Students’ perspectives on the Presidential Debate

Trump and Clinton went at it int he first presidential debate of the election.

Trump and Clinton went at it int he first presidential debate of the election.


It is human nature to identify more with an opinion that you agree with, and given that I am fairly liberal in nature, I believe that Hillary Clinton won the debate.

The primary reason for this is that she showed an incredible sense of respect and maturity when articulating her answers to every question. She did not sink down to the childish level of Donald Trump. Trump constantly interrupted throughout the entirety of the debate whilst Clinton remained silent and maintained a level of decorum that Trump seemed not to understand. When debating for the highest office in America, who will have to deal on a day-to-day basis with some of the most respectable figures in the world today, if they cannot give them the respect they deserve then they are unfit for that office.

Aside from the way each candidate projected themselves on the other, the main reason I thought that Hillary won was her points on social issues toward the second half of the debate. She had more factual evidence than Trump. And having a fact checker on her website was greatly beneficial to her, it showed her opponent’s constant lying in real time. Additionally, as soon as she would call The Donald out on of his lies, or something bigoted he had said, he would begin to self-destruct. He back peddled his way into a hole that there was no escaping from. Trump would deny, deny, deny even though there was clear proof to counter his statements. All this did, was cement Clinton’s claims of Trump’s dishonesty, and made him look childish.

Despite all of my previous statements, Trump did have some strong moments. His primary strength was his argument when it came to trade. Though he repeated the same statements about NAFTA repeatedly, his argument was more solid and grounded than Clinton’s. This high moment for Trump ultimately ended around the 30 minute mark of the debate, and Trump surrendered the control of the debate floor for the remainder of the debate.


This election cycle in general has been a whirlwind of big personalities, opinions, and partisan issues. The first 2016 Presidential Debate drew in over 84 million viewers, setting a record for all previous debates. As a republican, I believe Donald Trump was this round’s victor.

Neither candidate is necessarily desirable for the presidency. Many voters have been looking at this election as a choice between “the lesser of two evils.” On Monday night, the candidates both stepped up and stooped low to try to get their points across.

I believe Trump won mainly because of his policies and his ability to call Clinton out on her previous mistakes, such as the email scandal and her commitment to TPP as the “gold standard” of trade deals. He also is committed to not raising taxes, while Clinton constantly talks about the idea but did not mention any concrete numbers. This is important because the wealthy are needed to provide jobs, and those tax dollars Clinton wants can instead go to employing the middle and lower classes. Trump also offered details on lowering corporate tax and forcing companies to keep their money in America, thus stimulating the economy tremendously.

Another big topic highlighted in this debate was gun violence and race in general. Trump offered statistics on current shootings as well as their prevention such as through stop and frisk in New York. Although a modern solution was not articulated, Clinton had little to fight back these numbers, and even was called out on her use of “super predator” to characterize black youth.

Both candidates were victims of themselves, and tended to focus on one another’s past instead of their vision of the future. Trump did have difficulty not interrupting Clinton, and maintaining a general composure for the entirety of the debate. Clinton made sufficient points about debt-free college and affordable child care, but offered no insight to how this could realistically be achieved.

The American people are ready for someone that is an outsider to politics and its inevitable corruption, because of the new perspective we desperately need, and the economic expertise Trump has to deal with our current issue of national debt. Trump, in my opinion, has the capacity to win, and proved it on the stage Monday night.