by Olivia Degan
Last week’s presidential debate, although arguably the best of the three, resulted in the rise of many new questions concerning what’s left of the presidential race as well as the four years each candidate might spend in the Oval Office. So, one might ask, what did happen last Wednesday?
The answer to that question is understandably complicated. Prior to the start of the debate, most of the talk was about Trump. Many commentators and newscasters started off the debate by discussing Trump’s values of “spectacle over substance.” The commentators cited Trump’s invitation to Obama’s estranged brother as an example. Many also speculated that, because of Trump’s “low-blows,” Clinton would do the opposite, to appeal to voters as the more level-headed candidate.
The first topic which the candidates discussed concerned the Constitution and whether it was meant to be a living document. Due to the fact that the candidates were not emotionally tied to this issue, the discussion was relatively civil and led to no interruptions on the sides of either candidate. Trump and Clinton actually agreed that the second amendment should be upheld, but with increased regulations. However, when it came to abortion rights and the issue concerning the implications of Roe v. Wade, the candidates starkly differed. Trump proclaimed that his pro-life values would result in the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, while Clinton, the pro-choice candidate, expressed her support for a woman’s right to abortion.
Afterward, immigration policies were discussed. At this point in the debate, the diplomacy which was by being maintained by both candidates, even Mr. Trump, was seemingly forgotten, due to the very different policies of both candidates. Trump advocated for building a border wall as well as strong borders and no amnesty for immigrants. Quite oppositely, Secretary Clinton expressed her belief in uniting families and allowing for a 100 day path to citizenship, while supporting the need for an intense vetting process.
One issue which greatly divides the candidates (and that many voters pay less attention to) is that concerning economic growth. Mr. Trump believes that the American economy can prosper through the creation of more free trade, cutting taxes, bringing offshore money back to the U.S., and abolishing funding for allies. Secretary Clinton would like to grow the middle class by creating new jobs and adopting clean energy, helping small businesses, raising the minimum wage, closing the wage gap, and increasing opportunities for technical schooling.
Many more differing policies were discussed; however, the debate didn’t necessarily answer the questions of the American people. What will really happen when one of the candidates is elected into office? Will they maintain what has been promised during their campaigns? What are the implications that either candidate will have on foreign views of the United States? Unfortunately, no one can know the answers to these questions until four years from now.