The First Debate: A Public Display of HS Drama

by Jack Long

At the first presidential debate on Monday, September 26, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump took the stage at Hofstra University calm and confident. The first words said by Clinton were, “How are you, Donald?”

The first question segment proposed by Lester Holt, the NBC anchor hosting the debate at Hofstra University, was Achieving Prosperity.

Both candidates calmly and decisively opened up the debate with seemingly well-prepared statements on the topic. Both seemed to have rehearsed their rhetoric and slight stabs at each other. During the first ten minutes, the facial expressions of both candidates changed from smug to generally ticked off.

You couldn’t help but think of a new high school couple about to break up, with both parties bringing up flaws of each other that have been bothering them for the past two weeks. After being interrupted by Trump about tax reforms and job growth, Clinton stabbed with, “Well, Donald, I know you live in your own reality.” She also said, “I feel like I’m going to be blamed for everything tonight,” in which Trump jabbed back with, “Why not?”

At one point Clinton just shook her head while looking down and said that you couldn’t trust anything that came out of Trump’s mouth. However, if you want to make sure what Hillary Clinton is saying is true, you can go to her website HillaryClinton.com and on the front web page you can see her own personal fact-checker (which she continuously cited, so that viewers of the debate could read the truth). If I were you I would just stick with PolitiFact.

The second segment of this debate focused on the question, “How do you heal the racial divide in the United States?

Clinton focused on the communities and education. Whereas Trump focused primarily on Law and Order, and how a good relationship with police has proven to lower crime rates.

As the night went on they got less comfortable and made more targeted stabs at each other. During the whole debate, it seemed that they focused on each other’s past and rarely focused on the policies they are proposing now.

The next segment, Securing America.

When Hillary Clinton was chosen first to talk about cyber attacks, Trump’s face slightly lifted. Clinton said she was, “Deeply concerned [about cyber attacks],” and that Trump wasn’t concerned with hacks from Russia, because he, “Loves President Putin.” Trump quickly leaned into the microphone and whispered, “Wrong.”

Both candidates agreed that cyber attacks were going to be the 21st-century warfare and that cyber security needed to be increased and well controlled.

They then moved onto the Islamic State and the new style of terrorist attacks rising in the U.S. Trump quickly rallied up his accusations of Clinton and Obama forming ISIS. Clinton swiftly came in saying that Trump had supported the invasion of Iraq and that he had professional business with Gaddafi. Trump quickly repeated his favorite word of the night, “Wrong.”

When confronted with, “How would you prevent homegrown attacks by U.S. Citizens?” both candidates moved back to international terrorism, and almost focused no attention on the recent terrorist acts on U.S. soil. Trump spun this issue into saying that the “dishonest media,” (paid off by Hillary, of course) portrayed him completely wrong, and he actually was against the Iraq war.

After Trump’s five minute rant, a sigh of relief escaped the highly-respectable Clinton, getting a smile and laugh from herself, and some in the crowd.

The final question offered by Lester Holt was, “[If you do not win the election] will you accept the outcome as will of the voters?” Hillary said yes, she believed in the democratic process and would support Trump. Donald Trump was a little apprehensive but said that he would support Clinton if she won the presidency.

After a long night of short jabs and quick wits from both candidates, and both probably being extremely tired from the high-school-like drama, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump walked off the stage with their heads held high and their egos inflated a little bit more.

Lester Holt believed we were going to get a fiery debate tonight, and he was certainly right.

The next presidential debates will be on 9 October 2016, at Washington University, and on 19 October 2016, at the University of Nevada. To learn more about live streaming the debates, you can visit the following website: Associated Press Live Stream

You can also view a fact check from the debate, completed by NPR.

 

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