first presidential debate (90 minutes of video)at Hofstra University, New York. Lester Holt was the moderator. The host had the full control over the questions, the audience – partly students – was expected to remain silent and not to use cameras and phones.
Hillary said "Hey Donald!" and he shook her hand, apparently confident in his immunity against pneumonia and other contagious diseases. Quite generally, I am sure it's right to say that they behaved in a much more friendly way towards each other than their voters. ;-) Concerning similar formalities and speaking strategies, Trump was attempting to interrupt Hillary more than 20 times but only succeeded once. She didn't try to interrupt him, with three failed exceptions.
Wages and trade deals
When they were asked about wages (what a simplification of the first question), Hillary brought an unsurprising routine socialist tirade about her care about the women's salaries, minimum wage, grandkids, free college, affordable healthcare, everyone who is poor, and unsuccessful and unemployed, with the punch line that she is angry about the rich and successful people and wants to raise the taxes and fund an increasing number of such groups that already depend on the government. She also wants to build the infrastructure etc. etc. It was a typical campaign rant by a European socialist junk populist politician who always tells you millions of ways how to waste lots of money but doesn't care about the way how and where the money is earned and no respect towards the people who actually earn the money.
Trump's answer to the very same question focused on foreign countries – he wants to prevent the outsourcing to Mexico (by imposing tariffs or fees that mirror those on the other side that already exist), make sure that China won't devalue the yuan, and so on. Under his watch, lots of companies will be coming to the American paradise, hire, and create wonders not seen from the Flood.
Now, as you know, I consider both of these programs basically rubbish. It's sick to raise the taxes and it's sick to block the trade or the free flow of products and opportunities. And I don't really believe that China's currency is significantly undervalued these days, either. Just look at their shrunk trade surpluses – they're almost balanced these days. China has made a tremendous progress in the economy and became a strong competitor in many industries. They're working for smaller wages. Indeed, there are many industries where the U.S. and other Western workers' wages should be reduced if they want to remain competitive.
At the end, I still consider the taxation scheme more important. Although he didn't state it explicitly, I do think that Trump would be more likely not to raise or even decrease the "welfare spending" and that's the right thing. I do believe that his fans tend to be the people who are working and whose taxes are being used for Hillary's and other socialist programs. They rightfully feel that they're being robbed and that others are encouraged to suck their blood. You know, most of these people aren't starving to death. But they realize that they're working hard and their living standards etc. haven't been correspondingly growing in recent decades.
Because the U.S. government money seem relatively sustainable at this moment, I think that the number of people who are contributors and whose well-being seems negatively correlated with the amount of redistribution is high enough – perhaps higher than the number of those who feel that their well-being is positively correlated with the amount of redistribution. That's why a socialist plan to "raise the taxes and do all the wonderful stuff" may very well be failing. I wouldn't say such a thing about a failed state such as Greece, of course, which is still being funded by foreigners. Almost everyone over there is a lazy parasite and unsurprisingly, almost everyone wants the government's budget to be as high as possible.
Hillary said a vacuous sentence about the trade deals and then she attacked what she calls the "trumped up trickle down economics" which is "not how growth is created". Sorry but it is exactly the conditions in which the growth materializes, despite the socialists' silly demagogic efforts to turn the tables upside down. I am not sure whether Donald would actually trump up the trickle down economics, however.
Donald started with lots of money from his dad, we learn, and he really believes that the better off the wealthy people will be, the better for the nation. She doesn't buy it. Donald didn't confirm this view explicitly but I secretly do hope that he realizes that what is being ascribed to him is indeed true and important. (Well, later he actually did confirm it explicitly.)
Hillary said that the 2008 downturn occurred because the rich weren't paying enough taxes etc. What a pile of rubbish. The 2008 downturn started because incompetent, biased, and irresponsible socialist-like bankers have agreed with mortgages for millions of – not only black – borrowers who simply couldn't afford them. It created a huge systematic error in the housing prices, mortgages, and their derivatives that has spread to the financial sector. The crisis surely began because of too much socialism, not too little socialism. Left-wing demagogues like Hillary clearly live in an alternate universe.
