Facts help Clinton keep composure, trumping debate debacle over Trump

The first night of the presidential debates proceeded much like a sitcom–style family dinner. Trump and Clinton played at each other like a contentious brother-sister pair, interrupting each other, stubbornly persisting to talk out of turn and pointing their fingers at the other as if it were high school.

The audacity of the candidates was nothing short of expected from either of the celebrities posed to please millions of viewers who were predicted to tune in to the spectacle in record-setting numbers.

Predictably, the debate was raucous and entertaining, and little sense could be made about each of the candidates’ actual plans for the presidency. But personalities don’t usually take to television to participate in intelligent political discourse, so I don’t think anyone felt compromised.

In fact, much of the commentary that followed the debate celebrated Trump’s abstinence from employing tactics on the more extreme side of the Trump spectrum and even said that his apparent lack of preparedness and relentless hounding in the first half of the debate elevated him at the start.

Though Trump was conferred style points by the press, the consensus seems to be that Hillary won this round. Clinton’s strengths were in her composure, even cadence and her “team of fact-checkers” who devoutly set the record straight for the public.

And many media outlets followed suit. The New York Times had coordinated an expert team of fact checkers who each had their respective expertise on a range of issues from healthcare to immigration.

I think this was the only part of the debate that really merited attention; the fact that “the facts” seem to have been valued over Trump’s loud and ignorant bombast this time relieved many Americans who anticipated much of the senseless bickering that ensued, but was curtailed if only a little.

Finally, on the debate stage, in Trump’s own arena, and according to the sensible part of the press, words and accurate information seemed to matter more than the decibel levels at which they were shouted.

Although there are still plenty of voters who will remain vehement supporters of Trump’s strict adherence to voicing baseless, discriminatory sentiments, maybe some of the relevant facts will help persuade the polls this election.

But maybe it’s all just part of the spectacle.