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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Mt Holyoke chapter.

(Photo Credit: www.usatoday.com)


Monday was the Fall 2016 presidential debate. In Mead Hall (where I reside), many of the residents crowded into the common room to watch the debate in anticipation. Although I didn’t watch the debate right away, I had noticed, from overhearing conversations, that many students seemed to be proud of Hillary; and previously, before hearing these conversations, I’d sent out a Facebook post, asking for opinions on the debate and the circumstances under which students watched the debate. Here are the two responses I received:

“I watched in Blanchard and though I wasn’t excited initially for the crowd, I actually ended up loving it, how everyone clapped for excitement for Hillary. I personally feel that Hillary found the right balance of treating Trump with the contempt (that he deserves) but not arrogance. She was calm and collected and he deteriorated very quickly,” posted Ariane Gottlieb

Emilia Nobrega had similar thoughts: “I watched in [the] MacG TV room…. We started out with a group of five people watching and by the end of the debate we had at least 20 people watching with us. I thought Trump started out okay, but quickly deteriorated. Hillary, on the other hand, was awesome. She kept her composure the whole time and absolutely slayed.”

But in dealing with politicians, I am still weary of both sides. As Samantha Chyatte puts it: “Trump contradicts himself within a sentence, but Hillary also does it, but she’s more roundabout in doing so. Honestly, [I’d vote] Lester Holt, 2016. There was just a lot of juvenile behavior from both of the candidates.”

It was barely 17 minutes into the debate when Trump started raising his voice and interrupting Clinton. I have to say – poor Lester Holt couldn’t get a word in without being interrupted; both candidates barely showed respect to the moderator in this respect.

I sat watching the debate, waiting for Trump to lose his composure. In all honesty, it is weird seeing Trump composed; it is like watching a ticking time bomb and it is a façade you know he won’t keep up for long. And he didn’t.

Besides losing his composure, Trump loses some other things – his ability to actually answer questions and not to contradict himself. Trump could somehow claim he is for the African-American community, but still maintain the belief that stop-and-frisk is a much needed program that yields results.

And let’s not forget the blaming of gun violence on immigrants.

“Blaming foreigners for America’s plights [;] mentions Mexico like five or six times in the first 10 minutes and China many other times. He said crimes were bred in the African-American community, but doesn’t see how the system is broken; doesn’t see police corruption as a problem, really,” said Kay Klo.

There are those countries Trump can’t refrain from mentioning: Mexico and China. It could just be that I am not understanding something, but Trump blames China for our products being made in their country, as if China forces business owners – like Trump – to conduct business with them. And along the lines of contradiction, once again, Trump denies saying something he did – that China has supposedly created global warming.

                                                                                            (Photo credit: The Washington Post)

Along these lines, Hillary seems promising. Indeed, she was controlled and composed, not insulting. But my question is did the questions asked really address the issues of our nation?

Student Katie Huddleston was disappointed in the questions asked; that they “gave into the amateur/overly-produced topics of Obama’s birth certificate and tax returns and Hillary’s emails…. The whole thing just felt temperamental and all they discussed were…overly dramatized [topics].”

And how exactly do you trust someone who rejoiced in the housing crisis, because he could make a profit, to care about our nation enough to create and keep jobs within the country and to truly care about the economic plight of the American people?

Though it seems as if I’m on a rant about Trump solely, in light of him, I hardly feel the need criticize Hillary, who presented favorable solutions – politely.

Yet, there was one thing that troubled me as I watched her. Whereas Trump ignored questions altogether, going on his own rant, Clinton would say favorable things without substance. I would also hope to build trust between the African-American community and the police, as Hillary would, but how exactly would that happen? The ideas presented may seem promising. The problem is that you can “train” someone not to be “trigger-happy” all the days of their lives, but it doesn’t guarantee that their internal prejudices will be cured – which is what I believe we are really fighting against.

For your convenience, check out the full video of the presidential debate and the transcript of it. Feel free to comment and share what you thought about the debate with us.


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Hello readers! I'm a freshman at Mount Holyoke College. I love writing and bringing you news. Enjoy and thank you for reading my articles!
Mount Holyoke College is a gender-inclusive, historically women's college in South Hadley, MA.