The transmogrification of reality in America continued earlier tonight as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump engaged in the third and final debate of the 2016 presidential election. Clinton came out in Las Vegas, Nevada, dressed as a cream-colored corrupt criminal bureaucrat while Trump wore his usual attire of orange tear-gas tinted facial features and a blood-soaked tie tucked underneath his suit jacket. Fox News hardballer Chris Wallace was set to moderate. He wore glasses. I almost wrote class. There was very little to be involved.
First issue up for debate was debt and entitlements. (At least I think it was.) To me, this was strange. What do Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump know about debt and entitlement?
The debate started off boring as hell. Typical, you might say, for presidential elections — but unexpected for what we’ve seen this entire year, with 16 Republican candidates outrageously whittled down to a billionaire versus a millionaire. One has property and investments spanning more countries than the average American will ever visit in his or her dreams. The other has stipulated a private mandate to enrich herself with public service. In other words, the culmination of what used to be atypical for political standards across the U.S.A. is now a symptom of poetic injustice on a massive scale.
With the entire country now enshrouded in this political mystique (misery), or at least most of it anyway, the climax of the 2016 presidential election hit the Seventh Circle of Hell. Boredom in rhetoric. Claustrophobia in a country with over 300 million people. Fifty states and territories to boot. I almost said loot.
Then it was time to discuss immigration. We all know Trump’s policies, even our friends in outer space. What the hell’s going on here?
I began talking to myself, immediately, with Clinton’s first comments. As she doused the cameras, the moderator, the audience, and her opponent with her public experience, I came across this story from Reason. “Clinton’s 700-Mile Border Fence Is Just 300 Miles Shorter Than Trump’s.” It discusses her bragging, back in November of 2015, about voting for a wall on the Mexican border in 2006. Maybe.
To sum it up, here are Reason’s editor in chief Nick Gillespie’s final sentiments in the piece, from Sept 1:
“So the distance between Clinton and Trump on immigration, especially now that he has ‘softened’ his deportation language, is pretty narrow. Indeed, it might just be 300 miles of useless pork-barrel spending on fencing in the Southwestern desert.”
Clinton, at this moment in the debate, accused Trump of saying he’d send nukes to Saudi Arabia. Trump responded by calling Clinton a liar. Then, Clinton said that the “US has kept peace with alliances.”
During Barack Obama’s tenure as President of the United States, the US government has sold $115 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia. That’s more than the previous Bush administration by $30 billion. Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia has indiscriminately bombed Yemen, the poorest country in the middle East. Multiple mainstream news media outlets have deemed these actions war crimes. Today, with regard to Obama’s responsibility in the middle East, US News and World Report called the ongoing attacks “unconstitutional and very unwise.”
Within the last two weeks, Saudi Arabia bombed a funeral in Yemen. The New York Times reported on this story, as well as a variety of other publications. In the horrific incident more than 100 people were killed, in addition to hundreds wounded.
As of August 30, Reuters/The Huffington Post reported that 10,000 people have died in Yemen’s civil war, nearly 3,800 of which have been civilians. Sixty percent of 3,800 equates to how many civilians have died in the conflict at the hands of Saudi bombs.
What does this have to do with immigration?
“… the conflict has displaced three million Yemenis and forced 200,000 to seek refuge abroad. The United Nations had information that 900,000 of the displaced intended to try to return to their homes.”
Next, Clinton stated that she wanted a “growing economy.” She wanted America to “compete.” She said she wanted to “raise the national minimum wage.”
“The money is going to the top.”
This, from a woman who gave three speeches to Goldman Sachs — one of the largest investment banks on the planet — at $225,000 a pop. You know, as a private citizen. According to Mic, and the rest of the public domain, Clinton gave over 90 speeches which aggregated nearly $22 million in speaking fees. The total for her speaking fees to big banks? One point eight million dollars. ($1.8 million.)
There’s something oddly strange about a candidate for president, who has become exorbitantly wealthy from her work in public service, in collusion with the private sector, informing the American public where their money is going.
Clinton continued, remarking that 3.5 million jobs would be lost with Trump’s tax plan. He’d add $20 trillion to the debt, she claimed. Could he possibly match Obama in that regard?
Trump responded that Clinton would “raise and double taxes.”
Clinton quickly retorted that Obama had cut the country’s deficit by two-thirds. She said that he had saved the economy.
Meanwhile, the national debt on the debt clock is set to stand at a whopping $20 trillion by the time Obama leaves office. That figure is nearly double from where it was when he began to “save the economy,” according to Clinton. Forty-three presidents came before Obama. In two terms, he doubled the debt they accumulated over the course of approximately 220 years.
Trump then referenced Clinton’s deletion of tens of thousands of emails, after she’d been subpoenaed by Congress. He intimated that a four-star general who now faces jail time for leaking classified information was abhorrently comparable. Trump called Clinton’s campaign “corrupt.”
What this all has to do with the economy, I couldn’t tell you.
Wallace then inquired Clinton about the Clinton Foundation. He questioned that, with recent Wikileaks revelations, it was concerning that there had been some quid pro quo going on. A la pay to play.
Clinton responded, without budging in her facial expression, that she was thrilled to be talking about the Clinton Foundation, and all the great work it has done. She droned on, that she could talk about it all night if she’d been allotted the time.
Trump characteristically responded that the Clinton Foundation was a “criminal enterprise.” He mentioned Saudi Arabia and Qatar, specifically, and how both countries had delivered millions of dollars in donations to the foundation. He questioned the humanitarian records of the two countries which, with the Wikileaks emails, equated Clinton to accepting money from countries she knew had hands in funding terrorism.
She was then asked, by Trump, to give back that money to both countries.
WHAT WASN’T MENTIONED
This is where my notes got hazy. I couldn’t take it any more. It’s what wasn’t mentioned by both candidates, that was getting to me.
One of the most important issues of our time, climate change.
And the longest war in the history of the United States, Afghanistan. Where two Americans were recently killed, with three more wounded.
“The shooting [in Afghanistan] comes as the Afghan government in Kabul has come under growing pressure from the Taliban and other armed insurgents despite 15 years of war.”
The fact that these two issues weren’t mentioned and discussed in the final presidential debate is hard to take.
Not to mention two of the other candidates, in the Libertarian and Green parties, who are both on the ballot in more than 40 states.
So we’re all left with the question:
What’s next for democracy in America?