Candidates Clash in First of Three Historical Debates

Clinton vs. Trump


Marissa Laramie, Current Events and Sports Editor

On Monday September 26, 2016 an average of 81 million people tuned in to watch democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and republican nominee Donald Trump in the first of three debates. This historical event gave us a chance to analyze the candidate’s stances on pressing issues, unfiltered, side-by-side. Moderator Lester Holt introduced the three primary topics that would be focused on in this debate, achieving prosperity, America’s direction, and securing America. In the aftermath of the recession that hit in the mid-2000’s, the future of the economy is a major topic of concern for many Americans, primarily the middle class. Clinton opened by stating that we need to decide “what kind of country we want to be and what future we will build together.”

Trump discussed his disdain for outsourced jobs and kept a strong emphasis on his desire to keep jobs in America. However, when questioned on how he would stop companies from outsourcing, he glazed over it, and went a tad off topic, to which, Holt questioned him again only to receive a similar answer. In Trump’s tax plans his primary goal is to create tax cuts for the wealthy. His defense for that is that he believes they will “expand their companies” as a result. Clinton responded by explaining what she calls the “Trump loophole”, in which that plan would directly be beneficial to Trump himself. She instead calls for tax cuts for the middle class stating that it will support “broad based, inclusive growth.”

While the next segment was supposed to focus on race, it quickly shifted to laws and guns. Clinton believes that restoring trust between communities and the police, major criminal justice reform, and stricter gun laws is essential. She moved to point out that overcrowded prisons used for profit are an issue and that more second-chance programs should be established. Trump calls for more police action in inner cities and for more stop and frisk as he believes it has lowered the crime rate, especially from gangs. Holt pointed out stop and frisk was ruled unconstitutional as it promoted racial profiling but Trump simply said Holt was wrong. Clinton pointed out that crime rates have still been dropping but Trump said he “doesn’t believe” Clinton is being truthful on her stance. One point the two agreed on was that, if you are on a “no fly” terrorist watch list, you should not be able to buy a gun. Trump added that if someone felt as if they were wrongly put onto said list, they would work to take them off.

Next, Holt questioned Trump on why he has just come around to accepting that President Barack Obama was in fact born in the United States but, once again, he gave a thinly veiled, off topic answer, had to be asked a second time, and repeated what he had just said. He repeatedly stated that he made Obama release his birth certificate. When it was Clinton’s turn to speak, she joked to the audience to “just listen to what you heard.” She said that Trump’s argument against Obama’s place of birth was “based on this racist lie” and that he only kept going along with it to appeal to certain groups of voters.

To begin speaking about securing America, Clinton stated that cybersecurity and cyber warfare will be “one of the greatest challenges” for the next president. Independent hacking groups and attacks from states are on the increase, especially, according to her, from Russia. This is whom Clinton blamed the DNC hack on but Trump stated that we aren’t completely sure about that. However, both agree that we need to step out our efforts regarding cybersecurity. In regards to the battle to stop ISIL, Trump says that it is Obama and Clinton’s fault for its formation as they “never should have been in Iraq”, should’ve left some troops behind, and taken the oil. In response, Clinton said she hoped the “fact checkers are turning up the volume and working hard.” She states that Trump advocated for the invasion of Iraq and actions in Libya.

So why should this matter to us? Why should we go out and vote, even when we dislike the candidates? The reason is simple; we will inherit their world and this debate, as well as the future ones, give us a glimpse into what that world may look like in at the end of their presidency. Politics are not pretty but it is still a part of our life that dictates nearly everything we do and see, most of which is out of our control. Maybe it does come down to choosing the lesser of two evils, but the fact of the matter at the moment is one of those evils will become president. Your vote will help decide which of them will and which of those worlds we will be living in, in the not so distant future.