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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Second GOP Presidential Debate: Trump Fails on Immunizations

I'll preface my analysis of the second GOP Presidential debate - three hours, just concluded on CNN - that I'm not a Republican, and this undoubtedly influences my views of who scored and who did not in a Republican debate.   Nonetheless -

It seemed to me that Trump did not do all that well tonight.  He was more conciliatory, true, and perhaps that helps him, but he once again spoke only in generalities.  And at times - for example - in the discussion of immunizations and autism - he seemed outrightly ignorant, insisting there was sort of a connection, even though Ben Carson, an MD, patiently and repeatedly explained that there was not, or none statistically and scientifically demonstrated.

As Trump does on most of these issues, he conflated at least two different issues - one, whether immune injections cause autism, and, two, whether the immunization shots can be spaced out, or not given all at once.   Drs. Carson and Paul may agree with the latter, but not the former - and Trump tried to sweep his ignorance under the rug by saying he, too, agreed with that, but somehow that still meant there was a connection between immunizations and autism.

The other candidates, with varying styles and intensity, all talked knowledgeably about a variety of issues.  Rand Paul was especially good on the dangers of unconstitutional wars, and Chris Christie on the opposite side of that argument, on the need for a strong and aggressive defense.   These two also spoke very well on opposite sides of the recreational drug legalization issue (I agree with Rand Paul).

Christie was also good in his denunciation of the personal skirmishing between Trump and Fiorina.  I thought Jeb and Fiorina were both strong and articulate in taking Trump on.    But of the two - Jeb and Fiorina - I thought Jeb had far more substance in his positions.

We'll see what the polls say in the next few days.  But I'd be surprised if there wasn't some slippage for Trump - a dangerous prediction, I know.

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