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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 10/10/16

Did Trump win the Second Debate?

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Yet, vote we must...or ought to anyway, though half the eligible electorate won't, perhaps feeling like the baby in this picture. I understand. But Trump might have done better in this debate. Consider:

- Clinton's policies in the Middle East are a complete disaster and as Trump pointed out, she really has "no idea who the rebels (she is arming) are..and they are (likely to be) ISIS." He cited Libya, Iraq, Syria under her watch, quite a long list of horrific failures and she has seemingly learned nothing from them.

- Bill Clinton likely committed adultery in the 1970s and 1980s and opportunistic (Trump didn't use that word, but it was strongly implied) Hillary kept whatever misgivings and anger she might have had to herself and aided her husband in going after the accusers in every case. And let's keep in mind that all of the incidents Trump talked about happened in the Dark Ages of pre-internet, pre-tell-all journalism. It was really a different world back then, and by the time 2005 rolled around, when the now infamous Trump "Pussygate" (my word) recording was made, Bill Clinton had undergone a life-altering quadruple heart bypass, been thoroughly chastened by the 1998 Monica Lewinsky scandal, lost his license to practice law over it and paid $850,000 to one of his earlier accusers, Paula Jones (both of these last two points Trump brought up). Bill Clinton, who is the same age as Trump, was probably finally tamed by then, physically diminished, or maybe he just realized he couldn't get away with his actions towards women as a heavily scrutinized ex-president by then.

- Hillary Clinton defended the rapist of a 12-year girl and then laughed about it...twice. That girl, now a middle-aged woman, was one of the 4 women invited by Trump to a pre-debate panel and at the debate, albeit for Trump's own cynical political gain (but is he any worse the Clinton in that regard?).

- Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq war while Trump, whatever he really did in 2002-2004, was a private citizen without access to all the facts Clinton had access to, or the responsibility of a U.S. Senator.

- Obamacare has lots of problems. Maybe Trump is stretching things to call it a disaster, but despite early progress, the cost curve doesn't look like it was permanently bent downwards, and as Trump pointed out, the cost of healthcare is now accelerating faster than anywhere else in the world or ever in the history of the U.S., providers are dropping out, making "essentially monopolies" in each state (Trump wants to open competition between states, which won't be enough to solve the cost problem, but which might help). 20 million more people are covered, but millions more are still uncovered. Even Bill Clinton has said Obamacare is "the craziest thing in the world." Its costs are driving small businesses out of business, as Trump also said. Premiums and deductibles are going up and Trump said "you won't be able to use it unless you get hit by a truck."

- Emailgate: As Trump said, people have had their lives ruined "for doing 1/5th of what (Clinton) did." He promised to have his Attorney General if elected, to appoint a Special Prosecutor to go after her and put her "in jail." Many progressives, as well as those on the Right, feel she deserves nothing less.

- The primary election against Bernie Sanders was rigged by pre-committed super-delegates and Debbie Wasserman Shultz, as Trump pointed out.

- Trump says there is "nothing wrong with getting along with Russia" and says we have a common enemy in fighting radical Islamic terrorists. Hilary won't even call it that, preferring to see Islam as just another religious flavor, which ignores its anti-reformation, extremely conservative dominant strain of Wahhabism that is spewing terrorists all over the world. Trump is favored by Russia, says Clinton, but is that necessarily a bad thing if it keeps us out of a conflict that might turn into thermo-nuclear war while allowing Russia to support Assad and achieve victory over rebel forces that may have ties to ISIS and Al Qaeda? Clinton says we need the cooperation of "Muslim-majority" nations, but how has that helped in the last two decades or more? (At another time, Trump said we should punish Saudi Arabia by refusing to buy their oil).

Of course, Trump is a boorish lout, insults anyone who disagrees with him and is thin-skinned enough to get us into war(s) and even if avoiding that, seems to alienate everyone (so, can we hope that if elected, he will simply be ineffective? No, because the duplicitous Republicans will ultimately support him if he's president and it looks like they will at least retain the House, if not the Senate too). But Hillary has had a major role in destabilizing the Middle East and did nothing to prevent the 2008 financial crisis, where most of the largest banks that caused it are located, while Senator from 2001-2009 (Trump pointed out she's had 30 years in public service to do reforms - a bit of an exaggeration of her power and time, but not by much).

Trump's policies would reward the already-wealthy rentiers like himself, and blow a hole in the debt wider than anyone in history, says almost every economist and think tank, even conservative ones. It may well bring on the next recession...after it inflates the asset market bubble even Trump admits to, though he blames that solely on the Fed's low interest rates and ignores the speculator-favoring and corporate/personal debt-promoting tax policies of every president from Reagan forward.

Trump would toss everyone off of Obamacare plus, as Clinton pointed out, undo healthcare reforms for the 170 million people who get it from their employers and who can't be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, because they are over 21 but under 26 and under their parent's policy, or who can't pay a higher premium because they are female or in some other higher cost category. He would ignore the health scourge of gun violence in favor of protecting an interpretation of the Second Amendment that is only applicable in the last two generations and which ignores the clause about a "well-regulated militia" entirely; he would allow policies that allow for guns virtually everywhere in the open and without a license or background check.

He would appoint Supreme Court Justices "in the model of Scalia" that would probably undo Roe v. Wade, consigning millions of women to either unwanted pregnancies or dangerous illegal abortions. He might appoint some women in his Administration, as he did in his campaign (his current campaign manager is a woman) and company, even in a male-dominated construction industry, but he likely would place extreme importance on their appearance.

Baaaa, I don't wanna vote for any of these people either!

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Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a former blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:

Scott is a former and current President of Common Ground-NY (, a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens of (more...)

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