Blockbuster ratings are expected for tonight’s 2016 presidential debate between Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at Washington University in St. Louis. The 90-minute town hall forum will be jointly moderated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Martha Raddatz. The hyped interest is primarily due to the media firestorm following the Friday release of a 2005 audiotape where Donald Trump was overheard making lewd comments about women to then Access Hollywood Reporter Billy Bush. There is a very good chance that the viewership will surpass not only the 65.6 million who tuned in for the October 2012 debate between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate for president Mitt Romney, but also that of the highest rated second presidential debate in recent history, the 1992 debate when 69.9M viewers tuned in to watch President George Herbert Walker Bush, Billy Bush’s uncle, debate Democratic candidate for president William Jefferson Clinton.
Viewers will also be tuning into the debate to learn more about the latest Hillary Clinton scandal. On Friday WikiLeaks released a transcript of Hillary Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street banker audiences. The speech receiving the most attention is the one where Clinton blatantly advocated for a borderless society. “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, sometime in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere,” Clinton told Banco Itau, a Brazilian bank, on May 16, 2013. Clinton also received some heat for telling an audience at the National Multi-Housing Council in April 2013 that politicians need both a “public and private position.”
However, as usual, the Trump brouhaha is the story getting the greatest amount of attention and public outcry. Yet, even in the wake of the controversy, Donald Trump and his Vice President nominee Mike Pence have vowed to continue on with the campaign. Trump – who issued an apology for the comments he made over ten years ago – told the Wall Street Journal that there was “zero chance” that he would drop out of the race. Many Republicans denounced Trump’s campaign or called for him to drop out of the race, including House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah, Ohio Senator Rob Portman, New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, and Arizona Senator John McCain. Most notably, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan uninvited Trump to an event in Wisconsin on Saturday where the candidate and the Speaker of the House would have stood together for the first time in a showing of Republican Party unity. Despite all of this negativity from the Republican establishment, Democrats and the media, Pence is standing by his man Trump. Pence delivered a very measured public statement saying that he was “offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the 11-year-old video, I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them. We pray for his family and look forward to the opportunity he has to show what is in his heart when he goes before the nation.”
Given the controversy surrounding the eleven-year-old audiotape, the onus is on Trump to use the debate forum to prove to the American people that the words he said “do not reflect the person he is today.” More importantly, he has to show the American people that he has the vision, the acumen, and the ethics and yes the temperament to become the next president of the United States. Furthermore, he has to convince all of those tuning in to watch the debate why Hillary Clinton would be a dangerous choice to lead our nation.
Bottom line. What is the more forgivable transgression? Locker room banter which was never intended for public communication or the promise of a dangerous borderless lawless society? I think the choice is easy.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com