The first TV debate between the two candidates for the White House demonstrated that one of the two has what it takes to lead the most powerful nation in the world – the other does not.
TV debates are display windows for the public. Hillary Clinton was well prepared; she had the appropriate attacks on Trump in her bag. And even if one does not share some of her politics, it became clear that she has meticulously worked out answers to America’s problems.
Trump, on the other hand, largely limits himself to painting America in the most dismal colors and making veteran politician Clinton responsible for just about everything that goes wrong. He, however, had hardly any convincing suggestions for improvement.
Above all, however, he did not have his temper under control. He constantly interrupted Clinton in a rude manner or talked over her speech. And when he did allow Clinton to have a word, one saw how he answered her attacks with unchecked facial expressions or suffering looks and made all kinds of faces.
Clinton succeeded in goading Trump into a rage with attacks on his business practices or speculation about his withheld tax returns. He snapped at the bait every time and often entangled himself in long-winded attempts at justification.
Clinton wanted to show the millions watching on their television screens that Trump was temperamentally unfit for the highest office. With his vigorous assistance, she largely succeeded. Trump at times appeared like a raging amateur competing with a cool professional.
Trump’s Unwillingness To Learn the Basics
Now, it is good for established politicians to be challenged by outsiders at times. Clinton’s political professionalism is at the same time her Achilles heel in an election year when a large part of the population wants radical change.
What is astonishing about Trump is his unwillingness to learn basic knowledge. An example is NATO: He complained that NATO partners were allegedly not making contractually defined payments to America in exchange for protection.
Yet there is no such contract, but instead only mutually agreed upon resolutions, not about transfer payments to America, but about the amount of expenditures that every country is supposed to invest in its own military.
The fact that many fail to do so is bad enough. That someone who wants to lead the alliance in the future considers NATO to be a corporation for the extortion of money is even more unsettling. This debate has demonstrated once more how unfit Trump would be as the leader of the free world.