Skousen: Debate Disappointment — “I was very disappointed in Donald Trump’s lack of preparation for this final debate”

World Affairs Brief, October 21, 2016 Commentary and Insights on a Troubled World.

Copyright Joel Skousen. Partial quotations with attribution permitted. Cite source as Joel Skousen’s World Affairs Brief (

This Week’s Analysis:

Debate Disappointment

Is the Election Rigged?

Hillary’s Sexual Liaison’s with Women

The Bogus Shadow Government Claim

The Ill-conceived Battle for Mosul

Russia Reestablishing Old Naval Bases

Two More Bogus Stories on the Net


I was very disappointed in Donald Trump’s lack of preparation for this final debate. With few exceptions, all he could do was repeat the worn out cliches he has used in prior debates. In contrast, Hillary came prepared with tens of memorized statements and a barrage of lists citing Trump’s faults. Granted, her remarks were full of typical left-wing jargon– promising benefits and false liberal generalizations that are easy to debunk if Trump had made the least effort to prepare. I worry that Trump, after a year and a half of being in this quest for the presidency, still shows no signs of diligent mastery of the specifics behind his often correct attacks. How can you govern credibly without becoming a careful expositor of the threats and how to fix them? It’s not enough to say you’ll fix it, over and over again. Still, with all Trump’s flaws, it is Hillary that must be defeated.

Here are a few examples of his failure to prepare:

1) Clinton said, “The Russian government has engaged in espionage against Americans,” and “This has come from Putin himself.” Trump failed to make her cite any quote from Putin, who denied hacking the DNC emails. She challenged Trump to accept U.S. intelligence findings that Russia is behind the leaks. All he could say was “I doubt it.” In fact, he could have challenged it on the basis that the US government has not presented a shred of evidence indicating how they came to this conclusion, other than to indict Russia based on “we said so.”

Left winger Ron Fournier of The Atlantic whined, “Why would any American, much less a potential president, find it so hard to accept the findings of U.S. intelligence officials and condemn a foreign country for trying to influence a U.S. election?” And by the way, Hillary was wrong when she said 17 agencies. It was two. Trump could have said, “Why should we trust the NSA or its leaders when they denied spying on Americans, after having done so for years, without legal authority?”

With a minimum of help from technical advisors, he could have explained that hackers can falsify their hacking footprint, imitate other hacks with similar software, and even falsify the origin of the hack.

2) Hillary mentioned making the wealthy “pay their fair share” three times in the debate, and Trump failed to counter with the devastating statistic that the top 20% of taxpayers already pay 84% of income taxes. That’s paying MORE than their “fair share.” Instead, he could only bluster about his taking advantage of loopholes which she failed to close while in the Senate, implying that they are bad. Why apologize for deducting losses? Deducting losses and depreciation is a core part of determining income. He failed to defend that essential principle.

3) When challenged on vote fraud Trump could only cite one general statistic about millions of ineligible voters that are registered to vote. He failed to counter the notion that states and local communities oversee the process with great care. He should have said, “with computer programming fraud, election officials will never know that an election is being altered because they almost never allow a recount of the paper ballots… and when they do, as in the required audit of Chicago Democratic primary, they found that hundreds of votes had been altered by the computer program and the election commission simply adjusted the tally for all those false votes rather than declare that computer fraud had occurred. So, I reject the notion that local communities are a safeguard of our election process.”

4) On the subject of the war against ISIS, instead of repeating his bluster about how he knows more than the generals and how he’s going to stamp out ISIS, he could have shown his specific knowledge of the subject by detailing how the US in Iraq has allowed ISIS to escape when they helped Iraq conquer Fallujah, and how they are already allowing them to escape in the battle for Mosul. He should have said, “As president, I will make sure ISIS is surrounded and eliminated so they can’t escape to fight somewhere else.” That would have made heads nod in agreement.

5) He failed to properly counter Clinton’s arguments for abortion about this being an exclusive right of women, and not something government should be involved in. Had Trump made even a modicum of preparation, he could have blasted Clinton’s argument that “the fetus has no constitutional rights.”

“Sorry Hillary, but it is the roll of government to stop people from killing their own children. You may not consider a fetus a child, but it is a separate human being with separate DNA and a separate spirit. Government’s duty is to protect life, including that of children from a mother’s wish to kill it for convenience. Yes, a woman has a right to engage in voluntary sexual relations, but she is not free from accepting the consequences of that act when a new life is created.”

6) He was not prepared with quotes to show how Hillary was lying when she said multiple times that she honored the Second Amendment and agreed that it was an individual right (the Hiller case). He failed to show how regulations can amount to a denial of the Second Amendment, as in the case of Washington DC which banned all private ownership of guns. But worst of all, he failed to counter Hillary’s lie that the seminal Hiller case was about the reasonable DC restriction on letting handguns be accessible to children. It was much more draconian than that.

7) He failed to counter Hillary’s claim that Trump’s intent to deport would take years of police going house to house, and to schools, deporting parents and separating families. As I have pointed out in prior briefs, he could have proposed a period of temporary amnesty giving them time to self deport, with heightened penalties for staying—which would cause many to leave on their own. He should have pointed out that there was no reason for illegal parents to leave their children behind just because the courts have falsely declared them citizens by being born here. “Take them home with you.”

Trump failed to counter Clinton’s claim of “wanting to get everyone out from the shadows” and working. He should have pointed out that this sounds noble, but this kind of amnesty creates a magnet for millions more to come.

8) Trump failed to counter Clinton’s claim that giving corporations a tax break will cause trillions in deficits. He should have mentioned that turning America into a haven of low taxes will repatriate the trillions of dollars put into offshore financial accounts, and will cause corporations to move back onshore.

