The following blog post is a long form epistolary response to a couple questions that some fb friends of mine asked me today in an AMA post I made about the presidential debate for Oct 22, 2020.
I wanted very much to post my answers directly under your questions, but after some 2k characters… well, I thought a blog post would be more appropriate.
For this part of my response I want to specifically answer the following question from my fb friend whom I have known for years and years. Her name is Ellen, and I am grateful to have had a friend like her.
The Undecided Voter
…my life out of control…Alixander
Back in 2016, I was a pot head and a drunk. I was struggling with issues in my life on such a level that this post can’t really capture. But on Bloomsday of 2016, my life out of control, I imagined this nation as a corporation, and also as a representation of my life, running wildly amuck. To me, I was part of the problem and I had this crazy idea that this HUUUGE business we are all in, called America, needed to be put back on the right course. I asked myself who I wanted to be CEO of my nation and in some ways my life. I can tell you that who I was that day was not anywhere near who I am today. But that person, Alixander circa 2016, needed to get his life back on the right path. That’s when it hit me, standing right outside of Canelle’s on second and fourth. I even recall saying it out loud.
“There is no better man to be the CEO of my life and my country than…”
Now look, I would be kidding myself if I said I took this thought seriously… aside from betting a thousand dollars that Trump would win over Clinton against my own mother, donating $20 to his campaign just to get a sticker so I could slap it on someone’s car (they shall not be named), and all the while laughing drunkenly stoned many days after he won.
…maybe I was just being a troll…Alixander
But to really showcase how unserious I took this thought… this is the part that kills me… I did not vote in 2016 and I hadn’t in any election prior. Even though I never received a ballot that year, on voting day I was too busy spending time with my friend at the park watching ducks to actually vote. Maybe I just thought he had it under control, maybe I was just being a troll, or maybe I wasn’t ready to cast my first ever ballot…
Ever since DJT took office though, my life has changed. Dramatically even. I went sober (come to find out DJT is a sober guy, too), I took my business dealings more seriously, I started considering my future, the future of my family legacy and politics at a high level view. So when the day came to actually start considering who was more deserving of my vote this election, I decided that I would take my first vote very seriously.
I considered the candidates, Ellen. And it was hard not to refer to the kinds of stories I saw or the gossip others told me about either of them. One thing rang true through all of it though, for the last four years a single man drove the world crazy. This had me perplexed, how could someone that I saw as a guiding figure in many respects, not all of them, how was he the world’s worst person? I just didn’t buy it. Truly, I was never won over by the characterization of DJT that was promulgated by the media, or by some of my close friends and family.
I wanted to take advantage of the great opportunity to watch the candidates in an unedited kind of way.Alixander
So when it really came down to it, I decided to let the debates to be a guiding element for me this year. Aside from all the mudslinging, I wanted to take advantage of the great opportunity to watch the candidates in an unedited kind of way. Under pressure, no cheers or jeers, and to be able to rewind and rewatch. So here is my analysis…
The first debate, was crazy. And to form an actual opinion from that seemed foolish. Still does. I really don’t think any more commentary is necessary here.
Then I watched the Pence-Harris debate, which doesn’t really play a huge role in how I see my vote, but the VP has some influence. And honestly, Pence is likely to be president after Trump; that dude is a really solid guy.
As for the second debate, I want to address another question, which I feel will answer your question completely.
My next question comes from my fb friend Adrienel. He and I have never formally met, however we have had many great exchanges over the internet. And while we don’t often times see things the same way – we still have civil, respectful, and encouraging discourse.
What I Valued in The Debate
Thank you for asking me who I saw as the winner from the debate, I am glad to hear that you voted already. I am grateful you are encouraging others to vote.
Honestly, Adriene, if you want to skip all my commentary about what I value, which determines how I came to determine who the winner was from the debates, you can skip to the bottom to see who I think the winner is. But if you want to know my analysis for how I came to that conclusion, keep reading.
Firstly, I saw a president who behaved quite orderly at this debate. To me this orderliness of conduct was immensely underscored by him having undergone some kind of character change. Maybe he’s had some thoughts since getting Covid, at least from a debate to debate point of view, that has changed his presentation… I am not sure. What ever it was, his behavior was refreshing.
