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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

A Swing and a Miss for Donald Trump


On Sept. 26, all eyes in America were glued to their television sets, laptop screens, or even their smartphones for a battle between two of the least liked people in America in an attempt to prove that they aren’t actually that bad.

According to recent polls, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have been in a deadlock tie for the presidency. Many political experts predicted that the winner of the debates may determine who will be able to win the presidency, which means the stakes couldn’t be much higher for the two candidates. The major news networks seemed to be practically salivating over the high ratings that they were anticipating to get.

It was expected to be the most watched presidential debate in history, an event to rival even the Super Bowl, and by all means it achieved that goal. The Nielson ratings that came out the next day confirmed that 84 million Americans tuned in, and this didn’t even count the people who watched over the Internet, which Nielson does not count.

In such an unprecedented and unhinged election season as this one, most Americans seemed to watch with feelings of embarrassment racing through their bodies, many wondering “Is this really the best we can do?”

I have always said that Donald Trump is a hammer in search of a nail. All he was ever really good at during the primary debates was attacking the other candidates, and making them look like fools while he received all the glory. The one thing Trump would have to do to win the debate against Hillary was to attack her as much as he can, and not collapse under pressure.

In the beginning, I felt that Trump was doing a pretty good job. He kept criticizing Clinton’s incompetence as Secretary of State along with the Obama Administration. He was, for the most part, calm and composed, he seemed passionate about trade deals and the loss of jobs in Middle America, and for a little bit, he seemed almost presidential. For a man like Trump, this was essentially all that was expected of him, and he was close to satisfying those expectations.

Now, did Trump ever specifically lay out a plan for how he was going to bring jobs back, or an alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or specifics of his opposition’s incompetence? Of course not. As expected this rare “competence” was short lived.

Like I said, Trump is a hammer and he needs to find something to criticize so he can drive that nail in, and he seemed to find something worth hammering. However, instead of slamming the hammer down on the head of the nail, Trump was only lightly tapping it. There is a laundry list of things to criticize about Hillary Clinton on that Trump blatantly ignored, showing how far his competence stretches.

Trump has made it more evident that his fragile ego is the one thing that he will always defend against and put first. Hillary knew this when she attacked Trump over his tax returns. She would play his own weaknesses against him, and she knew it would cause him to malfunction. Trump brought up Hillary’s emails, which would have been the perfect opportunity to talk about the national security risks, FBI Director James Comey’s comments, and the sheer corruption behind the whole scandal. However, instead of coming up with anything of substance or bringing up any of these points, he just reiterated over and over again that Hillary is bad, and made broad blanket statements about him being the best. Instead of brushing off Clinton’s tax return comment, Trump chose to defend his fragile ego and further put the focus on himself by babbling on about his tax returns.

Another missed opportunity was when Hillary brought up how Trump was sued for racial discrimination once in 1973. Trump could have brought up the Clinton Foundation and allegations of its corruption, or you know, maybe he could have denied any form of racial discrimination. Instead Trump shrugged and gurgled out that other companies have been racist too so it’s fine. Really mind-boggling stuff.

Towards the end of the debate, Hillary brought up a story that has been circulating in the news this week. Trump apparently called former Miss Universe Alicia Machado “Miss Piggy” in regards to her weight gain and “Miss Housekeeping” in regards to her being Venezuelan. Clearly a terrible comment that just further shows how Trump has zero respect for women.

Trump could have spun this to his advantage, but fell short. Since they were on the topic of sexism, Trump could have easily brought up how Hillary paid off many of Bill Clinton’s sexual assault victims to keep quiet. Obviously this still wouldn’t have justified what he said to the contestant, but it could have at least put Hillary on her toes. Did Trump do this though? Nope just some incoherent rambling and something about Rosie O’Donnell.

Trump has no one else to blame but himself for his performance in the debate. His ego was fragile, he lost all composure at many points, and he took all of the bait that a well-prepared Hillary Clinton threw out hook, line, and sinker. Was Lester Holt biased towards Hillary? It’s likely, but Trump has faced bias in the media from the second he announced his presidency, so he should have been prepared for it, just like he should’ve prepared for the debate.

Trump also said that after the debate he was going to say something to Hillary, but didn’t because Chelsea Clinton was in the room. What? Why is Trump holding back now? He didn’t hesitate to attack Ted Cruz, a member of his own party, by calling his wife ugly along with calling his father a serial killer. He could have responded by bringing up Bill Clinton’s affairs, and Hillary’s sexism with his victims. Instead he didn’t say anything about it, only praised himself for not bringing it up. Obviously that would have been really low. However, what else have we come to expect from Donald Trump? I don’t understand why he decided to hold back now.

Ah wait a minute. Trump was saving his best stuff for the later debates. All the things that he didn’t say now he will just talk about later when Hillary is at her most vulnerable. Trump just wants us to think he lost this time so he’ll win really big in the next debate. Very sneaky Donald.

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A Swing and a Miss for Donald Trump