On Sept. 26, Republican nominee Donald J. Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton came together at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., for the first presidential debate of the season.
With only 42 more days before the election at the time of the debate, the tension between the two candidates was extremely thick – especially considering the broad spectrum of issues currently sweeping the nation.
That being said, the first presidential debate was entertaining, exciting, and, above all, informational for the American citizens. In fact, some 100 million people were expected to watch the madness of this debate unfold: the largest audience since the famous “Kennedy-Nixon” debate.
After the introduction, moderator Lester Holt fired off the first question of the evening, which fell under the category of “achieving prosperity.”
Holt first looked to Clinton to answer the question: “Why are you a better choice than your opponent to create the kinds of jobs that will put more money into the pocket’s of American workers?”
In the two minutes she was given, Clinton managed to elaborate on her plan to create “new jobs… good jobs… with rising incomes […] jobs and infrastructure in advanced manufacturing, innovation and technology, clean, renewable energy, and small businesses.”
Trump then immediately addressed the issue of businesses and their attempts to leave our country in order to avoid taxes. He then promised that, under his plan, he would “reduce taxes tremendously from 35 percent to 15 percent for small and big businesses. It is going to be a job creator like we haven’t seen since Ronald Reagan.”
As the debate continued on, the two candidates continuously jabbed and made fun of one another, by fitting an insult into the answer of a question, or just flatly saying something rude out loud.
Despite the continuous arguing and Holt’s inability to get a word in edgewise, the debate continued on and the two nominees peacefully argued their points to the audience.
Holt then asked either candidate to further support their stance on taxes directed at the wealthy. Trump, who supports lowering the taxes, was the first to answer, disagreeing with the way Holt explained Trump’s side, “I am really calling for major jobs.
“The wealthy are going to create tremendous jobs. They’re going to expand their companies, and they’re going to do a tremendous job,” he supported. “I am getting rid of the carried interest provision, and, if you really look, it’s truly not a great thing for the wealthy, it’s a great thing for the middle class.”
Clinton, who believes that the taxes on the wealthy should be raised, supported her point by saying, “I don’t see a change in [Trump’s] corporate tax rates, or the kinds of proposals [Trump is] referring to […] slashing taxes on the wealthy has not worked, and a lot of really smart, wealthy people know that. They are thinking, ‘hey, we need to do more to make the contributions we should be making to rebuild the middle class.’”
As the two debated over this subject, the question of why Trump will not release his tax returns is raised, as it has been in the past. That is when Trump, who claims he will not release his tax returns because he is being audited, promises that, “I will release my tax returns against my lawyer’s wishes when [Clinton] releases her thirty-three thousand that have been deleted,” he said.
That being said created another issue: the issue of Clinton and the emails she had deleted after the unfortunate events in Benghazi. Though she did attempt to avoid the question altogether by turning the argument back onto Trump and taking a couple more jabs at him, Holt came back and asked her to respond, to which she said she “made a mistake.”
After that segment finished, Holt introduced the next one, called “America’s Direction.” This immediately led into race, and the next question, though heavy, was fired at the candidates: “How do you heal the divide?”
Clinton began the discussion, and, after two minutes, determined her main points. “We have to restore trust, we have to work with the police to make sure they respect the communities and the communities respect them, and we have to tackle the plague of gun violence which is a big contributor to what we are seeing today,” she said.
Trump, who was ready to begin the discussion immediately, butted in with, “Secretary Clinton doesn’t want to use a couple of words…and they are ‘law, and order’. Without ‘law and order’, we don’t have a country.”
To which Clinton responded with, “We have to address the systemic racism in our law system. We cannot just say ‘law and order’, we have to come forward with a plan that will divert people from the criminal justice system, deal with mandatory minimum sentences, which have put too many people away for too long for doing too little. We need more second chance programs.”
After the heated argument that was the debate of race and how each candidate chose to discuss his or her points, the group moved onto the last segment, referred to as “Securing America.” The first question was, “Who is behind [cyber hacking] and how do we fight it?”
Clinton blamed “Russia. There is no doubt now that Russia has used cyber-attacks on organizations in our country, and I am deeply concerned about this.”
Trump, however, said, “Under President Obama, we have lost control of things that we used to have control of. We came in with the internet, we came up with the internet, and I think Secretary Clinton and myself would agree very much, when you look at what ISIS is doing with the internet…they’re beating us at our own game.”
As a few viewers have mentioned, the debate did fail to bring up important issues, such as global warming and how each of our nominees will choose to go about the growing issue that is our environment. However, there are still two more debates.
Tune in Oct. 9 for the second presidential debate.