I guess my reasoning for starting there is with regards to his comments about learning and learning to live with the virus. It was pretty powerful. As the debate continued, his views on seeing America as being a powerful country once again really came out of his talking points. The thing I noticed more so than anything else was how powerful a debater the president is. I mean, we are talking about a guy who seemingly works 24 hours a day, flying all over the country, doing two a day rallies, while also handling the affairs of the country. The guy looked great for having just gone through Covid. I really value the visual presentation of a powerful person and he looked the part to me.
The next thing I saw from Trump, which really surprised more people than just me, was his discipline in the debate. He respected the moderator, with in reason, and waited for his turn to speak. This allowed Biden to ramble off on his policies, which I really haven’t heard much about. Now, I am not the kind of person that wants to be pandered to and I don’t know of many who do, but I felt that for all the “you, the American people” comments Biden made, I enjoyed watching Trump clobber him over those comments. It was immensely satisfying to watch a disciplined person wait for the perfect moment to call Biden a politician, in a pejorative sense, when he did that whole look-in-the camera-moment.
a president is not so cut and dryAlixander
Special note here, I don’t really care about the whole Biden Scandal. Most politicians are corrupt on some level and use their political influence to create change in their financial estate. I am not so naïve to believe otherwise. I understand Trump has had a career as a business man, business follows you; and I get that some of the actions Biden may have made as a politician will result in nepotism and favors. Neither of the two candidates have lived a simple life, and maybe when I run for president I will have to reconsider how simplicity plays into my campaign and my life. These debates have really shown me that the life of a president is not so cut and dry – nor is anyone’s life for that matter.
Which brings me to my last point. I think that leaders (political figures included), need to measure up to some standard of greatness in order to be considered worthy of admiration (let alone a vote). And when I look back on the last four years of Donald J Trump’s presidency, I would have to say that he has held quite the standard in my eyes of what great leaders do: they show up to do business and they show up to handle a mess. Do great leaders solve all the problems? No. Do great leaders do or say things you don’t like? Yes. Do great leaders make a difference? Yes.
Personally, Donald J Trump has made an difference in my life. For four years I have had the opportunity to watch a man conduct business, to hire and fire, make money and cut checks, navigate turmoil and have fun. More importantly, to show up for work day after day, and then come home to his family at night (if his schedule would allow). Never once did I see him throw up his arms and say “Come on man!?” Even when he was impeached (and I watched that whole thing, too), I saw a man who relied on the people he had around him, which every smart businessperson does, and I watched a man who continued to stand by his slogan to fight to Make America Great Again.
Last night, when I watched the debate, there was something different that I had never seen before in Donald. Something I can’t quiet explain other than a feeling. A feeling that, in spite of all of the characterizations I have seen over the years about who DJT was and is, I saw a man who I felt made me the person I am today. Sure, maybe a only few of his policies have influenced my life, but here was a man that was doing his absolute best. And even if he doesn’t take presidency again, I going to continue admiring him. I am going to look to see how he is doing and how he is conducting business. Truth be told, Biden doesn’t inspire that feeling in me at all.
My intention is to vote for someone who most closely aligns with my values: order, power, discipline, simplicity, and greatness.Alixander
So what this all boils down to is this: I have the privilege this year of voting. My intention is to vote for someone who most closely aligns with my values: order, power, discipline, simplicity, and greatness. And of the two, with regards to this debate, I do not see Biden as an orderly, powerful, or disciplined person. And while I know he isn’t a man who’s lived simply, I absolutely do not see Biden as a great man. With that said, in respects to the debate, I saw Trump as an orderly, powerful, disciplined man who has not lived a simple life, but has lived a great life.
The winner of the debate is…
And so, to answer one last question of another fb friend, Holly. She and I have known each other for many many years and while we clash on a few topics, we also share many similar views too.
When I go to the voting booth this year, Holly, I am voting for Trump. And while I might not have the pleasure of seeing my vote carry DJT to a second term, at the very least I will have cast my vote in line with my values (as closely as the options will allow).
I hope that America will continue to make incredible leaders to lead this country and its businesses forward into the greatness I want and work towards every day. To me, a great life comes down to simply that. I am grateful that I have examples of men like Donald J Trump, even if they aren’t like me and who I never want to ultimately be, of whom I can refer to for certain expressions of order, power, discipline, simplicity, and greatness; this debate being one such example.
The real winner is meAlixander
So to answer your question, the real winner is me; just watching that guy inspires me to be great.