Although I hadn’t planned to watch the Republican debate on Thursday, I did record it while attending a Happy Hour at Big Bob’s Burger with a bunch of former co-workers. Then on Friday afternoon, I decided to give the debate a gander, and after getting by the awkward 10-minute preliminary event, I found the entire debate to be riveting. Each question attacked the candidates at their most vulnerable point, and the one-minute limit for responses inexplicably kept the candidates from glossing over the question and switching to a nonresponsive talking point.
The candidates were mostly exemplary, but the 800-pound gorilla in the room was Donald Trump (a bull in the china closet). He had a commanding lead in all of the polls and received the lion’s share of the media’s pre-debate attention. In responding to the pointed debate questions, however, The Donald took a different tack. To use a fencing analogy, his nature is not to bother with parrying the questioner’s attack; rather, he immediately responds with a riposte. While the other candidates try to think of the questioners as merely doing their jobs, Trump sees it as an ad hominem attack. Thus, the other candidates answered substantively while Trump stormed and blustered.
Even before the debate, I considered Trump to be a novelty and not a serious contender. Surely, most Republicans would gravitate toward one of the other serious candidates. The debate made this scenario even more likely.
But Trump’s treatment after the debate makes me want to defend him. The media’s major post-debate criticism of Trump is that he made a childish suggestion that Megyn Kelly’s hormones caused her to ask him such nasty questions. He said the following on CNN to Don Lemon:
- “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.”
The media almost universally assumed that Trump was suggesting that Megyn might have been on her period. Since the media wasn’t in Trump’s mind, it should have at a minimum said that it was “inferring” that Trump was referring to her period. Then the question could shift to the media to explain why it was inferring such nonsense. Trump argued that only a deviant would infer such a thing.
Because I hadn’t heard the actual interview of Trump by Don Lemon, I went to You Tube and listened to it. The quote pretty much speaks for itself, but a minute or two later on the interview, Trump shifted his pique to Chris Wallace, and charged that he, too, seemed to have blood coming out of his eyes. I believe this second usage of blood coming out of the eyes of a questioner supports Trump’s assertion that he was using some obscure idiom involving blood coming out of a head without a misogynist intent.
Although I would never consider voting for Trump for any leadership position, I plan to speak up for him whenever the establishment treats him unfairly.