9) Trump failed to prepare with details countering Hillary’s claim to be a defender of women’s rights against abuse. Here is the most devastating video on Hillary’s hypocrisy on support women who have been abused. This is a game changer. Why isn’t the Trump campaign using it?

What Trump did partly right:

1) He rightly brought up the dramatic revelations that the Clinton campaign had paid protestors to create violent confrontations at the Trump rallies, but he failed to cite one of the Veritas Project videos which would have pointed the audience to the undercover work they did, infiltrating as Democrats and secretly recording campaign leaders admitting to dirty tricks. He should have said, “Everyone ought to see these videos to see just how corrupt and undemocratic the Clinton Campaign is.”

2) He rightly stated that he would select justices that interpret the constitution as it was designed by the Founders. But he failed to attack the generalizations that Clinton presented as violations of the limits on government in the constitution, inventing “women’s rights” on abortion which aren’t in the document. She gave him a huge opportunity to take apart her expansionist philosophy when she said,

“But I feel that at this point in our country’s history, it is important that we not reverse marriage equality, that we not reverse Roe v. Wade, that we stand up against Citizens United, we stand up for the rights of people in the workplace, that we stand up and basically say: The Supreme Court should represent all of us.”

No, the Supreme Court is tasked to represent the constitution which is the Supreme Law restricting both the executive and Congress from passing laws that violate the constitution’s restrictions on what government can arrogate to itself. He reluctantly inferred that judges he would pick would overturn Roe vs. Wade, which isn’t guaranteed at all. He did defend against late term abortions.

3) He correctly vowed to pick justices that would uphold the Second Amendment. Trump correctly pointed out that “In Chicago, which has the toughest gun laws in the United States, probably you could say by far, they have more gun violence than any other city. So we have the toughest laws, and you have tremendous gun violence.” But he should have added, “Gun restrictions on the law abiding don’t do anything to stop crime by thugs and criminals, who get any weapon they want outside of the law.”

4) Trump reiterated his intention to build the wall, but then he waffled on deporting all illegals by saying, “And once the border is secured, at a later date, we’ll make a determination as to the rest. But we have some bad hombres here, and we’re going to get them out.”

5) In the most condemning statement of the night, I think Trump was correct to hold off saying he would accept the results of the election until he saw what kind of vote fraud was involved. But, the next day Trump had second thoughts and now says he will abide by the election results, “if he wins.”

What the Moderator did right: Chris Wallace was, by far, the most balanced and fair of any moderator so far—probably because of all the flak his predecessors got from extreme bias.

1) Wallace cited specific evidence from Wikileaks showing how Hillary had used her position at the State Department to give special access to donors of her foundation, after promising Congress that she would divest herself of any contact with the Foundation during her tenure. Clinton dodged the question, and he brought her back to answer it again, but when she dodged it the second time, he failed to press her further. But his carefully worded statement and initial question was so condemning that she was damaged by it. The Daily Caller had this report on another major find:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arranged a $12 million donation from Moroccan King Mohammed VI to her family’s charity in 2014 in return for the Clinton Global Initiative hosting its international meeting in the North African Muslim nation, according to an email made public Thursday by Wikileaks.

2) Wallace pressed Clinton to explain why she publicly opposes trade policies that she privately embraced during paid speeches before well-heeled audiences like Goldman Sachs. She evaded that question too.

3) After Clinton claimed she was for border security, Wallace noted that she had never explained what she would do for border security. Wallace also cited the Wikileaks speech when she said she was for open borders in all of North America. Clinton lied in return, saying “I was talking energy,” but that isn’t to be found in the leak.

However, his biggest mistake of the night was not following up on Trump’s correct citing of the Clinton campaign hiring protestors to do violent acts. He could have cited the statements from the Veritas Project and asked her directly, “Did your campaign hire people to violently protest at Trump rallies and did your campaign pay to bus them in and out? It would have been good to see her squirm. Watch this blockbuster exposee here.

On the hot topic of Clinton’s support for a no fly zone in Syria, she refused to answer the direct question as to whether she would shoot down Russian aircraft and risk war. Here’s an excellent review of the eight major lies Hillary told during the debate by Edmund Kozak.

As for appearances, Hillary appeared to have days of medical preparation prior to this debate. None of her wrinkles were visible meaning that she had to be using dermal fillers. Even her hands were filled out. Not a hair was out of place. And, she wore white giving the appearance of the “good guy.” These medical interventions were intended to make her look young and healthy and to undermine the rumors about her bad health.

She also appeared to be reading some of her answers from notes on the podium. This isn’t necessarily proof that she had any questions beforehand, but that has happened in prior debates. Both candidates were given the six major topics.

In the end, what worries me most about Trump’s performance is that with it being so close to the final election vote, Trump shows no more mastery of any of the crucial subjects than he did when he started. He’s winging it on almost every topic, and almost never addresses any topic in a specific, accurate or credible manner. That isn’t to say his basic slash and burn claims are all wrong. The system is rigged. Hillary is corrupt and a liar, but without an accurate presentation of the facts, Trump can never get beyond his populist base.

And above all, I simply don’t have the confidence anymore that he will reach the proper conclusions on specific policies—including his hard core policies of immigration, global trade and refugees. I think he’d end up making bad compromises on them all, just like he’s starting to waffle on deportation. He got the nomination for saying he would “send them all home.”

Still, it would be fun to see the globalists squirm, trying so hard to manipulate him. Sadly, I don’t think we’re going to get that chance. All the mainstream polls show Clinton with a 5-9% lead ahead of Trump. Only the Rasmussen poll shows Trump slightly ahead: “The Rasmussen survey found that 87 percent of voters have locked in their votes. Among these, 48 percent support Trump and 46 percent back Clinton.” I’ll discuss how polls are manipulated in the next section.

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