The “Student Blog Post” series invites students from my PLS 321: Electoral Process course to author their own blogs about recent election events.
The 2016 General Election is right around the corner! We do not have much time to decide who to vote, do we? You have Hillary Clinton on one side, representing the Democratic Party, while Donald Trump of the Republican Party on the other side. Lester Holt, the moderator, divided the debate into three main segments including achieving prosperity, America’s direction, and securing America.
The candidates began by addressing economic growth in terms of reaching the well-being of the citizens. Clinton argued that companies should profit share by having the wealthy pay their fair share and end corporate loopholes. The middle-class already pays more than their fair share, so the average American is living paycheck-by-paycheck. However, Trump acknowledged the fact that many companies are leaving America to do business elsewhere. To prevent this, Trump proposed to reduce taxes from 35 percent to 15 percent for businesses. Both candidates seem to have different means of advancing the economy. Looking at Trump’s tax plan, experts have stated that the plan would increase the debt by over five trillion dollars. This has the potential to throw us in another recession. The discussion then turned to the release of tax returns. While Trump is under a routine audit, Trump still maintains a position that he does not want to release his tax returns. At this point, we actually do not know much about his business and personal wealth. It seems that Trump is becoming more hesitant with his actions as a politician that elections are coming up soon. Many citizens are curious about his tax returns to say the least. Is this what America wants, a president that cannot properly finish things? I think not. While the topic of achieving prosperity is important, we should look how each candidate responds to the direction of America.
It seems that race still remains a challenge in America. Clinton recalled examples of Tulsa and Charlotte, assuring every citizen to be respected by the law, while respecting it at the same time. On the other hand, Trump spoke about minority groups such as African Americans and Hispanics, connecting their living conditions to the issues of gun control and crime. He argued we should take away guns from people that misuse them. In “Donald Trump’s 2016 Presidential Run, Explained,” Libby Nelson and Tez Clark stated that Trump has a long history of racism against African Americans and Mexicans. Especially on the issue of immigration, Trump has connected drugs and crime to Mexican immigration. There is a form of hypocrisy manifesting in Trump’s political base that respects minority groups but while still harboring negative opinions. This shows that he is not a supporter of immigration at all. Opposite to Trump’s view, Clinton wants to advocate in re-training police officers because mental health is a concern. This would reduce bigotry by a significant amount. Besides what is happening in America, we should solely focus on what is happening outside out of our country.
Finally, the last segment focused on what means to securing America. Institutions have been cyber attacked and information is being stolen. Clinton stated there are independent hacking groups that are stealing information for money purposes. Furthermore, she proposes a plan to stop ISIS by utilizing more airstrikes and supporting Arab and Kurdish partners. Nonetheless, Trump disregarded her statements, arguing that the military should have seized oil in order to prevent ISIS. The point that Trump is bringing up makes him impatient and unprepared. Holt also reminded Trump that he supported the war in Iraq before the invasion. While Clinton wants to create peace outside the borders, Trump wants to instill fear into other countries. However, Trump is continuing on recklessly with no direction to maintain common relations with other nations.
To conclude, this debate really exemplifies their political views in an open atmosphere. Both candidates seem to be straight to the point of what the voters are looking for in their views. However, there are two more presidential debates coming up. This is not the end, yet.
Alexander Pineda is a political science major who transferred from Mount San Antonio College to continue his studies in Cal Poly Pomona. He enjoys watching anime and volunteering in his free time.