Prep for Presidential Debate Three

Prep for Presidential Debate Three

Alex Hahn, Writer

Hello voters, have a good break? Enjoy your vacation? Relaxed, got a little stress relief? Enjoying the unseasonably warm weather? Glad to hear it, now take a deep breath, and dive back into this mess of a political election.

In preparation for the last presidential debate tonight, a recap of the news is called for. Many of you probably took a break from the news over fall break, so we’ll be starting there.

Donald Trump had a few gaffs. The first was a tape being released where The Donald gave his unique perspective on the fringe benefits of fame, namely the opposite sex letting you grab them by their genitals. That tape was released the Friday before the second presidential debate.

In the following hours, the Republican Party saw a mass exodus with nearly every household GOP name distancing themselves from Trump. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, Republican Governors John Kasich, and Chris Christie,  along with former Republican nominees, Mitt Romney,  and John McCain and former presidents George W. and George H.W. Bush have all either reiterated their refusal to support Trump, or rolled back their support of him.

Trumps defense of himself mounted to the tape being “locker room talk”. He argued that men talk like this in private. He did admit that he regretted what he said and has grown since then.

Trump then went on the offensive the morning of the debate by accusing Bill Clinton of sexual harassment. You may know Bill as the ex-president who is married to Hillary Clinton. In fairness, he did have an extramarital affair while in office as President. That bit of tomfoolery got Bill Clinton impeached, but not removed from office. But it should also be noted that Bill Clinton is not running for President.

Then the debate happened. If you want to watch the debate, it is about 90 minutes and on YouTube, along with the ten minute SNL sketch. Trump did as well as could be expected, given what the last 36 hours held for him. Clinton, however, failed to capitalize on Trump’s blunder. That being said, any fallout of the debate was instantly lost in what came next.

Almost the next morning, five women came forward and accused Trump of sexual harassment. On October 12, Jessica Leeds, Rachel Crooks, Mindy McGillivray, Natasha Stoynoff and Jennifer Murphy accused Trump of forcing unwanted sexual contact, from forcing a kiss to grabbing their butts. The list of accusers now stands at about twelve including Cathy Heller, Summer Zervos, Kristin Anderson, who came out after the first accusation. Earlier this year Cassandra Searles, Temple McDowell and Jill Harth made passing comments about Trump’s unwantedly sexual interaction with them. There is also one Jane Doe who filed a rape lawsuit against Trump during the summer’s primaries.

Let’s pause for a moment to mark the first time in history a major party nominee has been openly and seriously accused of sexual assault twelve times over. Now let us also remember that he is still polling at 42%.

In response to the allegations against Trump, first lady Michelle Obama tore into him. She gave a speech that may be the highest profile call to work at ending sexual assault in history.  That speech is about a half hour and also on YouTube.

Yet while Michelle was speaking, almost simultaneously Trump was going on the offensive. In true Trump fashion, he threatened to sue two of the newspapers that first published allegations, he also accused his accusers of seeking cheap publicity and attempting to smear his campaign, but most memorably he implied that one of his accusers was not hot enough to warrant groping by saying “Look at her. … I don’t think so.”

Hillary stayed quiet, mostly avoiding serious scandal. Yet, Wikileaks finally published the transcripts of her speeches to the Wall Street group Goldman Sachs. The speeches more or less confirm what many Bernie or Bust voters fear; Hillary backed regulation on Wall Street do to political need, not ideological beliefs. In the primaries, this would have been devastating, but given what Trump is dealing with, the Goldman Sachs transcripts are hardly a hiccup.

Yet those transcripts were used to fuel Donald’s next attack. Trump said “Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers.” That comment has been harshly criticized as playing on old anti-Semitic feelings.

Sensing weakness, Clinton began expanding her campaign into more traditional Republican states like Arizona and even Texas.

Rounding out this insanity, Donald Trump turned on the media calling them part of a conspiracy to hand Clinton the election. Trump has said that this attempt to put Clinton into the White House went so far as to having people make the election “rigged”. Trump goes on to claim there is wide scale voter fraud all with the intent to hand the election to “Crooked Hillary”.  Trump advised that his supporters keep a careful eye on the voting places. Mike Pence attempted to temper these remarks by stating that the media is attempting to “rig the election with their biased coverage.”

Then steps in Obama, who yesterday told Trump to “stop whining.” President Obama again pointed out that at least to him, Trump is acting thin skinned and unfit to lead.

That’s where we stand going into tonight. Enjoy the fireworks.