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It’s that time of the year again, our neighbour, the United States of America are going through the presidential election period. The two final contenders out of over 318 million Americans turn out to be none other than Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton (Editor’s Note: Jill Stein, and Gary John are two third party candidates who are also in the presidential bid). With campaigning in full progress, the first presidential debate that took place a week ago, has brought with it a lot of cynicism and humour, mainly based on the performance of Donald Trump. By now, I’m assuming the entire world has watched or heard about the first live debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Summing it up, I’m pretty sure everyone would agree that the debate was a piece of work. But then again, politics has always been one of those struggles between good and evil. The purpose of politics is to benefit the people but the leaders often tend to get consumed with power, making promises they don’t intend on keeping.
I think the debate lived up to its hype. Trump presented himself as the candidate of change whereas Clinton presented herself as a symbol of stability. The problem with Trump’s vision of change is that its mildly appealing, but the means to justify the change doesn’t necessarily sit still with people who hold such things as morals, values and standards. The ethics of his platform could be greatly questionable. For example, he seemed to show no concern for working people at all in the past but is now presenting himself as the champion of the working people.
Mrs. Clinton on the other hand certainly lived up to her potential, combatting Trump’s insolent statements with intelligent and thought provoking comments. She maintained her posture on stability and steady progress by standing behind President Barack Obama’s agenda. The only “ugly” in the debate is Trump himself, who perfectly depicts himself as the bellicose contender. For example, Trump belligerently states that “[he doesn’t] believe she [Clinton] has the stamina. To be president of this country, [one] needs tremendous stamina.” Clinton rebutted this argument by bringing up her résumé qualifications. She comments, “As soon as he travels to a 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a cease fire, a release of dissidence, an opening of new opportunities in nations around the world or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of the congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina”. Her stance was quite firm. She certainly wasn’t the one backing down from a fight.
Talking points brought during the debate included taxes, business tactics, and economic challenges. In terms of the tax debate, Clinton suggested increasng taxes on the rich and on corporations while Trump called for cutting down on taxes and getting companies to hire workers while cutting down on outsourcing jobs offshore. The two contrasting viewpoints were met with valid arguments on each side. On business tactics, Trump stood for assertive business tactics portraying himself to be the wealthy business man he is. Clinton rebutted this argument shedding light on his failures as an employer in fulfilling his employees’ obligations. When asked about Trump’s failure to pay federal taxes, he merely pushed it aside claiming it makes him smart to not do so, inferring that he was smart to not pay the taxes so his revenues continue to grow. I dont think he understood that he just admitted to doing something illegal. His inner bully particularly, got some good amount of screen time in these rebuttals.
In focusing on the economic challenges argument, Trump attacked the many trade deals that he claimed had hurt the US, particular the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and how it benefited only Mexico. He was particularly critical of the then president, Bill Clinton. A lot of his arguments tended to be unsubstantiated, on the basis that it was based on criticism and fault. Clinton on the other hand maintained her position on her campaign, on how she was trying to motivate minority and female voters. She also accused Trump of his policies that reflected racial bias. All in all, it was a fair debate and a clear winner, emerged Mrs. Hillary Clinton. Obviously, Clinton emerged the victor for her arguments were solid, well rounded and intellectual. Trump on the other hand further showed us his true colours through bellicose comments full of spite and hate. The only good thing was that he didn’t threaten to build a wall around him so that Clinton wouldn’t hurt his feelings too much.