A presidential debate that was anything but presidential

America has never seen an election quite like the 2016 presidential election. With both candidates being highly controversial, many Americans are still unsure of who they will vote for in November. The town hall format of the second presidential election provided a way for a select few Americans, who were still undecided about who they will be voting for, to ask the candidates questions. However, this particular debate was not exactly focused on the issues. For about half of the debate, the candidates traded insults. And the other half included questions from town hall participants that were fairly weak. Questions such as “Do you believe you can be a devoted president to all the people of the United States?” and “Say something you like about the other candidate” seem rather pointless. After it was all said and done, in my opinion, these were the most substantive topics discussed during the debate:

Health Care: The Affordable Care Act

Clinton: Clinton realizes that there are many problems with the Affordable Care Act. However, she does not believe the best course of action would be to simply repeal it. She would like to keep the aspects of it that are working and fix those which are not. She believes that without the Affordable Care Act, all of the power will be given to large insurance companies.

Trump: Trump has made it very clear, if elected, he wants to “replace and repeal” Obamacare. He wants to find a way for health care to become more affordable for everyone. He believes with the Affordable Care Act repealed, competition between rivalry insurance companies will, in fact, drive prices down.

Islamophobia/Refugees: A woman identified herself as a Muslim women living in the United States, she asked what each candidate planned to do about the growing Islamophobia in America.

Clinton: Clinton wants Muslims to feel welcome and safe in our country. She makes the point that we are not against Islam; we are against Isis. When asked why take the risk of letting in Syrian refugees, Clinton responded that she feels we would not be doing our part, if we did not help those suffering in Syria, especially when it comes to children. She assures the American people that there will be tough vetting in order to determine who should be allowed in our country and who should not be.

Trump: The moderators chimed in with the fact that Trump has talked about having a Muslim ban in the United States. Trump did not exactly answer this question. He talked about an instance with a Muslim terrorist and said the way to solve the problem was to call it was it is: “radical Islamic terror.” Trump also stated that he is not comfortable with Syrian refugees coming into the country without knowing their values. He does not think vetting will indicate these values clearly enough to determine whether or not these refugees should come into our country.


Clinton: Clinton wants to raise taxes for people making one million dollars a year. She refers to this as the “Buffett Rule.” She believes it is unfair to not do one’s part in the economy, by not paying taxes. She then went on to say Donald Trump has been guilty of not paying his taxes.

Trump: Trump would like to lower taxes. When accused of avoiding paying federal income taxes, Trump responded, “Of course I do. I absolutely used it, and so did Warren Buffet, and so did George Soros.”

Throughout this debate, rather than focusing on the issues, the candidates spent a copious amount of time insulting each other and wasting time. These presidential debates are supposed to display the candidates’ opinions and ideas for our country. This was hardly the case last Sunday night. For a presidential debate, it did not seem very presidential.


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