Monday, October 24, 2016

Analysis of the Four Debates

The infographic here breaks down all four debates (includes the Presidential Forum) into the number of times different issues were mentioned. I will only be looking at the rightmost column, which gives the total number of mentions.

Clearly favors Clinton

Even at a quick glance it should be apparent that just the topics at hand favored Clinton. Unfortunately the compiler of this list didn't include all of the personal controversies, but did highlight the highest for each in yellow. In at the number 4 most referenced issue was Trump's tax returns, at 80 mentions. Now there is no requirement for a presidential candidate to release his tax returns, but it has been the tradition for some time now. So for Trump to forego the release of his returns is a break with tradition, and it is fair game for coverage, but he has broken no rules or laws.

On the other hand, Clinton's most referenced controversy, at 30 mentions, includes apparent violations of several federal laws, including FOIA, the Espionage Act, federal regulations for the handling of classified information, the internal policies of the State Department for information technology, and, maybe most damning, a subpoena issued by Congress.

Trump's non-criminal controversy was given almost 3 times the attention of Clinton's controversy, which was at the least "extremely careless", and at the worst, extremely illegal. 

Also note that Campaign Finance was barely mentioned. Clinton has huge contributions from Wall Street, from foreign nations, and from big corporations, including the behemoths holding the media companies that supplied the debate moderators and aired the debates. Having the issue largely glossed over was 100% in her favor. The debates didn't convey the conviction that many of us have about Trump: he is single handedly fighting the corrupt government, media, and corporate oligarchy.

Most concerning of all this, to me, was that Libya was only mentioned 3 times. I have long long been saying, that Libya should be the single issue in regards to Hillary, or any candidate eminating from the Obama administration, back to February at least (according to my earliest post on the matter) but I believe I was saying that other places well before that, and before the primaries were even close to being decided.

Libya is Hillary's signature foreign policy venture. It was a stunning success, but only if you look at it thought the Neoconservative lens. As leaked emails from Sydney Blumenthal revealed, the purpose of the war about rebuking a challenge to western hegemony. If you are a neocon, Libya was great. I'm not entirely sure what the neocons think about the resulting downsides of the war: the power vacuum that allowed ISIS and other Islamists to operate with impunity, and the European refugee crisis. To the first, I think Washington always likes having a plausible enemy to fight. To the latter, I'm not sure, there's probably not uniformity. But to the rest of us looking on, Libya is a shocking horror. Not only for the sort of humanitarian reasons of removing the stable government of a relatively prosperous nation (for Africa), but also that it clearly demonstrated that the change candidate Obama was clearly continuing the Neocon policy, Bush Doctrine, of pre-emptive war under false pretenses.

Not only that, but we also violated trust. The Russians could have vetoed the action at the Security Council, but declined to do so under American assurances that the no-fly zone would not be used as a vehicle for regime change. What an utter deception. And the Russians learned not to trust us, which is why they opposed us in Syria, and why were are so near to war with them now. The US aggression in Libya is perhaps the most despicable thing our country has ever done. Most Americans have been shielded from the reality. And they barely talked about it. It was all about Trump's tax returns.

Russia, Russia, Russia!

You probably noticed that far and away the most discussed topic was Russia. And not in the context from above; that the foreign policy under Obama, largely lead by Clinton, has pushed us nearly to war with them. No, it was mostly about those wily Russians and there gosh darn hacking. The DNC "hacks" informed us that the DNC was not only unfairly siding with Clinton against Bernie, but actively colluding with the media to destroy his bid, to the point of obtaining the debate questions in advance but only providing them to Clinton. For those leaks, which were very likely to have been internally leaked by an appalled insider, they blamed Russia.

Now we have the ongoing Podesta "hacks", which again confirm what we've always alleged about Clinton (I'll refrain from getting into details, but there is incrimination all over the place). And again, whenever pushed on it, she pivots to blame Russia. Does anyone not realize how fucking insane this is?!? Here we have the woman who was responsible more than anyone else for our disastrous relations with Russia (save maybe Obama, who was stupid enough to give her control of the apparatus of state), and here she is blaming her egregious corruption, on that very same country. Is she actually intent on starting a war? Why blame Russia and not China? Or, I dunno, North Korean (a la Sony). It's like war with Russia is actually her goal. Despite her claim in the last debate that there was all this evidence that hacks were Russian, there's not. Even the White House has admitted as much. All that has been said is that it looks like what the Russians might be doing, given their past cyber activities. That is not enough for what she's claiming, and she is totally irresponsible for doing so.

Here we have a Secretary of State who was a monumental disaster, not content enough with her legacy in office of ruining relations with the only world power capable of completely destroying all major US cities and military facilities, but to keep driving it home during the debates. I'm truly... I don't know what to say. This is all like something out of a subpar Tom Clancy knockoff.

What's most alarming is our media has completely gone along with it. Why are they so intent on defending Clinton? The only answer can be they are so afraid of Trump. But what we know is this: the topics show that the debates were clearly orchestrated to the benefit of Clinton, and the major disqualifications of her as world leader were barely touched. We should be very concerned with the obvious failure of our political process.

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