure to pay for services provided by contractors and others.
Trump was belligerent, defensive, and continued the interrupt-itis, like he can just bull-in-a-china-closet his way out.
Sadly, especially for the United States, he may can.
Trump supporters don’t care about his ethics or his lies. They don’t care if he’s a bigot. They live in a fantasy world where Trump is a great businessman and human — despite his alienation of Latinos, Muslims, women; his scams; mocking of disabled people; filthy mouth; and a whole host of other sins that make him unqualified.
As APR’s Clayton also pointed out, Trump wasn’t prepared. Clinton was.
And Trump supporters don’t care. Trump was probably right when he rashly claimed last January that he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” and not “lose any voters.”
We just have to hope Trump doesn’t have enough of those voters.
A president can’t run a nation like a business, especially a Donald Trump business. That’s not the nature of government. Governments provide services for taxes paid. It’s not supposed to make money; it’s supposed to help its poorest people, to provide defense, to promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty.
Perhaps Trump’s most specific proposal Monday night was that he will cut taxes on the wealthy, so they’ll create jobs. That trickle-down economic theory was proved wrong under Ronald Reagan, under George W. Bush — and will again under Trump.
Trump said he would bring manufacturing jobs that have fled to other countries back to the United States, but he didn’t say how. Even Trump has sent jobs overseas himself; his baseball caps that say “Make America Great Again” are made in China.
Meanwhile, Trump has a secret plan to end ISIS? Really? I remember a previous secret plan a candidate for president had. Republican Richard Nixon had a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam. Nixon had resigned from office in disgrace over Watergate by the time we lost that war.
Perhaps the most comedic moment Monday night was when Trump claimed he had a better temperament to be president than Clinton. My wife, Veronica, and I laughed out loud. How delusional is this dude?
Surely Donald Trump can’t win the United States presidency with only an “Angry White Man” scowl.
Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a column for Alabama Political Reporter every week. Email: [email protected]