The first presidential debate of 2016 kicked off the past Monday evening with Clinton and Trump going head to head on issues ranging from police brutality, to clean energy, to foreign policy. In general, Clinton was thought to have had an all around better performance than Mr. Trump in this debate. This means very little in terms of swaying Trump supporters however because they obviously do not asses candidates by traditional measures. What were the highlights?
As expected, Trump and Clinton has extremely different ideas about US foreign policy. Trump argued that Hilary Clinton had been fighting ISIS for her entire adult life and was divulging her tactical plans on her website. In reality, ISIS/ Daesh was officially created in 1999. Clinton suggested that the United States needed to enhance support for our allies in the Middle East, specifically the Kurds. Trump reasoned that our best plan was to remove all of the oil from the Middle East in order to undercut the ISIS’s financial support.
On issues of race relations and police brutality Trump and Clinton were incredibly polarized. Recently having been endorsed by the largest law enforcement union in the country, Trump argued that race relations would be improved by continued use of stop and frisk – previously ruled unconstitutional. He claimed to have been recently endorsed by ICE. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a federal government agency that is forbidden from endorsing any politician and has not endorsed Trump. As far as race relations between communities and the police are concerned, Clinton advocated increased community policing and concentrated efforts to end mass incarceration of black and Hispanic men.
These sound bites certainly do not paint an entire picture but really highlight the positions and values held by Clinton and Trump. Despite his many factual inaccuracies and outright lies, including his support for the Iraq war, Trump supporters will likely remain unwavering. Stay tuned for the Vice-Presidential debate taking place this upcoming Tuesday, October 4th.