Tonight is the third and thankfully, final debate between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It is a pointless waste of time and money, but let it be done. The first two debates yielded nothing beyond name-calling, anger, mud-slinging and false accusations. Tonight’s is likely to be no different. I was genuinely hoping that Trump, who claims everything from the debates to the election itself is ‘rigged’ against him, would decide to make his point by skipping the debate. However, he apparently does plan to attend, presumably because he realizes that he is about to go down in flames and is determined to have one final big bang. Rather a ‘grand finale’, I suppose. Look for more of the same ol’, same ol’, only magnified by some proportion.
Tonight’s circus has already begun with the announcement that Donald Trump has invited two guests to the event. The first is President Obama’s half-brother, Malik Obama. “WHAT???” I yelled at the television this morning through a mouth of foamy toothpaste. President Obama has endorsed Hillary Clinton from the very start and has supported her campaign by attending rallies and speaking on her behalf. Why the Sam Heck would his half-brother be a guest of da trumpeter? Turns out, Malik Obama is a supporter of Trump! “Traitor!” I say.
It turns out that Malik’s reasons for being a Trump supporter are the same bowl of poop that we hear from all his supporters, only worse:
“I like Donald Trump because he speaks from the heart. Make America Great Again is a great slogan. I would like to meet him. I still feel that getting rid of Khadafy didn’t make things any better in Libya. My brother and the secretary of state disappointed me in that regard. I feel like a Republican now because they don’t stand for same-sex marriage, and that appeals to me.”
Malik says that former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was ‘one of his best friends’, and was ‘making the world a better place.’ You have got to be kidding me! Gaddafi was one of the worst violators of human rights in modern times, and the International Criminal Court (ICC) had issued multiple warrants for his arrest as well as his son and brother-in-law. Malik Obama currently resides in the rural village of Nyang’oma Kogelo, Kenya, although he is a citizen of the U.S. and therefore is eligible to vote. He has at least three current wives, although press reports have put the number as high as 12. (Most men I know would say that one is more than enough!) When asked during an interview with the New York Post how many wives and children he has, he replied, “That’s personal.” Another of President Obama’s half-brothers, Mark Obama Ndesandjo, says “Others in my family and I do not support my brother Malik’s position on Mr. Trump.”
Trump’s other notable guest is Patricia Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, a Benghazi victim, who has erroneously blamed Hillary Clinton for the death of her son. “I would like to have Hillary tell me what happened,” she told CNN. “I know she murdered him … I do hope she will tell me something. I don’t think she will because I don’t think she’s got the guts to tell me what happened (in Benghazi).” Let’s set the record straight here.
Ms. Smith claims that Hillary told her the attack on the embassy was a result of protests against an anti-Islamic video that had sparked protests in other areas of the Middle East. At the time Secretary Clinton and President Obama met with the families of the victims, given the conflicting information that was available, it was believed that the video had sparked the attack. However, the other families report that the video was not mentioned by either President Obama or Secretary Clinton, and Clinton emphatically denies having mentioned it to Ms. Smith. So, it is unverifiable whether Ms. Clinton mentioned the video or not, and frankly is quite irrelevant to Ms. Smith’s claim that Hillary Clinton ‘murdered’ her son.
Sean Smith died of smoke inhalation after armed attackers scaled the walls of the embassy and set fire to it. The one attacker who has been captured, Ahmed Abu Khattala, and his compatriots are to blame for Mr. Smith’s death. Republicans contend the Obama administration didn’t respond appropriately to intelligence warnings before the attack, but subsequent, independent investigations have disproved that. One can argue about the reasons security had not been enhanced due to increased tensions in the area … some blame the State Department, others blame Congress for refusing to increase the budget … but in the final analysis, neither Secretary Clinton nor President Obama killed the four Americans who lost their lives on September 11, 2012. Ms. Smith’s claim that Hillary Clinton ‘murdered (her) son’ is a false allegation. The cynical, exploitative ploy by the Trump campaign to use Patricia Smith and her mourning as a political prop is disgusting, and I hope that Ms. Clinton does not lower herself to Trump’s standards but instead responds to Ms. Smith with kindness and compassion. I believe she will.
Tonight’s debate, obviously, will be just as much of a circus show, a fiasco, as were the first two, thanks to Trump and his strange sense of what constitutes a debate. I wonder what Trump’s excuse for making a fool of himself will be tonight? Let’s see … he’s already used the old “my microphone wasn’t working properly” one, as well as “the moderator was against me” one. What does that leave? The lighting? The venue? Nah, Las Vegas is just his kind of place … faux everything. The only sure things are that he will make a scene, turn it into a circus, and blame someone other than himself for his irksome behaviour.
The only good thing that is likely to come of it will occur at precisely 10:30 when Chris Wallace says, “And that’s it for tonight, folks,” or something along those lines. My advice is to turn the television off before 9:00, put on comfy pajamas, pour yourself a glass of wine and pick up a good book. You will sleep much better tonight if you do so. Happy reading!