Donald Trump is upset. He feels he was treated poorly at the debates; even unfairly. But was he?
According to Donald Trump, Lester Holt, the moderator during the first Presidential Debate, treated him very “unfair” and posed him “hostile” questions. He also remarked, “My mic was defective. Maybe on purpose.” Yet, despite the fact that his mic “wasn’t working,” Donald spoke twice as much as his opponent, former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. According to Twitter, Trump spoke 62% of the time compared to Clinton’s 38%. While he may have used twice as many words, he only said half as much and lied exponentially.
I don’t doubt that Donald Trump thought he received unfair treatment. This is very typical for a bully. When they don’t get their way, they feel that they have been slighted and then lash out. We’ve seen this before with his behavior during the entire election process when debating his male Republican colleagues: Name calling, personally attacking them and/or their spouses, belittling them and talking over them. Even during those early debates, Trump dominated the speaking time.
But with women, he adds the misogyny aspect to the bully persona. Trump judges a woman’s worth on her looks and his erroneous perception of her “limited” intelligence, even, obviously, a woman running for President of the United States. We saw this when his colleague, Carly Fiorina was in the race (i.e. “Look at that face). We saw it again on Monday with Secretary Clinton.
Apparently, all this unfairness caused him to go into accelerated “mansplaining,” which for him, is not unusual even at these rarefied political levels. Instead of answering the questions with substantive answers, he did what he always does, talks in circles and with vagueness as to not be pinned down to something that could later be attacked. If Holt attempted to hold him accountable by repeating the question, Trump fell back on his old standards of lying because it seems that Donald Trump and his supporters have only a passing acquaintance with the truth. As an example, he claimed “stop and frisk” was both constitutional and beneficial; it is neither. He said Bill Clinton signed the worst trade deal in history, NAFTA. It’s not the worst and President Bill Clinton didn’t sign it. President George H. W. Bush did.
Then there were the interruptions.
Trump interrupted Clinton at three times the rate that she interrupted him; like a small child butting into grown folk’s conversation. Despite his claims of being unfairly treated, the reality seems to suggest quite the opposite. He was allowed to interrupt and speak almost completely unfettered and since we all managed to hear what he said, his mic appeared to be working just fine. And yet, through it all, Hillary managed to display the knowledge and calm leadership so lacking in her opponent and did it with half as many words and without complaining that she was treated unfairly.
I think Clinton best summed up the night when she said to Trump, “I know you live in your own reality.”
And in his reality, he can lie, take no accountability, blame others, talk in circles and mistreat women. Frankly, that’s not the “reality” we need.
Featured Image: Screenshot of live debate