27 Deep Thoughts About The First Presidential Debate 2016

I recently went to see a cinematic showing of Shakespeare’s King Richard II equipped with zero snacks, a moderately full bladder (the kind that you can mostly ignore) and an assumption that there would be some sort of intermission. There was not. Yet I felt it my duty to stay put, held riveted by the ping-ponging of pointed, accusatory words in a language I did not always understand despite the fact that English is my native tongue. Even without a translator, I picked up on two main things: 1) King Richard II was childish, daft and unqualified for many reasons. 2) The female lead, the Queen, should have been the one ruling.

And although I wasn’t watching the play in person — instead, by way of filmed performance with live audience via a screen — it was intoxicating. Kind of like a Maury episode?

Kind of like the 2016 Presidential Election debate. Other deep thoughts right this way.

1. If I put my palm up once in solidarity with Hillary Clinton’s opening statement to her first answer — “The central question in this election is really what kind of country we want to be and what kind of future we will build together” — will that cover all of the other times she echoes similar sentiments I agree with? I ask because I need both hands to type.

2. Whoops, once more: “We also have to make the economy fairer. That starts with raising the national minimum wage and also guarantee, finally, equal pay for woman’s work.”

3. I wonder what it would have sounded like if Lester Holt had a mute button that he could press while Trump spoke/groaned so that we could hear the resounding “thank you’s” of Americans who agree with Hillary that, “[w]e…have to look at how we help families balance the responsibilities at home and the responsibilities at business.”

4. Turns out I have a mute button! Accidentally “missed” Trump’s opening quip about China and Mexico.

5. Served: Hillary just reminded us all that we’re only 5 percent of the world’s population.

6. Hillary knows the power of a red suit and alliteration. “Trumped-up trickle-down” rolls right off that tongue.

7. I’d like to take a moment to stop and acknowledge how we are living in the future because “solar panels” was just a part of the 2016 presidential debate. How many scientists are sitting around right now going, “I TOLD YOU SO”?

8. More importantly, how many people who tanned in the 1980s with baby oil and those reflective three-folds that my dad uses to keep the car cool in the summer are wondering if they have been contributing to the solar panel cause before anyone else?

9. Hillary Clinton plugged her website and her book like a pro. #BuildYourBrand

10. Lester Holt, I could not do what you did for many reasons including (but not only because of) the fact that I cannot read from a teleprompter without developing terrible anxiety that I’m going to mispronounce common words, like “the.”(“T-hé?”) I also get that to moderate Donald Trump as he interrupted Hillary Clinton which prompted her to continue speaking for the sake of women everywhere who refuse to be silenced by arrogant men — even though it was hard to understand what she was saying and I wish there could have been subtitles — would mean that you, too, would have to yell and therefore join the noise.

But I wish you came equipped with a different tactic. I wish you had a buzzer, or a whistle, or a conch shell.

11. I want to be so rich that getting audited by the IRS becomes a way of life.

12. This was actually such a positive way to look at things, DT!! “We’re just opening up on Pennsylvania Avenue right next to the White House, so if I don’t get there one way, I’m going to get Pennsylvania Avenue another.” One way or another, just like Blondie sang and the Little Engine That Could did.

13. When asked about how to heal our country’s racial divide, Hillary Clinton said, “We’ve got to address the systemic racism in our criminal justice system.” My question was how. She answered.

“I have said in my first budget we would put money into that budget to help us deal with implicit bias by re-training a lot of our police officers…Mental health is one of the biggest concerns because now police are having to handle a lot of really difficult mental health problems on the street. They want support, they want more training, they want more assistance. And I think the federal government could be in a position where we would offer and provide that.”

Carrie Johnson, Justice Correspondent, fact-checked this: “Clinton has said she will devote $1 billion in her first budget to training and safety for law enforcement.” Thoughts from the audience?

14. Things brought up just to stir up drama: Emails. The Birther Lie.

15. “When they go low, we go high.” — Michelle Obama’s eternal words of wisdom will prevail forever and ever, amen. Kudos, also, for naming your source.

17. Cyber warfare is no joke, I know, but the term, “cyber warfare,” makes me wonder if we are not in fact already living in a dystopian society without knowing.

18. Did the Declaration of Independence, as scrawled on the wall in lovely penmanship behind both presidential candidates, make anyone else feel like they were in SoulCycle? Hillary v. Trump themed?

19. Maury, I mean Lester Holt, can we get Sean Hannity on the phone or what?

20. (Meanwhile Sean Hannity just slammed the dinner table like, “Oh for Christ’s sake. Can I not be left alone for one dang evening of television on a Monday night?”)

21. IN GENERAL, I have always thought of “winning temperaments” as being Golden Retrievers’ main selling points. “Winning temperaments, great with kids, sheds a lot.”

22. We know what Hillary was doing while Trump is talking (laughing, smiling, shimmying, staring at the camera) but what was Lester doing?!!? Lester! What were you doing?

23. I wonder if Hillary can do that thing I do when my parents talk to me about my lack of savings where I register that their lips are moving but not the actual sounds they make.

24. If our country had a MySpace page back in the day, Hillary’s “A man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes” would have been its political, platonic version of “if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.”

25. Reasons to improve your grammar before long-division memorization: “Words matter when you run for president and they really matter when you are president. It is essential that America’s word is good.”

26. Hillary Clinton could write speeches for Dumbledore in terms of chilling final statements filled with just enough pending doom to incite action: “Vote as though your future depends on it. Because I think it does.”

27. Can we all agree that when your campaign tagline has been repurposed for the sake of memes (like “Make ____ Great [or replace with different adjective] Again” paraphernalia), it might be time to rethink your strategy? Among at least one million other things.



Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond is a writer, creative consultant, and Man Repeller alumnus living in New York City.

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