Clinton vs Trump; Debate 1

The first of the live Presidential debates kicks off at 2 pm this arvo (assuming I’ve got my head around daylight saving).

On one hand, the candidate endorsed by every living being round the world who has both brain and heart in good working order. On the other hand, the candidate who is endorsed right across the political spectrum, all the way from neo fascist Vladimir Putin to the neo fascist KKK.

Neither candidate is much cop, but one is clearly less bad than the other. Never before has the weakness of the American political system’s reliance on the evil of two lessers been more obvious and more dangerous for the world.

If Trump wins, the world loses.

So today’s match up is vital. Media talk suggests this debate will the most widely watched scrap in decades and a fair percentage of the voting public will make up their mind without bothering to watch the the other two debates. The polls are tightening and even Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight is showing Clinton’s poll lead has dipped.

It’s now or never for lumpen populist Donald Trump, the darling of the 1% who has managed to fool a large percentage of working Americans into think he offers something better than what they have now. A comparison of the two candidates suggests that what Trump is promising is misery at home and death abroad.

Of course, some would say Hillary Clinton is already operating on that formula. But that’s bollocks.

By any objective analysis, Hillary Clinton has been a progressive force all her adult life. That won’t change when she is President. What might change this election is the ability of a Democrat party President to actually achieve legislative change. There  is a good chance that the Democrats will gain the majority in the senate, which will mean passing progressive bills will be much, much easier.

Clinton will be buoyed by getting through the worst week of her campaign relatively unscathed. The misogynist dog whistling about her health peaked when she was laid low by pneumonia. The big news of the last few days has been the apparent endorsement of her by former President George H Bush. That’s symptomatic of Donald’s Trump’s major issue. His own party is not backing him.

Trump doesn’t have the supporters on the ground, he doesn’t have the money. He’s been reduced to endless town hall meetings where he talks to the already committed in words of few syllables. It looks like campaigning, it feels like campaigning. But it doesn’t matter a damn.

The debate can be watched live here, here and here. The Guardian has a rolling blog here and the BBC’s coverage is here.  Rolling Stone has a good summary of things to look out for here.

Popcorn ahoy, Standardnistas! It’s going to be entertaining, if not illuminating.

In the meantime, here’s Zach and Hills:


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