Contrasting and emotional are the best west words I can use to sum up the first 2016 presidential debate. With 84 million people watching the event, according to the New York Times, and tensions between the candidates building for months the stage was set for a heated showcase of personality and policy.
Both candidates exuded confidence: Hillary Clinton with a collected and professional feel and Donald Trump beginning with a calmer approach but later making his way back to the unscripted raw approach that we have all come to expect. Some looked at this as sign that Clinton was more prepared than Trump and seemed more presidential. I viewed it as the exact opposite. While Clinton had a few more notes and a more even keel demeanor; Trump showed passion that few candidates in recent years have been able to express. Trumps approach also made it easier to connect with him due to the fact that his answers seemed less of a scripted response and more of a genuine reaction.
Trump outlined an economic plan where the rich would be taxed less and the rest of America would benefit from corporations expanding their industries inside the U.S. rather than turning to other nations for cheaper production. Clinton on the other hand said she wanted to raise taxes on the rich and invest in the middle class, although she was vague on how she planned to do this. When we break down the main point of both courses of action, Trumps plan will ultimately create a more self sufficient economy while Clinton’s plan calls for more government control. Which is better? You decide.
During the economic segment both candidates were asked about racial tensions. Clinton gave a more concise answer but once again was vague on what her course of action was to achieve her goals. Trump tended to seem scatter brained during this section, but did end up advocating a stronger police force that uses stop and frisk tactics.
Donald Trump was asked about why he didn’t believe President Barack Obama was born in the U.S. for years even though he had seen the President’s Birth Certificate. Trump avoided the question and Clinton claimed it was due to racism. In my opinion the question showed bias on the part of moderator Lester Holt who did not have an equally inflammatory question to ask Clinton despite the many controversies that she has been involved in, in recent years. The question also had nothing to do with either candidate running the country. This seemed to be a theme throughout the night.
Both Candidates were able to agree that the U.S. needs to have a stronger cyber security system, however they did not agree on how to deal with Isis. Clinton outlined a vague plan to take down the terrorist group and Trump responded by accusing Clinton of having a part in the group’s rise to power. He claimed that she and President Obama created an environment for the radicals to thrive in when they removed all the troops from Iraq. Trump also claimed that he had superior judgement and a better temperament than Clinton. I personally agree with Donald Trump on this issue, but believe Donald Trump may have come off as hypocritical when he criticized Clinton on her temper.
Trump went on to criticize other nations involved in NATO for not paying their fair share in the alliances costs. Clinton defended the alliance by citing that they came to our aid after the 2001, September 11th terrorist attacks. Both candidates did end up supporting NATO, although to different degrees.
Clinton seemed angry and attacked Trump about his stance and perceived unreliability on nuclear weapons and Trump defended himself by saying that the U. S. must have an arsenal so we can protect ourselves from other radical nations and stop defending other nations and policing the world. Clinton came back with a promise that the U.S. would uphold the mutual defense treaties that Trump had just pointed out were getting the U.S. taken advantage of.
Overall I feel as if Donald Trump had more passionate and practical answers on almost every question. He came out as a victor, even though the clearly biased moderator Lester Holt attempted to set him up to fail, and he showed everybody that a more impromptu style of politics can be refreshing to see on the debate stage.
I realize my opinion does not reflect that of the community as a whole so I went out and interviewed some of the students of Collinsville High School about their views on the two candidates. Student Nick Sunday supports Donald trump and appreciates the fact that “he says what is on his mind” and “…is not a politician”. Marcus Reeder appreciates that Trump “doesn’t take no for an answer” and agrees with the point that Donald Trump continually brought up in the debate, that Hillary Clinton has not accomplished many of her goals despite being in office for many years. Darren Moss feels personally drawn to Trump because he is supported by the Republican Party, he also likes his stance on bringing jobs back to the United States. Avid Trump supporter Patrick Prodger believes Trump is qualified to be president due to his long lasting success in the business world and that he was able to grow that business from 1 million dollars to a company with a worth exceeding a billion. An anonymous student believes Hillary Clinton should not be in office because she is a liar and she believes that Hilary’s promotion of herself and her book during the debate reflected poorly on Clinton.
Wow that’s a lot of Trump supporters, but unsurprisingly not all students supported the businessman. Joshua Buckingham felt Hillary Clinton would do a better job of leading the country towards peace and Averi Kalbe believes Clinton’s government experience would benefit the nation and Trumps over the top personality would get the nation in hot water with other world powers. Jordan Beaks feels that Hillary will insure women’s rights and equality better than Donald Trump will and says her experience in government is important.
Many people have strong opinions favoring one candidate or the other but there are a few people that I ran into that don’t believe either are qualified to be in the oval office. Lexi Draper and Ramsey Kiem both shared this opinion. Ramsey Keim Believes both candidates are terrible stating that “Donald Trump didn’t even pay his taxes”. Lexi Draper thought Hillary Clinton’s past scandals and Donald Trump’s “off the wall” personality made them both bad choices to run the Country. In the debate she thought Hillary Clinton was “extremely disrespectful” when she referred to Donald Trump on a first name basis, She also believed Lester Holt was one sided in his moderation and she also thought trump wasted the debate attacking his opponent rather than informing the U.S. about his policy.
I put up a poll the day after the debate asking people to choose a candidate,and the results surprised me. Out of 27 voters 22 voted for Hillary Clinton and 5 for Donald Trump. Through all of the interviews, polls, and even from watching the debate I’ve learned one thing. There is no way to know who is going to win this election until it’s all over.