Trump Vs. Clinton: Really, America?

The stark difference between our candidates is a sober reminder of how our democracy should never be taken for granted. Go vote.

Hofstra University in Long Island, New York hosted Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as they faced off for the first time with Lester Holt moderating. Meanwhile, on the other side of the country here at California Lutheran University, students gathered for a debate viewing party.

I don’t think there were any surprises to this first presidential debate. Clinton was a political animal and Trump was not coming across as a politician but then again, no surprise there.

Clinton opened with a statement about her granddaughter’s birthday and then went into an overview of her platform. Trump opened with a statement reminiscent of his nomination acceptance speech, except with the absence of the phrase “Make America great again.”

It didn’t take him long to mention Mexico and point out the problems in our country, but failed to offer any solutions except himself. Some people saw this as a strong opening.

“Trump arguably had his best moments in the opening section of the debate, which tends to be its most-watched portion,” according to Fortune.

The first section of the debate revolved around creating jobs. When asked about their plans, Clinton has been firm and repetitive of her plans as president: including equal pay, paid family leave, increasing taxes on the rich, etc. Trump piggybacked on a few of Clinton’s points and spoke very vaguely about what he will do as president.

I was able to understand that Trump will reduce taxes. But I’m not entirely sure he even knows. Clinton responded to Trump’s tax plans with one of the quotes of the night by calling his plan, “Trumped up, trickledown economics”. Clinton emphasized how this would shrink the middle class while her plan would grow the middle class.

While discussing the middle class they got into the housing crisis of 2008 where Clinton mentioned how Trump egged on the housing crisis so that he could buy cheap houses and then sell them for a high price, to which Trump replied “that’s called good business.”

The debate then moved on to renewable energy and climate change. Clinton discussed the facts and statistics on creating jobs through renewable energy.

Trump was more focused on undercutting Clinton and bringing up the fact that Clinton has been working for 30 years and hasn’t accomplished these things. This mirrored the whole debate as Clinton made a point with supportive facts and Trump responded with a dig instead of an answer.

The next section of the debate focused on current social justice issues in America, mainly the African American community and the police. Clinton insisted that minorities were treated differently by the police and that needed to be changed. Trump insisted that law and order was the solution as well as employing “stop and frisks” nationally. Holt pointed out that “stop and frisk” was deemed unconstitutional after its use in New York because it unfairly targeted minorities, but Trump denied it was unconstitutional and explained that it brought crime down.

Holt also asked Trump about his campaign to get President Obama’s birth certificate released to the public because this will impact his relations with the African American community. Trump answered the question by basically saying that he set out what he achieved to do.

The final section of the debate discussed Clinton’s emails and Trump’s tax returns. Clinton once again apologized and called her emails a mistake.

When confronted with his tax returns, Trump said once again they’d be released when the audit was done. Holt mentioned that the IRS has said they can be released before the end of the audit but Trump responded with “when she releases her emails I’ll release my tax returns.” Clinton called this Trump’s bait and switch tactic.

The New York Times wrote, “Hillary Clinton dominated a final series of debate exchanges with Donald J. Trump about national security and gender, telling voters they could not trust her opponent with nuclear weapons and warning that he does not respect women.”

Overall this debate was memorable, quotable and meme worthy. Both Clinton and Trump had their ups and downs, for Trump mostly downs, but the debate was able to answer some questions for voters.

Residence Life Coordinator Andy Hanson who hosted the debate viewing program said the debate was informative but “couldn’t say who won or lost and that the outcome of the debate was not the focus of the program”.

College student voting turnout rates will be essential to this election. The last day to register to vote in California is Oct. 24 so if you haven’t done so, get registered and get informed.

Haley Townes
Staff Writer