Local News Writer
Some might recall the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as a 90 minute bickering session. However, between a chorus of “Wrong” and confessions that using a private email server was a mistake, the two did attempt to cover both domestic and foreign policy issues.
On September 16th, 2016, 84 million people tuned into the inaugural presidential debate for the 2016 election cycle. Taking place at Hofstra University, the two candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, debated with the intention of swaying undecided voters. Both tackled issues such as the economy, gun control, national security, foreign policy and personal qualities that could potentially hinder their success as president.
Topic: Jobs and Taxes
Both candidates were asked to pitch their proposals regarding job creation and raising the median household income.
Clinton: She wishes to invest in the futures of Americans as well as a wide range of jobs such as manufacturing, technology, renewable energy, and small businesses. She concluded with tax increases she wants to place on the wealthy. Clinton continues to argue that trickle-down economics is unsuccessful, leading to more deficits that hurt the middle class.
Trump: He declared our jobs were being outsourced to other countries like Mexico and China. To attract companies back to the US, he plans to cut taxes by 20%. His plan also included cutting taxes across the board, in hopes that the rich will invest more of their money into companies and jobs, hoping to see them expand.
What McMahon says: Mr. Ayala, a social studies teacher at BMHS presented us the context of Hillary’s comment, “Trumped up, trickled down,”
“Trickle down economics is an economic theory which gained momentum in the 1980’s under president Ronald Reagan. Its formal name is supply-side economics, and it has the idea that if you provide tax cuts to the wealthy, the wealthy will use their money to invest in new businesses, which will create more jobs. The tax money from the new jobs will pay for the taxes that were not collected from the rich.”
Topic: Gun Control
This was the first point where both candidates found some common ground, despite the endorsement Donald Trump received from the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Clinton: She discussed the importance of respecting the no-fly list, which is comprised of potential terrorists, banning them from all commercial flights in the US. She reinforced her argument by saying those who are too dangerous to fly are too dangerous to have a gun.
Trump: He sided with Mrs. Clinton, agreeing with her position and stating we must look strongly to both no-fly and watch lists.
What McMahon Says: Although the two candidates agreed on the idea of keeping guns out of the hands of those on the no-fly list, Danny Robillard (‘18) provided us with some background knowledge on the positions that stand within the Republican and Democratic parties.
“It’s first important to know that not all Democrats and Republicans have one consensus view on gun control. In general, Republicans believe they have the right to buy ammunition without registration, more open land to hunt, no gun lawsuits or licensings and the total unrestricted right to bear arms. Democrats believe the right to own a gun is also subject to reasonable regulation and encourage the ban of assault weapons and suggest the increase of background checks in order for guns to lead to less violence.”
Topic: Cyber Warfare
The moderator asked who was behind cyber attacks in our country and how can we protect our secrets. Clinton started by saying this issue was one of the biggest challenges we face in the 21st century.
Clinton: She mentioned hacker groups, specifically from Russia, proclaiming they should not be allowed to access any of our information. She clarified that the US should not interfere by engaging in any type of warfare.
Clinton’s Plan: She wishes to use diplomacy to resolve conflict, along with several other Western countries and the allied Arab coalition. Another part of the plan includes destroying ISIS’ global network, which is primarily through the internet. The final part of her plan would be to protect US citizens from any attacks. Trump believes this is a very forced plan, and ISIS’ strength is making them less defeatable. This includes using Syrian forces on the ground to fight ISIS.
Trump: He agreed again, stating we should be better than everybody else. However, he shifted to the topic of ISIS and claimed that because their cyber forces are so strong, the effort to strengthen our cyber security is a necessity. Finally, he reacted to the release of Hillary’s plan to defeat ISIS, which he criticized for being openly available to the public, maybe even to the eyes of ISIS’s members
What McMahon Says: Mr. Eldigway, a CGS Arabic teacher weighed in on the latest in Syria:
“Russia is bombing Aleppo, hoping to kill the rebels [ISIS], but is killing civilians in the process. Because Russia is present, the US cannot interfere, or else a war could break out.” He touches upon the two options the US has. One, to put American force on the ground or to aid Syrian forces with the help of other Nations; a plan Clinton advocates for.
The remainder of the debate fizzled out into a conversation of who was most fit to be president.
Trump: He brought up temperament, stating it was his best quality. He argued that Clinton was out of control when speaking in an interview.
Clinton: She made an effort to acknowledge his commentary as a rant, providing a quote from Trump when stating what he would do to Iranian sailors taunting American sailors. It read “I’m going to blow them out of the water.” She used this to illustrate that he could potentially start another war, not a characteristic of good judgement.
What McMahon Says: This quality becomes very important when deciding which candidate to support because the president must refrain from making any irrational decision that could put the country in jeopardy. Mady Lake (‘17) explained why this topic was important to acknowledge.
“In this day and age, everything happens in a flash around the world. This makes it crucial to have a president that knows how to react immediately, whether the situation be a terrorist attack, school shooting, or even an event outside of the US that could somehow affect us. We are now being forced to evaluate the presidential candidates based on who would react within the citizen's best interest.”
Although this was the first debate, and the second one happened this past Sunday, there is only one more debate. It is important that every American tune in to see the arguments each candidate has to offer, because we will have to deal with one of these two candidates for the next four years.