The Final 2016 Debate — Trump Was Right
Clinton gave polished "robo-call" rebuttals, but this was Trump's best performance.
“What kind of country are we going to be?” –Hillary Clinton
In the third and final confrontation between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, despite her polished “robo-call” rebuttals and his rambling remarks, this was Trump’s best performance — and he got the last word in with spontaneous closing remarks that were uncharacteristically cogent.
Despite Trump’s lackluster performance in the first debate, and improved performance in the second debate, he demonstrated in the third debate, despite never having held elective office, that he learns from experience.
This was Trump’s best act yet, despite the mass media hysterics at his hedge regarding the results of this election. (More on that below.)
Clinton directed many of her answers to her largest and most dependable constituency — female voters, majorities of whom handed back to back victories to Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, and Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. As I noted yesterday in “Democrats Grope the Gender Gap, duping female voters is Clinton’s best assurance of victory in 2016.
To that end, Clinton is doing a masterful job deceiving her female base, diverting attention from her profound ineptitude by rolling out ”Trump accusers,“ which she and her media will continue to do until all ballots have been cast. Oh, the faux indignation!
For his part, moderator Chris Wallace provided the most objective Q&A of the three debates.
However, while he pressed Trump on his lewd record in reference to women, he totally failed to press Clinton on the most controversial issue she faces in this election — her illegal concealment and destruction of communications while secretary of state, and the WikiLeaks release of some of those communications indicating her deceptions and duplicity. (More on that below.)
Here are the most important takeaways from this debate.
On the Supreme Court:
The first question of the evening was the most important.
Wallace: "The next president will almost certainly have at least one appointment and likely or possibly two or three appointments, which means that you will in effect determine the balance of the [Supreme] Court for what could be the next quarter century. First of all, where do you want to see the Court take the country? And secondly, what’s your view on how the Constitution should be interpreted? Do the Founders’ words mean what they say or is it a living document to be applied flexibly, according to changing circumstances?”
Clinton responded, “You know, I think when we talk about the Supreme Court, it really raises the central issue in this election. Namely, what kind of country are we going to be? … The Supreme Court should represent all of us. That’s how I see the Court.” No, no, no – the Supreme Court does not represent anyone. Clinton outlined how she would appoint judges who will represent her political bidding — avoiding Wallace’s question and not mentioning the Constitution. She defined exactly what Thomas Jefferson called “the despotic branch,” a court which defers to the rule of men rather than its constitutionally prescribed duty to uphold the Rule of Law. Such thinking would, in Jefferson’s words, treat the Constitution as “a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary which they may twist and shape into any form they please.”
Since passage of the Judiciary Act of 1789, with a slight modification in 1990, the SCOTUS oath has read: “I … do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”
Trump has already released a list of his prospective nominees, all of whom are conservative constitutional constructionists. Accordingly, he replied that his nominees “will interpret the Constitution the way the Founders wanted it interpreted.” He added, “I believe that’s very important. I don’t think we should have justices appointed that decide what they want to hear.”
If you find no other reason to vote the presidential ticket in November, vote for the Supreme Court nominees who will abide by their oaths — and Rule of Law.
On the Supreme Court, Trump was right…
Clinton’s secret off-grid communications:
Hillary, clearly concerned about what revelations about her not-so-secret communications are yet to surface, is now pivoting (as noted by Trump) from the substance of her illegal communications to how WikiLeaks obtained them. Her strategy is, ignore the message, shoot the messenger.
Early in the debate, Clinton claimed, “What is really important about WikiLeaks is that the Russian government has engaged in espionage against Americans.” Trump noted, “That was a great pivot off the fact that she wants open borders.”
Fact is, Clinton left the door wide open for what she characterized as “espionage against Americans.” And she claimed that “17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed [the hacking was] to influence our election.” No they didn’t. Two government agencies, DNI and DHS, have opined that, in their assessment, the hacks “are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts.”
However, I hasten to add, of course Russia pulled information from Clinton’s unsecured illegal communication servers. Of course Russia and other U.S. adversaries are doing everything they can to gain access to information about our foreign policy — just as we are endeavoring to do by hacking their communications. Too bad Putin doesn’t have a private communication server in his bedroom closet.
The point here is that Clinton made stealing critical communications easy — any adolescent with some basic IT skills could have hacked Clinton’s closet servers. Clinton thought she had successfully erased 32,000 emails from her illegal server before handing the rest over to the FBI, but now is shocked to find out her server had been hacked.
Fact is, the Russians, Chinese, Saudis and others probably were reading her off-grid communications real time.
Clinton had the audacity to reference “the military and civilian intelligence professionals who are sworn to protect us.” As secretary of state, she outranked those professionals, and completely disregarded her own sworn oath. And currently, one of those military professionals, a four-star general, is under indictment for mishandling classified information.
On Clinton’s criminal communications, Trump was right…
On the rise of the Islamic State:
Trump noted, “[Clinton] gave us ISIS because she and Obama created this huge vacuum, and a small group came out of that huge vacuum … in Iraq. She gave us ISIS as sure as you are sitting there. And what happened is now ISIS is in 32 countries. Now I listen to how she’s going to get rid of ISIS. She’s going to get to rid of nobody.”
Indeed, as I have documented well, Obama and Clinton created the Islamic State by way of their ill-advised, politically motivated withdrawal from Iraq. Keeping that political promise in 2012 was also responsible for Clinton’s Benghazi cover up.
