There has been massive coverage of and commentary on the first US presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Will it change anything? We wil have to wait to find out.
Clinton sounds like a PC electronic checkout; Trump like a drunken uncle from a side of the family you try to avoid.
I didn’t watch the debate and have only seen small bits of it, but from what I did see and hear Clinton was a practiced, smug and smarmy establishment candidate. She won’t have lost committed support but I don’t know whether she will have won many over either.
Trump emphasised his boofishness and what must be a deliberate strategy to lie profusely.
One bizarre aspect of the debate was that Trump denied having said something (I can’t remember which brazen lie it was), and it was shown shortly afterwards that tweets from him that prove he was lying were being deleted from his Twitter account.
Prior to the debate there was interesting string of tweets from @gtiso on the Italian election of Silvio Berlusconi in 1994.
Berlusconi’s secret weapon leading into the 1994 elections was he worked out he could just lie all the time. The whopper the better.
He worked out that the state media would be paralised by the imperative to provide balance and powerless to correct him, while his opponents were left in a state of permanent impotent outrage, both at being lied about and at the fact that he was getting away with it.
So they, and the portion of the non-state media aligned with the left, just spent the campaign repeating “this man can’t be prime minister”.
Result: he won in the closest thing we could get in our system to a landslide. Hey, does any of this sound familiar?
To give you an idea of the caliber of lying: he said over and over that the communists had been in power in Italy for the previous 50 years.
This was, obviously, the opposite of the truth. But in no time at all I started hearing people repeating it in my neighbourhood.
The Brexit campaign adopted similar tactics, now Trump. But I’m shocked it took so long for such a simple idea to be exported.
How many Americans don’t care about politicians lying? Enough to turn their politics and their presidency upside down?
I’m not a US voter but I think I share a common sentiment – I don’t particularly like Clinton, nor what she stands for in politics. But I fear for the effect that a President Trump would have on the United States, and how that would flow on to impact on the world.
Credible democracy is already the loser, but perhaps we ain’t seen nothing yet.
The US election may hinge on how many of those who despair at what they are witnessing turn out to vote versus how many turn away from the election .