Queen Hit? Clinton Versus Trump 1 (Hofstra University, 26.09.2016)

September 27, 2016 in General

The first US Democrat/Republican presidential debate started at Hofstra University, at 11.00 am EST, on Monday 26 September 2016.

While things started off with clear communication of their respective policies on equal pay for work of equal value (Clinton) and reduced company tax (Trump), Clinton soon gained the upper hand, depicting her as a middle class woman pitted against a scion of inherited wealth and privilege (Trump inherited one million dollars from his father). Trump questioned Clinton’s views on NAFTA and the Transpacific Trade Partnership, arguing that the ascendancy and management of Bernie Sanders resulted in an anti-TPTP platform to satisfy that constituency. She responded by pointing out that he had profiteered from the housing crisis through speculation and cut throat real estate deals, which he dismissed as ‘business’, apparently oblivious to the importance of housing issues to the general public.

From that point, Clinton assumed command and authority within the debate. She went on to raise his conspiracism on climate change denial, which he is on record as agreeing with, concluding that it was a “Chinese’-born conspiracy. He inadvertently complimented her on her adamant opposition to Daesh, and she had a rejoinder to him when it came to tax cuts for the affluent as a policy that has been tried and failed. Oddly enough, Clinton’s popularity increased when Trump spoke, indicating the audience was not receptive to his message. He acknowledged that he might lose the election (!) and joked about a real estate deal… which is no joke to anyone facing mortgage difficulties, foreclosure, auction and possible homelessness as a result. Black police shootings were met with assertions of ‘law and order’ (Trump) and comments about police and other forms of institutional racism (Clinton). She also talked freely about gun control, which may indicate how antagonistic mainstream US public opinion has become to the National Rifle Association and the rest of the pro-gun lobby. The pair then debated the effectiveness and offensiveness of ‘stop and frisk’ law enforcement tactics. According to the New York Police Department’s Assistant Commissioner for Communications, since the abolition of ‘stop and frisk’ in 2011, crime, murder and acts of violence have dropped in New York City, reaching an historic low in the first quarter of 2016.

Clinton was asked about her email security debacle and deflected the issue well. Oddly, Trump did not actively pursue it.

Clinton then launched a devastating attack on another Trump conspiracist platform, namely the absurd ‘birther’ nostrum that incumbent Democrat President Barack Obama was ‘born overseas’ and was therefore ‘not’ a US citizen. Trump visibly foundered on that one. When it came to foreign policy, she proved unstoppable, given her role as Secretary of State for Defence and the woman who was primarily responsible for the demise of Osama bin Laden, the principal architect of 9/11. She spoke with authority and knowledge on the need to combat ISIS, not demonise US Muslims and noted Trump’s professed admiration for Vladimir Putin. Trump responded that Clinton and Obama ‘mishandled’ Libya and that ISIS formed under their watch- which led to a lengthy debate about whether or not Trump supported or opposed the Iraq War under George W.Bush.

Clinton then asked about whether Trump could be entrusted with nuclear weapons, to which Trump made a weird response about financial compensation to the United States from countries that the United States “had helped out.’ Trump noted that he was unhappy about the Iran deal under the Obama administration, and so was a prominent US ally, Israel’s President Benjamin Netanyahu. Clinton asked what his alternative was, and as with her other questions about foreign policy, received no reply. On this issue, then, it may be the case that Clinton’s foreign policy experience enabled her to speak with gravity and authority. Finally, Clinton referred to Trump’s abhorrent sexist rhetoric, given that he had called female opponents ‘pigs, dogs and slobs’ in earlier political contests or public debates. At this, the debate concluded after one hour.

The consensus of the debate focus group at this point, shortly after the debate concluded, was that Clinton was in the ascendant, and controlling the debate, apart from three pro-Trump holdouts. The consensus appeared to be that Clinton had won the debate easily, going on the offensive numerous times, and letting Trump condemn himself out of his own cavernous mouth. Apparently, according to FoxNews, Trump was ready to deliver a stinging rebuke about Clinton’s personal life, Chelsea and Bill, but refrained from doing so. Just as well, because he was in over his head when it came to mainstream public policy concerns. Nor did he follow up on issues that Clinton might have been vulnerable on- Libya’s governance crisis or her email confidentiality debacle. However, Clinton had no such corresponding inhibitions.

Recommended:

“Trump Versus Clinton: How the Debate Unfolded:” Newshub: 27.09.2016: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/314302/trump-vs-clinton-how-the-debate-unfolded

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