As the first presidential debate came to a close last night, I'm sure thousands of Americans were slightly speechless. We got much of the usual from both candidates, as Hillary Clinton tried to convince everyone she's actually middle class while repeating sexist and racist quotes by Donald Trump, and Trump vehemently blamed Clinton for the creation of ISIS, China for taking jobs, and Mexico for everything else. There were three sections of the debate, and each one carried specific questions for the candidates, although neither of them listened to the moderator anyway. Fasten your seatbelts, everyone, because we're about to have a recap of the first presidential debate.
Achieving Prosperity: Why are you a better choice to create jobs?
Hillary Clinton stressed the importance of the middle class, emphasizing small businesses and the need for a more fair economy. She stated America needed to increase the minimum wage, require paid family leave, support affordable childcare, and finally solidify equal pay for women. She also drew attention to the need for debt-free college, but unfortunately did not specify how that could ever be possible in a capitalist country.
Donald Trump immediately stressed the issue of American jobs being lost to companies moving overseas, citing both China and Mexico specifically. He proposed a reduction in taxes on all businesses, big and small, to 15% so companies could then afford to expand, creating jobs for Americans. He then spoke very strongly about the need to renegotiate trade deals, because we had drawn the short straw with many of our trading partners.
Clinton and Trump proceeded to insult each other while smiling and squinting, respectively, as the moderator repeated my favorite quote from the night: "You-uh-your...your two minutes hav-... your two minutes have expired." Clinton insisted that trickle down economics was what got us into the Great Recession 8 years ago, dubbing Donald's new plan "Trumped-up trickle down" economics. Trump emphasized that he had only received a small loan from his father, and blamed Hillary for making bad trade deals. The two argued about each other's tax plans, then the national debt, after which Clinton brought up Former President Bill Clinton's success with the economy in the 1990s. It was clear that she, like everyone else, still thinks the '90s were only ten years ago.
The moderator then asked Trump why he had not yet released his tax returns, despite the IRS stating that it was completely fine for him to do so during an audit. Donald's fluffy hair quivered as he insisted his lawyers had advised him not to release said tax returns, although he said he would be happy to release them as soon as Hillary Clinton released her 30,000 emails. (At this point, the crowd cheered and were immediately admonished by the moderator.) Clinton admitted she had made a mistake in having a private email, and stated she took responsibility for that mistake as Trump attempted to talk over her and the moderator attempted to talk over him. After a brief argument about Donald Trump's company, the moderator somehow managed to introduce the next topic.
America's Direction: How do you heal the racial divide?
Secretary Clinton spoke about the systematic racism in America, affecting where people lived, what kind of education they received, and how they were treated in the criminal justice system. She said it was essential that we restore trust between communities and police, emphasizing that officers need to receive the best training possible and only use force when necessary. She stated that everyone should respect the law and be respected by the law, and called for criminal justice reform. Clinton finished by insisting that we tackle the "plague" of gun violence in the United States.
Trump's main point was the need for law and order in this country. He repeated Chicago's crime statistics several times, and stated that many gang members were illegal aliens. In the middle of this section, Trump argued with both Hillary and the moderator that stop-and-frisk was not unconstitutional, despite contrary evidence, and he uttered the immortal statement "bad people shouldn't have guns." This is clearly a line originally stated by a contestant in one of Trump's pageants, and I'm guessing the next thing she said was, "children are our future."
The candidates argued about the fairness of the criminal justice system, and later did agree on one thing: if a person is on a terrorist watch list, he/she should not be allowed to purchase a gun. Does that mean it's legal for those people to buy guns now? I'm sorry but that is just terrifyingly ridiculous.
The moderator asked Donald Trump why it took him so long to accept President Obama's birth certificate. Trump never actually answered this question, but loudly claimed that he was the one who procured the birth certificate form Kenya. (Okay, buddy, whatever you say.) After this, he randomly began talking about Palm Beach, Florida, and ended his statement with,"and that's the way I feel."
The last two questions were, "How do we handle cyber attacks?" and "Do you support the current nuclear policy?" Neither candidate really gave a straightforward answer to either question, and mostly argued about who was at fault for "creating" ISIS.
If you were on the verge of tears as much as I was after watching the first Presidential Debate, please consider supporting Libertarian Gary Johnson. Now, I'd like to close with a list of my favorite quotes from the debate.
"I have a much better temperament than she does. My strongest asset is my temperament." - Donald Trump
"He says it's a secret plan, but the only secret is that he has no plan." - Hillary Clinton
"We didn't cover it all, as I expected we wouldn't." - the moderator