A natural question to have the morning after the debate

Published 5:47 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Avery obvious question this Tuesday morning is “What did you think about the debate?” Most people will not answer, “What debate?”

If there is one thing that television can do well, it is hype a program. The Super Bowl is two weeks away when the promotions begin. We began hearing about “the debate” a long time ago and, continuing with the Super Bowl analogy, many television analysts expected a Super Bowl-like audience. The talk was of 100 million viewers. You may have been one of those.

Although our presidential elections have become never-ending affairs and tiresome, the first debate of the cycle is interesting. This year’s debate was more interesting than most because there was an outsider as a nominee. That is someone who is not a traditional politician.

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If the debate consisted of two opponents who had long histories of running for offices, there might be some predictability that would lessen the excitement of the night. Whether Donald Trump is your cup of tea, or not, it’s hard to call him predictable and uninteresting.

I have heard that many of those millions who will be tuned in have the same attitude in watching the debate as a viewer might have while watching a NASCAR race. It’s not that one wants to see anyone hurt, but a blown out tire that leads to a spinout or even a violent wreck never hurts the ratings of one of those car races.

I suppose many will tune in to see if Mr. Trump blows a gasket or whether Hillary faints. I watched the debate and neither of those happened, thank the Lord.

The winner, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. Hillary’s fans will think she won, hands down, while Mr. Trump’s fans will find it hard to imagine any other victor except him. What did I think?

I think that Donald came close to blowing a gasket, but didn’t. I think Hillary was the better prepared and seemed to hold up well, physically. Many had questioned whether she could. The greater question is “Which one will go on to victory?”

Mr. Trump’s most pressing need has been to show himself capable of being president. He has taken the country by storm with large rallies and his popularity is driven by an aggressive personality that speaks to the subjects that have many, many Americans worried. He has hit a nerve with the population of this country, but people still have to be convinced of his capability to be president.

His words are different from what most politicians are willing to say. Trump is not a politician and, to him, he is simply addressing obvious needs in honest ways. As a preacher I know that honesty is difficult sometimes and most people are not as honest as they could be.

Hillary has been in and around politics for most of her adult life. Her political activism is impressive. She has lived at the center of American politics as the wife of a president. She has been a senator and was chosen to be our Secretary of Stare under the current president. She has the greater political resume of the two.

The question is, “Do we want to play it safe with a politician or are we willing to take a chance (a “yuge” chance some say) on someone who has never held political office?” That really is the question.

This first debate did not answer that question definitively. Donald Trump did not sell himself as well as he could and Hillary stood in there pretty well. The dilemma continues.