On Clinton creating ISIL, Trump was right…
On the Second Amendment:
In one of her biggest lies of the evening, Clinton claimed, “I support the Second Amendment. I lived in Arkansas for 18 wonderful years. I represented upstate New York. I understand and respect the tradition of gun ownership.”
The Second Amendment has nothing to do with “the tradition of gun ownership” and everything to do with defending the Rule of Law enshrined in our Constitution against the rise of tyranny — including the incremental emergence of tyranny over time, which at some point will reach critical mass.
Clinton then pivoted to “toddlers with guns,” claiming gun control legislation in DC was about protecting “toddlers from guns.” DC, she insisted, “wanted people with guns to safely store them, and the Court didn’t accept that reasonable regulation.” No, DC banned handguns, and for the record, more toddlers drown in five gallon buckets left unattended than are shot to death.
Clinton and company toss around “gun deaths” like they do “climate change,” as a catch-all for their ulterior motives. For example, Clinton claimed “33,000 people a year die from guns.”
Actually, according to the FBI’s latest data, the most comprehensive crime data nationwide, there were 13,455 murders in 2015, 9,616 committed with firearms, and 6,447 with handguns. Notably, crime is trending up under Obama. Trump was correct — despite more than 50,000 federal, state and local gun laws, the most crime-ridden communities in America have the strictest gun laws — and Democrat mayors…
Notably, almost all of those murders are thug-on-thug, gangbangers killing each other, or what my law enforcement colleagues call “self-solvers.” Fact is, if you are not involved in gangs or drugs, your chances of being murdered with a gun are about as low as in Western Europe, where there are total bans on guns.
Trump reiterated his support for the Second Amendment, and on 2A, Trump was right…
Regarding abortion and killing children during childbirth:
Clinton declared, for the benefit of her gender gap constituency, “I strongly support Roe v. Wade which guarantees a constitutional right to a woman to make decisions about her health care…”
No, actually SCOTUS created a right to abortion – there was and remains no constitutional right to take the life of babies before birth. Trump reiterated that he would nominate judges who would support returning the abortion question to the states.
On Roe, Trump was right…
Trump and the election results:
The 24-hour mass media talking heads and headlines all led with news that Trump hedged on accepting election results — as a means of diverting attention from the substance of the debate. When asked about the election results, Trump said, “I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now, I’ll look at it at the time. … I’ll keep you in suspense, OK?” (Classic Trumpism!)
Of course Trump hedged. This week, there was additional evidence of Democrat Party collusion in the registration of illegal immigrants to vote. Trump’s objection to massive voter fraud and media collusion is the basis for his hedge.
Recall, if you will, that in 1960, the Democrat Party clearly “rigged the election” between Kennedy and Nixon, primarily in Chicago, giving JFK a narrow victory over Nixon. Oh, and recall the fact that Albert Gore rejected the election results in 2000, and waited more than a month after the election before giving a concession speech. Speculating that black votes were not counted, Gore refused to concede, saying, “I am very troubled by a lot of the stories that have been reported. Whenever you have allegations of those kind, that is a matter the entire country ought to take seriously.”
On the 2000 election results, Hillary Clinton asserted that the election was rigged: “Our presidential election came down to one state where [Jeb Bush] was the brother of the man running for president, so we have our problems too.” But on Trump’s hedge about election results, Clinton protested, “He is denigrating – he is talking down our democracy.” However, just last week, after she resurrected Al Gore to help entice low info young voters, Clinton declared to Gore in a public forum, “Actually you did win [in 2000].”
And on the subject of “rigged elections,” check with Clinton’s former primary opponent Bernie Sanders, who declared, “Let’s be honest… We are talking about a rapid movement in this country toward a political system in which a handful of very wealthy people and special interests will determine who gets elected or who does not get elected. … The system is rigged.” Indeed, once evidence broke confirming the DNC rigged the primary in Clinton’s favor, DNC chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned in disgrace, only to be rehired the same day by the Clinton campaign. And her DNC replacement, Donna Brazile, previously Al Gore’s campaign chair and most recently a CNN hack, gave the Clinton campaign some questions that would be asked the next day at a CNN town hall event.
Of course, Obama has repeatedly invoked the notion that everything is rigged: “They’ll do anything to rig the system.”
On voter fraud and media collusion, Trump was right.
Trump’s closing statement:
Chris Wallace closed the evening by asking both candidates to give brief closing remarks, something that they were not prepared to do. Clinton fumbled around, but Trump was on the mark:
“When I started this campaign, I started it very strongly. It’s called Make America Great Again. We’re going to make America great. We have a depleted military. It has to be helped. It has to be fixed. We have the greatest people on Earth in our military. We don’t take care of our veterans. We take care of illegal immigrants, people that come into our country illegally better than we take care of our vets. That can’t happen. Our policemen and women are disrespected. We need law and order, but we need justice too. Our inner cities are a disaster. You get shot walking to the store. They have no education. They have no jobs. I will do more for African-Americans and Latinos than she can do for 10 lifetimes. All she’s done is talk to the African-Americans and to the Latinos, but [Democrats] get the vote and then … they say, ‘We’ll see you in four years.’ We are going to make America strong again and we are going to make America great again and it has to start now. We cannot take four more years of Barack Obama, and that’s what you get when you get her.”
Clinton is a well-oiled slick politico, but as Trump noted, “I say the one thing you have over me is experience. But it is bad experience because what you’ve done has turned out badly.”
Again, as Clinton asked, “What kind of country are we going to be?” Let me reiterate, if you find no other reason to vote the presidential ticket in November, vote for the Supreme Court nominees who will abide by their oaths — and Rule of Law.