The moment on the debate stage which was most revealing was not one of Donald Trump’s nervous deep breaths.
The most revealing moment came immediately after the debate ended. Hillary Clinton moved quickly down the steps to greet supporters who were rushing to shake her hand.
Donald Trump waited until his family and two aides joined him on the stage. He stood there briefly for photos. Then, the most uninformed and politically inexperienced nominee in the nation’s history, left the stage.
On November 8, Donald Trump could receive full control of this nation’s nuclear arsenal.
Dare we trust him with such awesome power? Dare we trust a man about whom we know virtually nothing other than what we have seen on television reality shows, or promoting beauty contests?
Who are his friends? Who whispers into his ear? Or, as they say in Chicago politics, “who sent you”?
Donald J. Trump claims to be a highly successful business corporate executive who builds buildings and makes huge sums of money.
How is he viewed among his fellow corporate executives? A study of campaign contributors by the Wall Street Journal discovered a revealing fact about Trump.
No chief executive at the nation’s 100 largest companies had donated to Republican Donald Trump’s presidential campaign through August, a sharp reversal from 2012, when nearly a third of the CEOs of Fortune 100 companies supported GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
This news will delight Trump’s fervent anti-corporate fan base. But what does it say about Trump’s standing in the business community?
In Monday’s debate at Hofstra University, Trump demonstrated his personal “bluff and bluster” style when he reiterated his primary campaign’s repeated display of ignorance of foreign policy issues.
Japan Times staff writer Ayako Mie reported an example. Of special concern to Ayako Mie is that Trump so flippantly disregarded decades of diplomatic understanding of a defense issue of deep interest to the Japanese. Mia wrote:
Trump reiterated his position that U.S. allies — including Japan — must dole out more cash if they wish to continue being protected by the U.S. military, a stance the real estate mogul has maintained since his campaign’s start and one that has deeply troubled America’s partners.
“They do not pay us what they should be paying us because we are providing tremendous service and we’re losing a fortune,” Trump said. “We can’t defend Japan … they may have to defend themselves or they may have to help us out.” . .
The Council of Foreign Affairs website explains “The Status of Forces Agreement” which Trump falsely perceives as a one-sided business transaction where “we’re losing a fortune”.
You don’t have to love our ever-expansive empirical reach (which I do not) to realize that this is not a business deal gone sour. It is a diplomatic agreement worked out between sovereign nations to benefit both Japan and the U.S.
Trump’s business myopia has no awareness that “The Status of Forces Agreement” is intended to benefit Japan’s security and the U.S. desire for “peace and security in the Far East”.
Regarding Facilities and Areas and the Status of United States Armed Forces in Japan (hereinafter referred to as “the Status of Forces Agreement”), both signed at Washington on January 19, 1960 (hereinafter referred to as “the United States armed forces”), contribute to the security of Japan and the maintenance of international peace and security in the Far East.
During the primaries, the Japan Times explained how the cost of the Agreement is shared.
Trump has argued Japan should pay all the costs of stationing U.S. forces in the country, saying he would otherwise consider withdrawing the U.S. military and allowing Japan to arm itself with nuclear weapons. . . .
How much of the cost of U.S. forces in Japan is borne by the U.S., and how much is spent by Japan?
According to the 2017 Operation and Maintenance Overview by the Office of the U.S. Under Secretary of Defense, the direct cost of stationing U.S. forces in Japan is estimated at $5.47 billion (¥595 billion “yen”) for fiscal 2016, which includes personnel, operations, maintenance, construction and family housing.
In addition, according to the Defense Ministry, Japan is set to pay ¥192 billion to support U.S. forces in fiscal 2016, including most of the utility charges at U.S. bases and facilities in Japan, as well as the wages of Japanese employees.
She responded to Trump’s embarrassing display of ignorance by quickly demonstrating how a president should sound when discussing an international agreement.
“I want to reassure our allies in Japan and South Korea and elsewhere that we have mutual defense treaties and we will honor them.”
“It is essential that America’s word be good,” she added.
The mainline media pretends a “balance” in coverage which has led to a downplaying of Trump’s repeated fabrications, distortions and displays of ignorance.
The debates present the candidates without media filter. For those who may have missed the debate, here is the video:
Trump had one major stumble over international agreements, and by any reasonable standard, he has had many others throughout his campaign.
Compare his stumble to President Gerald Ford’s costly gaffe in the second General Election debate with the Democratic challenger, Jimmy Carter.
Time magazine summarized:
During a 1976 presidential debate against a then-obscure Georgia Governor named Jimmy Carter, Ford famously uttered: “There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.” [One panelist], Max Frankel of the New York Times, responded incredulously, “I’m sorry, what? … did I understand you to say, sir, that the Russians are not using Eastern Europe as their own sphere of influence in occupying most of the countries there and making sure with their troops that it’s a communist zone?”
In response, Carter said he’d like to see Ford “convince the Polish-Americans and the Czech-Americans and the Hungarian-Americans in this country, that those countries don’t live under the domination and supervision of the Soviet Union behind the Iron Curtain.”
News reports about the debate were dominated by Ford’s statement and its potential effect on the race. Most observers felt the debate proved to be a turning point and the key to Carter’s narrow electoral victory.
Unlike the 1976 Ford-Carter debate, when foreign policy was treated seriously, the first 2016 Clinton-Trump debate was covered as a prize fight with media judges scoring Trump losing on style.
Two rematches are slated, October 9, at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and October 19 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Which leads, finally, to this puzzlement: How could anyone who knows the decision-making demands on a President, possibly cast a vote for Trump (or a third party contender, same thing)?
Would you want your surgeon to invite Donald J. Trump into the operating room to perform your gall bladder surgery? Surely not. You would not want to hear, as you went under the anesthesia, “Where’s the gall bladder”?
The picture of Trump is from Shutterstock. The picture of Clinton is a screen shot. The front page is from This Was Television https://thiswastv.com/2012/08/22/debate-night-fordcarter-1976/