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What Trump Got Right in the Debate

In the end, we all lost, and unless there's some 5-dimension chess going on beyond my comprehension, Trump didn't do himself any favors in tightening the race. Being right, even for Trump, is overrated.

If you didn’t watch last night’s re-enactment of Gallipoli presidential debate, don’t attempt it. To say it was “bad” is somewhere logarithmically like saying a supernova is hot. It can be summed up in two tweets. Therefore I thought I’d go with the easier topic of what Trump got right.

I’m going to focus on two things the president got right, and they are important things. I won’t get into anything dealing with coronavirus, Hunter Biden, or the unending stream of interruptions, insults, and drink-inducing moments where Chris Wallace struggled to maintain any semblance of control.

Except to note these: The funniest Trump moment was when Wallace mentioned Trump’s big rallies, and how Joe Biden has smaller gatherings, to which Trump interjected, “because nobody shows up.” Wallace couldn’t keep himself from chuckling, because it was funny. Biden had several good lines, but my favorites were “He’s Putin’s puppy,” and “It’s hard to get any word in with this clown” (which Biden promptly corrected to “Mr. President.”).

Let’s get into Trump’s points. First was the question on what Chris Wallace called “racial sensitivity training.” Asked why he eliminated the training based on Critical Race Theory, Trump replied “because it’s racist.” He’s right. Sohrab Ahmari tweeted out Chris Rufo’s piece in the NY Post.

Trump went on to say that this training is teaching people to hate America. While many wouldn’t go that far, I think it’s fair to make the claim. When you have disingenuous and fabulist histories like the 1619 project first claiming that America was founded on white supremacy, then backing off the made-up historical claims when challenged by actual historians, but retaining the racist elements as fact, it’s reasonable to say that the people pushing this are not pro-America in the sense of our history and achievements.

Teaching Critical Race Theory disguised as “racial sensitivity training” in the executive branch of the U.S. government is, in a nutshell, a propaganda operation. Trump was right to get rid of it, and he was right to call it what it is during the debate.

What’s interesting is that the question was between Wallace and Trump. Joe Biden didn’t touch it with a Corn Pop sized pole. You won’t see Biden try to defend Critical Race Theory in any meaningful way, because the logical outworking of it leads to condoning violence. Biden did speak on racial equity and other topics, but always couched in economic terms, or to attack Trump as a white supremacist.

I would have liked to see Joe Biden squirm to defend the 1619 Project or calling Amy Coney Barrett a colonizing white elite because she adopted two Haitian children.

The other thing Trump got right was California’s wildfires, emission controls and global warming. It’s almost like he read my post from yesterday or listened in to the daily podcast my brother and I record in the mornings (I haven’t got the courage to publish it yet).

Trump sparred with Biden, claiming that the economy makes us green, not government rules, and that relaxing standards gives businesses the chance to invest and improve our already excellent progress on carbon footprints, and green technology. He also mentioned that “every year” he gets calls that California is burning, and it’s their own fault for not practicing proper forest management. This is absolutely true and every Forest Service scientist would agree with him.

Notably, Trump didn’t go all conspiracy on global warming. He had the most rational take I’ve seen in a long time: Trump didn’t deny that global warming is real, or that it has man-made elements that contribute to it. He argued that the best solutions come from economic investment by private businesses, not restricted government regulations that choke businesses.

Without a doubt, this is true. Trump trapped Biden into talking out of both sides of his mouth on the Green New Deal. Biden said he supported elements of the GND like massive infrastructure and building retrofits, but then denied supporting it. Biden appeared about as nonsensical as ever. Watch Trump’s expressions and how he attacked.

“The Green New Deal is not my plan,” Biden said, adding, “I support the Biden plan…which is different…” How it’s different he didn’t say. The author of the GND tweeted in response to Kellyanne Conway that “Trump doesn’t even believe climate change is real.”

If you judge by his debate performance, Trump certainly believes climate change is real. He just isn’t a hair-on-fire alarmist who wants to destroy the economy with a $100 trillion impossible “plan.”

I don’t know if either of these issues is compelling enough to move the needle, or to even begin to pierce the bubble of dumb that surrounded the debate last night. It was difficult to focus on anything either candidate was saying due to the chaos of Trump’s constant interruptions, Biden’s circular arguments, and Wallace’s frustration at losing control. The debate was painful to watch and a disgrace to the nation.

But if you look hard enough, there were some actual issues discussed, and on those issues, Trump was right more than he was wrong, if you ignore his bombastic, over-the-top claims (“I brought back football” for instance). Based on this, Trump “won” the debate. Yay.

In the end, we all lost, and unless there’s some 5-dimension chess going on beyond my comprehension, Trump didn’t do himself any favors in tightening the race. Being right, even for Trump, is overrated.

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