Strategies to grow the economy
Clinton added another long list of ways how to waste trillions of dollars – including wasteful and uncompetitive new energy sources (Trump painfully denied that he has said that the climate hysteria is a hoax – it surely is one, although not one invented by the Chinese). It's wonderful she may create new jobs there. Everyone who finds 10 trillion extra dollars on the street may create millions of new jobs and pay the workers for doing nothing useful – which is exactly what she wants to do. But it doesn't mean that the wealth should be wasted in this way. Assuming that inflation is kept at low levels, trillions of dollars aren't lying on the street. They have to be earned by hard-working creative people whom Hillary and her socialist comrades have no respect for.
At least, Trump "adjusted" his previous denial of his quote that the climate hysteria is a hoax. He admitted that the solar energy boom was a disaster. Thankfully, Trump also pointed out that the U.S. already has a huge debt and Obama has doubled it. Trump asks: You've been doing politics for 30 years, so why didn't you do something against the jobs' leaving Michigan and Ohio before? Hillary tried to defend herself in grammatically correct but vacuous ways but Trump correctly said that she had no plan. It's obvious that the kind of changes Hillary is talking about (including the "biggest tax raise in the history", as Trump puts it) would make the job losses similar to those in Michigan and Ohio even worse. She just doesn't care. She cares about the votes elsewhere which can keep her in politics.
Nicely enough, Trump explains he will reduce the regulation while she wants to regulate them out of existence. Right. In the next question, he actually did explicitly say that he wants to lower the taxes and leave the money in the wealthy people's hands who will make them work. If I ignore his trade protectionism, he actually looks like "my kind of a guy" in the economy.
Trump was fearmongering about a bursting bubble as soon as the Fed raises a rate a little bit. Rubbish. Donald says that the Fed has been more political than Clinton. I think it's also nonsense, especially after I carefully watched the latest Yellen conference. She is as apolitical as you can get.
Personal finances and business experience
An exchange about Trump's personal tax documents. He released something, not something else, blah blah. He will release tax returns after Hillary publishes her deleted e-mails. Hillary speculates what Trump could be hiding by not releasing tax returns. Hillary feels responsible for the e-mail mistakes but won't sit in a jail because she's a skillful fugitive criminal. Trump says that the U.S. needs someone who understands the money. Hillary claims that she met Trump's dishwasher and 5 other men who weren't paid by Trump. Trump confirms that he hasn't paid a builder because he hadn't done his job right and Donald was dissatisfied, LOL, but he always did such things in agreement with the laws of the nation, we're assured.
His company is "unbelievable" and tens of thousands of people "love him". He just built something on Pennsylvania Avenue, DC, near the White House so he will get to that place in one way or another. One year ahead of schedule – that's the Stakhanov way that the U.S. should emulate. ;-)
Race is still a problem, Hillary says. Lots of clichés. The laws have to be enforced. We have to be good at this and that. Trump says that we need the law and order in Charlotte, Chicago (where shootings jumped under Obama), and elsewhere. Hillary says that Trump paints black communities in the black color (unlike Milka the chocolate maker that paints cows in purple). Cops are racially biased, Hillary claims. Trump says to agree with various things of Hillary's. They clash with some numbers indicating mayors' success or failure. Trump says that blacks have been badly treated. Democrats only wanted them for votes but the blacks are angry now.
Trump is now satisfied with Obama's birth certificate and he wants to move on – to fighting Daesh and creating jobs. Donald is proud he was a big force that forced Obama to clarify the situation. Hillary says that birthism is what politician Trump was initially all about and this point has failed. Also, in 1973, Trump was sued for not renting an apartment to a black. And the birthism was another example of this Trump's bias, we hear. Trump says he's celebrated for creating multicultural communities.
