Wow! Lots and lots of crap to unbundle from the first 2016 Presidential Debate. I intend to skip most of it, though. (You, gentle readers, must be up to your eyeballs with post-debate commentary.) One thing matters, only: one candidate for President of the United States of America has no game. Plain and simple, Donald J. Trump lacks any and every quality required to fulfill the duties associated with the office.
Biggest single moment for me? I’m with Think Progress Editor-in-Chief Jedd Legum, who focused on this exchange about income taxes and Mr. Trump’s decision to not share his returns with the public:
CLINTON: Well, I think you’ve seen another example of bait-and- switch here. For 40 years, everyone running for president has released their tax returns. You can go and see nearly, I think, 39, 40 years of our tax returns, but everyone has done it. We know the IRS has made clear there is no prohibition on releasing it when you’re under audit.
So you’ve got to ask yourself, why won’t he release his tax returns? And I think there may be a couple of reasons. First, maybe he’s not as rich as he says he is. Second, maybe he’s not as charitable as he claims to be.
CLINTON: Third, we don’t know all of his business dealings, but we have been told through investigative reporting that he owes about $650 million to Wall Street and foreign banks. Or maybe he doesn’t want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes, because the only years that anybody’s ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license, and they showed he didn’t pay any federal income tax.
TRUMP: That makes me smart.
Mr. Trump hews to the maker / taker distinction which his predecessor, Governor Mitt Romney, used in the 2012 election. He uses different words, mostly, but he truly believes we owe him, for all of his alleged successes. (Bigotry and racism aside, I think this might be his only core belief.)*
If we ignore the lack of evidence of success, here are two quick thoughts. First, Mr. Trump lacks any acquaintance with noblesse oblige, or the adage: “to whom much is given, much is expected.” Second, from where does he think we have the money to rebuild our failing infrastructure? (Mr. Trump was right to call out our failing infrastructure. Alas, he failed to mention the fact that his party, in Congress, has fought infrastructure spending at every turn, despite the opportunity to rebuild America with almost interest free financing.)
This man, this Trump fellow, exemplifies Taker at every turn. He gives selfish a bad name! We need to reject him badly as we vote in the coming days and weeks.
*Rumbling in my head is an early scene from It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Smiler Grogan (Jimmy Durante) has kicked the bucket, in every sense. The crew who saw him pass are discussing the loot, and one of them mentions the tax-free aspects of the endeavor. Truck driver Lennie Pike (Jonathan Winters) won’t have it:
If we find the money, we still have to report the taxes. Otherwise, it’s like stealing from the government.
Everybody has to pay taxes. Even businessmen that rob, steal and cheat people every day … even they have to pay taxes.