News writer Meriana Johnson watched the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in its entirety to save you the pain.
First things first, last week’s debate saw Trump step up his professional game, trading in the nickname “Crooked Hillary” for a more respectable “Secretary Clinton.” Over in the blue corner Clinton preferred to use Trump’s first name throughout.
The first matter of debate was economic policy: Clinton spoke to the middle class by focusing her policy on college debt management whilst Trump preferred to tax the rich less—in line with what Clinton called “Trumped-up trickle-down.” Trump honed in on America’s trade deficit and grilled Clinton on her stance on the TPPA—Clinton asserted she did not support the deal in its current state.
The highly contentious issue of race saw both parties agree that relationships between African American communities and the police force needed to be strengthened. Trump wanted a return to “law and order,” which was not expounded upon further. Both parties offered little policy on the matter: Trump wanted to enforce the “stop and frisk” tactic, while Clinton reinforced the need for a gun database to prevent those on the terrorist watchlist from obtaining guns.
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It wasn’t long before personal attacks started to rain thick and fast. The debate moderator, Lester Holt, asked why Trump had not released his tax records. Clinton took this as an opportunity to vilify Trump, to which he responded he would release his records if she uncovered her 33,000 deleted emails—to applause from the crowd. On the issue of race, Trump brought up Clinton calling young African American youth “super-predators” and Clinton retorted by highlighting a previous lawsuit against Trump’s company due to an accused refusal by the company to rent apartments to African American people.
Another major topic of debate was security and in particular cyberwarfare. Hillary criticised Trump for being “praise-worthy” of Putin when Russia was suspected to have conducted the DNC database hack. The Syrian crisis arose in debate, to which Hillary spoke of intensifying airstrikes against ISIS. Trump was highly critical of how working with the Middle East had “created a mess,” proceeding to spend too much of his allocated time defending himself against claims he was originally in support of the Iraq war. Trump said the US could not be the “policemen of the world” and criticised interventionist foreign policy for losing the US billions of dollars.
The debate ended with petty politics and back-and-forth teasing. Overall, a little childish and not enough policy.
The next debate will be held October 9 at Washington University.