My Very Gen-Y Take On The First Presidential Debate

(Image Credit: By Donald Trump August 19, 2015 (cropped).jpg: BU Rob13 Hillary Clinton by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg: Gage [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

(Image Credit: By Donald Trump August 19, 2015 (cropped).jpg: BU Rob13 Hillary Clinton by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg: Gage [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

So I don’t approve, in general, of how my generation tends to come at things, with the focus on: me, my experience, my perception, how this impacted my world.  

That's fine in day-to-day gabbing with friends, family, the occasional fellow traveler. But for larger issues like, oh say, politics, that approach is… egregiously small-minded. Normally, I’d exhort us to strive towards something greater, grander. What’s the meaning of this? Logic, analysis, informed speculation. Hell, even how social media is trending (or not) to the topic at hand.

But we are talking about a debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. So in looking for that “greater, grander” ideal to reach for, we have not come to the right place. We are probably not even in the right neighborhood, or for that matter, continent.

So I figured a quintessential Gen-Y take -- my personal day-of sched relating to the first presidential debate -- was totes legit. Here you go:

9:00 AM: Set TV to record debate and post-wrap up shows. Make mental note to watch PBS exclusively (little-known fact: they have the best commentary).

11:17 AM: Phone chat with Mom. Main Topic: Who will win?

Me: Clinton.

Mom: Probably Trump.

(Question in reflection: Who loses? Possible answer: America).

2:16 PM: Register “No Excitement” on the personal buzz meter about debate possibilities. Barring an alien invasion or candidate collapse, the coming showdown will consist of A) Trump losing it, multiple times, and B) Clinton remaining preternaturally calm.

7:32 PM: Realize Dancing with the Stars probably got kicked off its regular Monday night time slot. Pout, briefly.

9:20 PM: Begin watching debate.

9:21 PM: Note Trump seems, somehow, already unhinged.

9:36 PM: Husband offers wine. Refuse at first. Accept after two and half minutes.

9:37 PM: Clinton pre-scripted line falls flat. Cringe in empathy. Think about stand-up comedians, muse on what an awful job that must be, thank lucky stars for writing careers.

9:37 PM: Also begin tweeting...

Clinton is not the greatest with pre-scripted debate lines... #debatenight

— Jessicah Lahitou (@jesslahitou) September 27, 2016


9:38 PM: Think of my coming taxes. Quickly estimate difference in Trump income to Jess paycheck (roughly three billion to no billions) and sense quiet, but real rage growing.


Clinton seems imminently more sane and composed. #debatenight Also: why hasn't Trump paid any income taxes? WHY??? #taxreformnow

— Jessicah Lahitou (@jesslahitou) September 27, 2016

9:57 PM: This. Not good.

Trump just referenced the super predator clip I found last April:

— andrew kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) September 27, 2016


10:07 PM: Sum up debate ahead of time:

So many times, in just one hour, I have found myself wondering: WTH is this person talking about? #debatenight

— Jessicah Lahitou (@jesslahitou) September 27, 2016

10:10 PM: Child awakens. Leave to comfort the little guy back to sleep. Consider staying for the duration…

10:40 PM: Return to television. Debate is over.

Husband: You didn’t miss anything.

Me: Trump was crazy, Clinton was meh but sane?

Husband: Yep.

10:45: Begin texting with family/friends. Consensus: no real winner, but Trump definitely lost.

10:48: Watch blessed PBS moderators talk with one another like adults. So mature. So elegant. (No Trump words, Jess!) So… refined. Ponder: how does one become a PBS commentator? Is this my future career/destiny? Gwen Ifill and David Brooks – seriously, call me.

If you like this article, please share it! Your clicks keep us alive!