Reading over this, I’m reminded of why I don’t do election politics. This is way too much about who I don’t like and not nearly enough about who I do. I mostly try to avoid using the Republican nominee’s name because I don’t want to contribute to his publicity machine. That first, debate, though… woo.
I’ll admit I’ve been planning for a while now to vote for Hillary Clinton in November. I didn’t even plan to watch the Presidential debates because I knew they wouldn’t sway me and expected them to be a horror show. My girlfriend turned on the first debate halfway through, and what I saw was even worse than I expected. I could tell Donald Trump was lying like crazy without even fact-checking.
I’ve done some research on verbal indicators of deception for another project. One of the most common is evasiveness. When people are telling the truth, they tend to give a quick and simple answer to a question or allegation. They may expound on it, but a delay of even a couple seconds for the initial answer is suspicious. Even well-prepared liars often stall.
Take for example O.J. Simpson’s plea when being arraigned for the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman, “Absolutely one hundred percent not guilty.” This is not rock solid proof of his guilt, and he was acquitted at trial. However, this phrase is suspicious, featuring multiple indicators of deception. An innocent person is most likely to say simply, “Not guilty.” Simpson not only delayed those words, he added in non-answer words that attempt to be convincing, “absolutely one hundred percent”. That’s at least two indicators of deception in just six words.
Like I wrote, I only watched the last half of the first debate and didn’t pay careful attention. Still, the deceptive indicators displayed by Donald Trump were many and highly noticeable. A more careful viewing might reveal indicators from both candidates, but the Trump’s were frighteningly numerous and glaring.
First, he frequently interrupted both the moderator and his opponent. This is a sign that he was uncomfortable with the questions asked and information shared. This alone was an indicator of deception. These signs of insecurity were also quite inconsistent with his frequent boasts of confidence, such as his infamous assertion that he could commit murder and not lose votes.
Second, he was very evasive in his responses and often delayed answers. The debate’s final question was especially illustrative. Lester Holt told the candidates he’d ask both of them the same question about how they’d react to losing the election. Hillary Clinton went first and gave a fairly straightforward answer. Donald Trump had two minutes to formulate a response and still took another two minutes to give an actual answer.
Donald Trump’s non-answers were another strong indicator. One of the most obvious examples was in response to Hillary Clinton’s mention that his real estate company had been sued for racial discrimination. Trump’s response, “We settled that lawsuit with no admission of guilt.” Never did he actually deny that his company engaged in racial discrimination.
I admit that I never considered voting for Donald Trump, but he should be better at lying if he wants to be President. I voted for Bill Clinton and have no regrets about that. He was at least better at lying. Look at perhaps his most famous lie, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” It’s fairly convincing and even features an actual denial, much better than Trump managed. Still, he offered clues that he was lying such as distancing himself from Monica (“that woman Miss”) Lewinsky and using the term “sexual relations” which no one had used in their allegations.
My decision to vote for Hillary Clinton has nothing to do with her husband, though. The fact that she’s owned up to being wrong with the email issue has spoken volumes to me. I haven’t carefully studied the Clinton Foundation issue, but it won’t sway me. I trust Hillary Clinton’s experience, temperament, and overall qualifications for President. If I had my druthers, I’d #feelthebern. Since that’s not an option, come November #Imwithher.