Understanding the presidential debate

Was anyone else scared out of their mind for the first portion of the presidential debate? Was anyone else thinking, “holy crap, that Donald Trump might have figured it out. He might actually have a shot at this thing?”

Truth be told, he started off the first presidential debate quite strongly, looking as substantive and serious as we have ever seen him since he announced his candidacy for presidency over a year ago. Trump was able to successfully display his undeniable knowledge for topics in economic policy and trade.

However, eventually, Hillary’s superior debating skills proved evident as she was able to really open Trump up, aggravating him, provoking him and getting him to show his true colours by really tearing through all that preparation and game plan that he surely had.

Furthermore, fact checkers were able to reveal the next day that Trump had actually said a whole 34 things that were proven false.

The first presidential debate happened about five and a half months after the last time we saw Trump in a debate—when he participated in the Republican primary debate. To be brutally honest, in his first national presidency debate, I thought he showed absolutely zero growth.

I don’t think he lost any voters with his performance because he did a fantastic job appealing to his current support group. But I think he failed to demonstrate that he had developed since capturing the Republican nomination, which, in turn, would lead me to assume he did a poor job of gaining any new support through this debate.

Hillary did a great job of exposing his poor temperament and allowed him to demonstrate on his own some of the lunacy and unpredictability he is capable of.

I saw a lot of instant feedback on the debate through my peers and a lot of Trump critics were upset with how consistently Trump avoids the questions he was asked. He refuses to ever shed any slight detail on what some of his specific policy ideas are.

This is not nearly the most frustrating thing about this Trump campaign. Even looking beyond the ridiculous “Make American Great Again” mantra, Trump has gone through his campaign thinking that he should just be given the job and figure it out as he goes.

That is only one of the numerous traits that make Trump’s campaign so unique and ridiculous.

Many might be wondering, after watching this debate, “so, what the heck does this all mean? How will this debate effect the way the election plays out?”

If this debate did anything, it confirmed what many already knew: how politically divided the United States is as a country.

Topic after topic, question after question, we saw the two candidates bash one another until they were blue in the face. They weren’t just disagreeing with one another, but they were on practically complete opposite sides of practically every topic in the debate.

It was, simply, quite frightening to see the two people who Americans have chosen as the primary candidates for presidency be so divided. This comes at a time where not only the United States, but the world, is so desperate for unity amongst mankind.

To contrast, I thought Clinton did a satisfactory job defending the inevitable attack that Trump brought forth on questioning her trustworthiness in regards to the email scandal.

However, that does not change the fact that she has far more work to do in order prove to voters that she is someone that Americans can trust to not only win this election, but serve as their president and do the job well. She is polling unprecedentedly low for those traits for any presidential candidate, let alone a presumed “favourite”.

At the end of the day, it is important to understand that due to the makeup of the American political system, and more importantly the gridlock that hinders it, nothing too dramatic is really going to change in American politics at the domestic level. The president is very restricted in what powers they have. Just ask Barack Obama.

What people really need to realize is that where the president’s power is most evident is within the sphere of foreign policy, which is where Donald Trump’s bigotry and racism should scare people all across the world.

With two more presidential debates left on dock (and one vice-presidential debate) the fun is only getting started.

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