DNC could have been hacked by a nation, like Russia, or individuals, Hillary says. She connects Trump with Putin in the middle of that sentence. Trump jumps back and says he was endorsed by admirals and other occupations doing real work, as opposed to political hacks. Concerning hacking, Trump says that we don't know who did it because under Obama, "we lost the control".
ISIS, NATO, nukes
Hillary wants to reduce the access of ISIS to the Internet so that it doesn't hire new folks. And airstrikes. Within a year, ISIS should be expelled from Iraq and heavily reduced in Syria. One needs to go after the Caliph. Trump says that ISIS was born in the vacuum created by Clinton and Obama. Trump supported the invasion of Iraq, Hillary says and Trump rejects the claim (which was "invented by her" and promoted by the mainstream media that serve her; Trump recalls his interview by Sean Hannity who was pro-war while Trump wasn't).
Trump explains why allies should pay for U.S. military services, why NATO could be obsolete etc. We have to persuade NATO and kill ISIS. Under Clinton et al., this mess has spread to 30+ countries. However, Trump has a better judgement, temperament, and stamina than Clinton, we heard. Trump is a winner. Hillary calmly and professionally replies OK and laughs. Hillary claims to have tamed the Iranian nuke program by a coalition building etc. She claims that Trump finds nuclear proliferation and wars in the world OK. A person with an anxious finger above a Twitter "enter" button shouldn't control the U.S. nukes, Hillary quips.
Climate change will make male crustaceans more sexy, attractive for the females, producing a population explosion. You can get "research money" for anything these days.
Trump counters that unlike her, he consider nuclear weapons a greater problem than global warming. ;-) He explains why he won't take the nuclear option out of the table. Hillary says that the allies must know that the U.S. is still a friend. She charges that he has no program. Trump says that he has a program. But the U.S. cannot be the policeman of the world. She could have solved things when she was powerful – she won't solve anything later, either.
Looks and stamina
Hillary has bad looks. Trump clarifies by saying that she doesn't have the stamina, she pretends to laugh. She says something funny about her numerous visits indicating the stamina. He says she has experience but a bad one. The U.S. can't afford 4 more years of that bad experience. She recalls that Trump has called women pigs, dogs, and dismissed pregnancy etc. He used the name "Ms Housekeeper" for a Latino Miss contestant, we hear LOL. Trump disputes everything. And Ms Housekeeper is gonna vote in November. Trump says Hillary has spent hundreds of millions on untrue ads.
Both candidates will support the foe if he or she wins, we're told.
U.S. and Czech reactions
The American media claim that polls shows that about 70% think that Hillary has won and 30% think that Trump has won. The percentages are reverted in the Czech media. A poll at center-right mainstream server iDNES.cz shows a 2-to-1 vote in favor of Trump's victory in the debate. A discussion on the major traditional left-wing Novinky.cz server shows a much bigger support for the comments in favor of Trump.
I feel closer to iDNES.cz readers so here are the top upvoted comments as of this moment:
Petr Novák, 47+/0–
Cybersecurity. Clinton: All hackers are from Russia. ... :-D
František Popluhař, 66/3
OMG, when Hillary is smiling, it sends shivers down my spine. If a new remake of the One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest will be shot, I have a proposal for the role of the insane nurse.
Tonda Hejlík, 90/6
So far it's typical. Donald wants to lower the taxes to stop firms from fleeing abroad or returning to the U.S. Hillary wants to invest, increase wages, welfare payments, but she doesn't say who will pay the bill. Typical socialist wasting out of other people's money.
Tomáš Vrábel, 74/6
Trump: Secretary Clinton, what's your plan?
Clinton: Look at my website – sometimes she changed "website" to her "book". She couldn't add anything, not even a general cliché.
If the Democrats were trying to make sure that she shows that she has a plan, unlike Trump, it hasn't been successful so far.
