Source: NY Times.com
Author: Roxane Gay
The more this debate continued, the more we saw how little Donald J. Trump knows. As he did in the first debate, he is never able to speak in specifics. He thinks that if he blurts out key words and insults, that will be enough to reach undecided voters. Instead, he is speaking only to his base, making them froth with even more hatred. A debate is designed to allow us to learn more about the candidates. Tonight we’ve learned or been reminded that Mr. Trump doesn’t know how American governance works — assuming that alone, as one senator, Hillary Clinton could impose her will upon the entire Congress and the Republican president at the time.
He is unfamiliar with where America’s tax rate stands in a global context. He has no understanding of what it would take to ensure that all Americans can receive health care without a federal mandate. He has no understanding of international relations and the travesty that is taking place in Syria or what the word “humanitarian” means. The list goes on, and on. It is crystal clear that a Trump presidency would lead both the United States and the rest of the world into a dystopia the likes of which even the darkest of novelists cannot fathom.
Hillary Clinton is dealing with a unique challenge — having to stay sharp with an incompetent opponent. She managed to remain on message throughout the debate. She offered several specifics while always clearly demarcating the difference between her and Mr. Trump. She demonstrated grace under pressure. And in the end, when asked to say something positive about her opponent, she reminded us of just how much she outclasses Mr. Trump as a political candidate. She complimented his children despite how easy and satisfying it would have been to say the truth — that no, there is nothing commendable about Donald Trump.
Roxane Gay is an associate professor at Purdue University, the author of “Bad Feminist” and the forthcoming “Hunger,” and a contributing opinion writer.