}

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Reality show’s final episode

I watched the final debate, mostly thinking to myself how wonderful it was that it WAS the final debate. None of them were worth it, though the final one at least had a bit more policy. That Donald lost all three is clear, but his performance tonight disqualifies him from being president, and I sincerely hope he loses in a landslide.

The chart with this post is from Five Thirty Eight, and shows how often Donald interrupted Hillary Clinton in each of the three debates. His boorish and spoiled-brat behaviour is part of the reason he lost the debates, but the bigger story is his performance tonight, as he broke with American tradition of peaceful, constitutional transfer of power.

In the debate, Donald flat out refused to state that he would accept the result of the election, which Hillary Clinton accurately described as “horrifying”. Donald was thumbing his nose at a fundamental concept of American democracy, namely, that elections are fought hard, then when the winner is known, everyone moves on. Will Donald do that? "I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense," he smirked.

In the debate, Hillary Clinton accurately pointed out that every time Donald loses, he says the system is “rigged” against him. He routinely blames everyone under the sun EXCEPT himself. This doesn’t mean much when he’s merely complaining about not being nominated for an Emmy, but the game he’s playing now is dangerous and unprecedented: He’s riling up his most frothing fans to turn violent if he loses the election. There’s a word for that: Sedition, and it’s beneath contempt for the presidential nominee of a major party to be fomenting and encouraging seditious violence.

I thought the essence of Donald’s disgusting remark was best summed up by a Kiwi:

After the debate, I braved watched the CNN discussion, and the paid shills for Donald kept bringing up the 2000 election, and that Gore conceded then un-conceded. But there’s a HUGE problem with their attempt at distraction: 537 votes. That’s how many votes Al Gore ultimately “lost” Florida by, and when that state’s result went to a mandatory recount, the winner was undetermined. Ultimately, of course, the US Supreme Court stopped the recount and installed George Bush 2 as president, but ALL of that was because the election was so close that whoever won Florida would be president.

Obviously the shills for Donald all knew that, and they understand what 2000 was really all about, but they kept trying to use it to pretend there’s some sort of double standard. There isn’t. Had either Gore or Bush been asked in a debate if they’d accept the election result, both of them would have unhesitatingly said yes, they would. Donald failed that very, very simple test.

I’m glad the debates are over. It means I no longer have to look at Donald saying stupid, offensive and dangerous things for more than a brief soundbite in New Zealand’s evening news—in other words, not much at all. This is a very good thing.

The less the world hears from Donald in the years ahead, the better off we’ll all be. With some luck and a whole lot of determination, three weeks from now we won’t ever have to hear from him again.

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