There are many things one could say about tonight’s presidential debate but there is probably only one thing everyone will be talking about tomorrow. When asked directly by debate moderator Chris Wallace if he would accept the results of next month’s presidential election, Donald Trump said, “I will look at it at the time.” (Apparently some members of the audience gasped when he said this).
Certainly we have been listening to Trump talk about how there is massive voter fraud across the country, despite no evidence to support this. We have listened to him speak of the election being rigged and might have anticipated he would express doubts about the fairness of the process once it was over, should he lose, which appears likely. But it was quite jarring to hear him say the words that he would not promise to accept the final results of the democratic process should his candidacy be unsuccessful.
The words that we will all hear said over and over again tomorrow are some variant these: The peaceful transfer of power is one of the most fundamental principles of American democracy.
Perhaps we will also hear many people say that a candidate who does not believe this is surely not qualified to be president of the United States.
There will be some discussion on various news sites and panel shows about Putin, reproductive rights, the treatment of women, Iran, Syria, ISIS, etc. Perhaps some will devote a few lines to how Hillary Clinton was her competent if somewhat dull self, and Donald Trump, though starting out more or less coherent, eventually became his typically obnoxious, blathering self. Steve Schmidt on MSNBC probably said it best when he described Trump as like an old man in the park feeding squirrels and arguing with himself.
But, again, Trump’s comments on perhaps not respecting the outcome of the electoral process confirms what we always knew. Donald Trump doesn’t understand what it means to love anything more than he loves himself. It is richly ironic that a candidate who promises to make American great again would endanger one of America’s most important ideals. That he would, in an earlier part of the debate, refer in such grand terms to the intentions of the framers of the Constitution only to later disrespect so much of what they intended for future generations with his noxious formulation, is beyond reprehensible.
So, Hillary won the debate. Donald Trump is an ass. He needs to go away, and soon.