400-lb. statement bothered her most

Published 1:24 am Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Well, the first presidential debate is in the books. To be honest, I debated with myself over whether to watch it or not. The “watch it” side won.
In the name of disclosure, let me say that I am not a Trump supporter. Pretty sure, some folks stopped reading after that sentence, but that’s fine. We all have a right to our opinions.
Again, to disclose fully where I’m coming from, I wasn’t a rider on Hillary’s bandwagon coming into this election cycle either. More her than the Trumpster, but not 100 percent in her camp.
Now back to Monday evening’s debate. Wow. That was different wasn’t it? No matter who you think won, you have to admit it was not your standard presidential debate. I’ve certainly never seen anything like it.
It seems we’ve moved from actual intelligent political discourse during an election to something that resembles a reality television program. And, that says more about the voters than it does about the candidates.
Come on people is this really what we want. Is this truly what our country is becoming – a bunch of angry folks choosing candidates like we select a favorite football team that gets support no matter what.
This is not a game. This is the future of our country and it’s time to put the anger aside and look at substance rather than entertainment value.
The world is watching and I shutter at what they think of us right now. Don’t know why I say this? Did you watch that debate?
Today, there are discussions and arguments and commentaries dissecting every word of the event. People can go online and find something that supports their opinion related to which candidate did the best job, and nothing written or said is probably going to change anyone’s mind on the subject.
That said, there was one statement that bothered me the most and it was not about policy or the economy or emails or tax returns. It was an almost offhand comment made during an exchange about cyber safety in our technologically dependent world.
It was something Mr. Trump said in a discussion about hacking, who is doing it and how to prevent it. Here is a portion of his comment.
“… It could be Russia but it could be China, it could be lots of people. It could be somebody that sits on their bed that weighs 400 pounds. You don’t know who broke into DNC.”
“What?” I said, just shaking my head in disbelief. “Is this really what we’ve come to in this country?”
I can’t explain exactly why, but that statement about someone who would probably meet the definition of obesity said volumes to me about how the person who said it views the world, and judges people.
It is fine to suggest it might be an individual with computer skills who is doing the hacking rather than a planned attack by a foreign government. But why inject a comment about a person’s weight. How is that relevant to a discussion about cyber security?
It was a mean-spirited, judgmental, put-down kind of comment that has no place in a serious discussion about the security of our nation. For me, it painted a clear picture of how this man sees some people and it is not pretty.
We as a nation, as the greatest experiment in democracy ever, are better than this kind of mess. I don’t care if you think Hillary is the devil incarnate; there is still no place for these kinds of comments during a political debate.
Heck, there is no place for these kinds of comments in any conversation. It serves no purpose but to demean and does nothing to enlighten or advance humankind.
I am not out to change anyone’s mind about who will get his or her vote. I do think, however, that all of us should demand more decency from our politicians, especially the ones running for the highest office in the land.

  Nancy Blackmon is a former newspaper editor and a yoga teacher.