3 things to think about:

  1. Being one of 1,860 billionaire’s does not qualify anyone to be President of the United States.
  2. One lousy interviewer can deprive Americans of critical information they require to make educated decisions.
  3. “30 days” for a war plan is typical of someone who thinks the art of war is similar to the art of the deal.

(3 minute read)

At the Commander In Chief Forum at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were questioned by NBC host, Matt Lauer (a morning fluff guy sent to do serious journalism who failed the American people).

Not even Trump supporters got answers

Watching Trump interviewed was like watching a game of high school, dodge ball. Whether you are a Trump supporter or not, you have to admit that Donald Trump dodged almost every question Matt Lauer asked. Trump blustered general nothingness, spewed boring riffs and offered endless bleating on Clinton and Obama. His strategy was transparent: Don’t answer anything just divert to bashing the opposition, ad nausea.

Trump dodged specifics with flight-of-fancy thinking, knee-jerk inconsistencies, erroneous claims and aggressive verbosity:

  • He dodged giving any details on how he’d destroy ISIS. He said he had a “secret plan …” and said, “I will ask my generals to present a plan within 30 days to defeat and destroy ISIS.” “Thirty days …” – this from a man who wrote The Art of the Deal but probably doesn’t even know there’s a book he should read called, The Art of War.
  • He gave confusing and contradictory answers on how he’d improve veterans’ health care. He said he’d slash veterans’ wait times without privatizing VA hospitals but suggested he’d let veterans go to private hospitals if the VA didn’t improve. And he said, “We will pay the bill.” Contradictions with no winning battle plan is the hallmark of poor leadership. Any veteran knows that.
  • When asked what experience had prepared him to be commander in chief he answered: “Well, I built a great company, I’ve been all over the world … the main thing is, I have great judgment.”  Trump is only one of 1,860 billionaires in the world, many of whom are rich and think being born with a silver spoon in their mouth provides good judgement. Is Trump’s good judgement also reflected in his bankrupt casino businesses, Trump University,  the sham of the Trump Foundation and illegally funding politicians (now under investigation) and numerous other failures?
  • He was asked what preparation and reading he was doing to “brush up” on policy and he dodged again: “I’m campaigning, I’m running a business, I’ve got lots of hats right now.” Probably spends more time brushing up his hair than his knowledge. On two of America’s bigger issues, racism and misogyny, we’ve suggested a reading list for Trump in another blog.
  • He claimed he would extract millions of gallons of oil from Iraq’s ground, and when asked how, he said he would leave “certain people” behind to accomplish the task. He’s talking about stealing the assets of a sovereign nation and leaving behind military people. Sounds like an act of war not the art of a deal. What the hell does he mean? If he even knows himself. Lauer blanked again and never pressed him on this egregious statement, a flight of fancy.
  • When talking about Gadhafi, he flip-flopped more than his hair does on a windy day. Back in 2011, he declared the dictator should be taken out “very quickly, very surgically.” Of course, that doesn’t square with what he said in primary campaign when he stated  the US would be better off if Gadhafi was still in power.

This dialogue – or diatribe – is not the way a president speaks, unless you’re the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. Would Trump be our Duterte?

Hillary Clinton

Regardless of what you think of Hillary Clinton (and many don’t think much of her), anyone watching saw the stark difference between the mental capability of the two candidates (see recent blog on mental capability). Clinton showed a depth of understanding (way beyond Trump) and a capacity to process significant amounts of information, reference relevant details and present a reasoned and plausible case, which is what a president must do on multiple issues, everyday. Trump has shown, over and over, he can’t do any of that. And he didn’t on this night. Instead he repeatedly, redundantly, reiterated, recited, restated and recapped the same things he had already stated, most of which didn’t make much sense the first time he said them.

“Mrs. Clinton was far more likely to look audience members in the eye, nod along as they expressed concern or curiosity, and give relatively direct if sometimes uncomfortable answers. Mr. Trump came off as more relaxed but also far lighter on policy explanations, and he faced no questions about his past insults of veterans and their families or his own Vietnam-era draft deferments.” – The New York Times, September 8, 2016, page A1

Trump played dodge ball and Lauer played softball in a game that America is on the losing end of. If Trump appears to be a “shining light on the hill” (Ronald Reagan would cringe) and the media continues to shed no light on reality, then there are dark days and years ahead. Unless Americans wake up to the reality and risk of a Trump presidency before the morning of Wednesday, November 9, 2016.