Karel Nedopil, 66/6
An empty and fake [two adjectives that ex-president Klaus used against a center-right prime minister in a legendary SMS message] Hillary Clinton will send the U.S. to an even faster decline. She really has no plan.
Jiří Fogel, 32/1
Given the careful methods with which "ert" [Mr Mánert, the author of the iDNES.cz article] is praising his favorite politician Clinton, it seems that she hasn't done too well. ;-)
Štěpán Binko, 30/1
If the ... [c*nt] really said that the financial crisis was caused by the reduction of the taxes for the rich, I will really start to pray for a Trump victory.
Petr Michalík, 39/3
Trump: "You are informing the ISIS about your plans in advance. Then you are fighting them for your whole life."
Clinton: "You want to lower the taxes for you and your family to have even higher profits."
Trump was more to the point, clearer. Clinton was closer to clichés and began with her family and granddaughter's 2nd birthday. Maybe the female voters will be impressed by that.
Jan Souček, 35/3
According to the information in the article, Trump is right at least when he claims that the companies are moving to Asia where the labor is cheaper and therefore steal the jobs from America. It's happening to Europe, too. He's also right that the U.S. is responsible for the birth of the Islamic State. I am not sure whether the Iraq invasion was the cause but it surely hasn't helped to calm the atmosphere in the region. Clinton's talk was dominated by the traditional political clichés we know from our politicians, too.
Hoang Anh Binh [Vietnamese Czech], 33/3
When one is listening what comrade Clinton is saying, it sounds just like the vacuous clichés from [Czech socialist prime minister] Sobotka. [I couldn't distinguish this comment from an all-Czech right-wing commenter.]
Jakub Súkenik, 27/2
It was a clear conspiracy by the liberal left-wing neomarxist lie-media. To organize it at 3 am when polite people in Czechia are sleeping and they consequently can't root for their favorite candidate for the U.S. president.
Jindřich Kuchař, 14/1
I haven't seen the debate and my comment is based on reports in the Czech Internet dailies. It seems that Ms Clinton keeps on repeating general clichés such as "we will lower the unemployment", "increase the safety", "beat the terrorists", "abolish racism" but she never says what steps will achieve those goals. On the contrary, Mr Trump may sometimes say silly things (only time will tell) but he is being specific: "we will stop the outsourcing to China", "we will bomb 1/2 of Syria", "we will restrict Muslims" etc. My feeling is that Ms Clinton knows the goal but doesn't know the road to it. On the other hand, Trump has no destination but he knows where to go.
Ms Veronika Skalová, 34/10
Trump was more persuasive, Hillary was boring. :-D :-) But the media are claiming it was the other way around.
Jan Mazůrek, 13/1
What is Ms Clinton smoking? Lower taxes will cause a crisis? I thought that the economic dilettantes only work in the Eurosoviet Union.
Jaromír Král, 10/0
And isn't it better to turn the poor into rich, instead of turning the rich into the poor?
Karel Novák, 24/8
I haven't seen the debate and it's hard to judge based on the incomplete articles but if Clinton scored a victory, the media would be producing some happy sounds of joy. Neutral voices indicate that Trump was better.
Miroslav Buček, 9/0
I think that Trump is being helped by the 2 terms of the Democrat Obama. He was a good speaker – and that's about it... To tax the rich is popular – it's a tool taken from the Century of the Steam. ... The U.S. is missing clear cuts from the era of the "Bush Clan". So one may expect a change and the arrival of the GOP... However, whether the candidate is the right cup of tea, isn't clear to me... The voter will decide.
Ms Martina Vedralová, 23/8
In my opinion, he defeated her but the media seem to see it otherwise.
Vladimír Veteška, 14/3
Typical socialist rhetoric from that madam... if she wins, the U.S. will definitively change its direction to the cemetery ["under the flowers", whatever is the English version of that idiom about decline]. Unfortunately, not only the U.S.
