The presidential debate on Sept. 26 between the infamous Donald J. Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton was one of the most anticipated and the most viewed in presidential history, with a record 100 million people tuning in to watch. The pressure remained high throughout the night as both candidates attempted to share their ideals and gain votes, as the two have had a relatively equal amount of supporters, even now, so close to November.
Kicking off the night, the candidates were questioned about their plans for job creation, bringing discussion from both Clinton and Trump about how they planned to make American companies move production back to the U.S. Ironically enough, a good portion of Trump’s businesses produce goods internationally in order to exploit workers for low wage work. This fact, in itself, would make Trump into the ultimate hypocrite. The debate became negative quickly as Trump began to criticize the NAFTA trade deal (the North American Free Trade Agreement), which was put into effect by Clinton’s husband, Former President Bill Clinton, in 1993. The deal is a “comprehensive agreement that sets the rules for international trade and investment between Canada, the United States, and Mexico.” When Trump had reached the point where he could no longer withhold his insults, he criticized Clinton for her revealing what he thought was too much information about her plan to take down middle-eastern based terrorist group, ISIS, causing the conversation to go wildly off topic.. Clinton replied by saying “At least I have I plan.” The conversation was then turned towards Trump’s unwillingness to release his tax returns — he is the first candidate since 1976 to refuse the release, leaving the American population to wonder what dishonesty and corruption lies in these documents. According to USA Today, Hundreds of Americans who worked for Trump in the past have come forward throughout the decades to reveal that Trump conned them out of their work without pay. In a last and desperate attempt to redeem himself, Trump stated that when Clinton released her emails, “[he] will release [his] tax returns.”
Points: Trump: 0 Clinton: 1
The second topic of the night was “America’s Direction,” and how each candidate plans to heal the racial divide. Clinton expressed that “race still determines how people are treated in the US criminal justice system” and that the nation must work on improving relations between the black community and police officers as well as erase the stigmas that come with both. With the number of unarmed black Americans who have been killed recently by allegedly corrupt officers, racial tension has run high. “Trump used his opening segment on the same issue to stress the importance of ‘law and order’, and praised the stop-and-frisk policy, which was struck down by a New York judge and widely deemed a form of racial profiling” according to Al Jazeera News, inferring that the racial tension is created due to law enforcement’s inability to control black citizens effectively. Clinton concluded that Trump could not effectively bring an end to racial tension with such a “long history of engaging in racist behavior” himself. Trump’s family company was sued by the justice department for racial discrimination in 1973 for not renting apartments in one of its developments to African Americans. Trump retorted, but instead of denying the accusations of racism that have been placed upon him for months by potential voters, Trump said that the lawsuits had been settled “[without] admission of guilt.” When asked by the moderator of the debate, Lester Holt, whether or not he deemed it racist that he had persecuted Barack Obama into releasing his birth certificate, Trump scurried his way around the question and instead praised himself for being able to retrieve the birth certificate, which was unnecessarily obtained.
Points: Trump: 0 Clinton: 2
The third topic, “Securing America,” focused upon the terrorist organization, ISIS, and how each candidate plans to protect the country. Rather than provide his supposed plan, Trump fired at Clinton: “…we should have taken the oil.” Trump went on to say that as Secretary of State, Clinton should have advocated for the removal of oil from the Middle East, because ISIS has used this oil as a major source of income, and has now invaded both Syria and Iraq.
Trump, known for complementing dictators such as Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin, and insulting journalists, politicians, women in general, Muslims, black Americans, etc, stated that he has “a winning temperament,” leading into a portion in which Clinton discussed the United States-Iran nuclear deal, but later said that Trump was too easily provoked to serve as president.
Points: Trump: 0 Clinton: 3
Although the majority of potential voters had a very negative response towards Trump’s obvious lack of information and preparation, Trump said that “it really felt great”. Political analyst Jason Johnson said, “Trump came out aggressively…but never offered much in terms of substance or answers” and later said “I think Hillary did what she needed to do better than Trump. She offered solutions…explained how she sees America and her worldview. Her supporters will come out very enthusiastic.”
Two more debates will be held on Oct. 9 and Oct. 19. on NBC. Live feed of the event can also be found for free on YouTube.
Jolie Suarez, Staff Writer
Sophomore Jolie Suarez is a staff writer for the 2016-2017 Colonel. She spends her time outside of class playing soccer and swimming. She also enjoys reading, writing, and singing.