Adam Poche, 17/5
If you wrote about Mánert [the author of the iDNES.cz article] at the beginning, I could have saved a few minutes of reading about his favorite Clinton who has the noble goal of robbing the rich to achieve the "equality". Disgusting.
Josef Babka, 8/0
As [prolific old commenter] Mr Wolprecht wrote, bookmakers were believing that Clinton had better chances. But the bookmakers were confident in a Sparta victory before the Sunday [legendary derby between Prague S-S soccer clubs] match against Slavia. :-) [Sparta has been a top club and stronger team for decades but Slavia won 2-to-0 on Sunday.]
Vojtěch Vašek, 8/0
For the first time, I was positively surprised by Mr Trump when he admitted that the U.S. was to blame for the birth of ISIS by its constant interventions in Iraq.
Josef Babka, 11/2
Our friends in the U.S. may have a hard time if one of these two creatures will become the president. :-)
Jan Babička, 6/0
In my opinion, the debate hasn't convinced any voter to switch the side.
Left-wing daily readers
Those were readers on the mainly center-right iDNES.cz. Here are the latest posts on the latest article on the debate on Novinky.cz, probably the strongest mostly left-wing-readers' server. They're not sorted by quality, just time, and only the "positive minus negative" vote score of the comments is shown.
František Teplý, Vsetín, +1
The old witch has gotten used to fame and doesn't want to give it up. She has neither the age nor the health for the job and should focus her energy on grandkids. However, who will be the president is probably being decided elsewhere and the choice of the president isn't too important. If we look to the past what personalities were doing the job and what they allowed, including the unfixable mistakes in Iraq etc.
Jiří Němeček, Prague, +3
I don't wish anything bad to anyone but this old woman/witch is dangerous just like her militant ecomarxist multicultural opinions.
Maybe Nature will help.
Pavel Skácel, Jarohněvice, +4
The contemporary world establishment will do everything to fill the job of the "man number one" by the woman who was betrayed by a former "man number one" in order for her to show us how strong she is! In that case, God bless not only America but the whole world.
Jan Buriánek, Prague, 0
Zeman and Putin will be sad again. :-(
Milan Kupr, Czech Cologne, +4
An ambitious, ill, and bloodthirsty old woman/witch is standing against a real man who's been turned into steel by a Czech mother-in-law. What the result can be?
[This is a funny confirmation of the stereotype that you prefer a year in Gitmo over the Czech mothers-in-law. But Ms Marie Zelníčková "loves Donald, the nicest person in the world". The nearly 90-year-old lady visits America once a year or so.]
Ladislav Šiška, Prague 6, +3
First of all, it's completely irrelevant what Novinky.cz are writing here. [The title of this newest article says that experts say that Hillary won.] It will be the U.S. urns that will be deciding. And that the pro-Clinton massage by the media is amazing is also shown by the reactions by the beaten Trump's GOP competitors from the primaries. But even those may be too little. Recall the latest Czech presidential elections in which we could hear some support for the painful old guy with a would-be young haircut and hoarse voice but all this bias was as useful for him as a jacket for a dead man. In most cases, voters have their own brains and heads and they are not mindless sheep which is what some people would prefer.
Jiří Bartoš, Neratovice, +5
While the Czech public TV wasn't able to air the Sparta-Slavia soccer derby, I could watch the debate live. An old, worn down wood file with a make-up, Hillary, on top of the U.S., that will be a mess, not only for America.
If they pick Donald the Duck, he will yack and quack differently than today. America has simply run out of the right people. The descendant of the tree monkeys with the hands near his knees was a star in comparison. [Yes, I would agree that this comment was racist, LM, but yes, it was funny, anyway.]
OK, that's enough. The scores near the bottom generally have higher absolute values because they're older comments...
The Parliamentary Letters, a dynamic populist independent daily close to the communist party voters, presents some other examples showing why most Czech pundits think that Trump has won the debate and why the appraisal by CNN etc. can be taken at most as seriously as the Soviet newspaper celebrations of Brezhnev.