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Saturday, October 1, 2022

Columns

Trump loses to himself in first presidential debate


There where a lot of sniffles, a little of Lester Holt and even some fireworks between the candidates during last nights’ debate.

That’s it.

After so much hype, we saw little more than what we knew. Donald Trump tried his best to keep up with Hillary Clinton, but he let his bruised ego rule most of the night. While Clinton was nowhere near perfect, she still handled the debate like a true politician.

Not much of a fight

It was a landslide victory for Clinton and she didn’t do much to earn it except watching Trump bait himself into defeat.

Clinton didn’t wow me with her policy or win me with her charisma. Trump just simply imploded. The man who was able to withstand a barrage of GOP hopefuls in the primary debates couldn’t handle Clinton’s insults and accusations.

If you re-watch the debate, you can see Trump’s hate for Clinton on his face.

Trump performed well near the beginning of the debate. He even managed to mention Mexico in the first segment. Still, he slowly unraveled and again showed the country exactly the type of president he will be if elected.

The candidates didn’t surprise anyone as they stuck to their policies — or lack of them — in their answers and tried to reaffirm their plans on jobs, economy and race.

The biggest surprise came with Trump saying on a couple of occasions that he agreed with Clinton. Although a genius move by his campaign, it failed because his agreement was filled with insults and half-truths.

We can make a lot of excuses for why Clinton has her faults and may not be the best candidate in a regular election, but if tonight didn’t show you the insanity that would be a Trump presidency — I don’t know what will.

The people lost

The biggest loser of the night was the country’s poor and middle classes. Both candidates glazed over major issues that affect the U.S.’ lower classes and focused more on attacking each other.

Clinton made it easy for Trump to point out her email scandal and her “super- predators” comment, but his attempt to press her on these issues fell flat. Trump was busy telling her she was wrong on everything she said.

We also saw Trump continue his false rhetoric on issues and 90 minutes of petty arguments without commercial breaks.

Trump also struggled to grasp his own past as he continued to deny his birther role, his climate change stance and his support of the war in Iraq. Even on a stage as big as the presidential debate, Trump lied in the hopes that most of the voting public would ignore the fact-checkers by pushing them aside as “haters.”

This has worked for him in the past and will likely work for him now. Ask Sean Hannity.

Clinton did not win the presidency tonight, but she showed the country that she was collected for most of the debate. Trump, meanwhile, interrupted Clinton at an alarming rate, was visibly irritated and tried to bully both his opponent and the moderator.

Second round

The idea to have the debate on multiple outlets was great. Many news outlets, like NPR and Politifact, were doing real-time fact checks and Twitter was alive with reactions to the debate.

This was the most fun and engaging debate I have ever watched.

After years of trying to get people more involved in politics, technology might be the answer. Never has politics been so accessible to the country than during this election.

This may be in vain when we see the poll numbers, but it looks as though we will come close or surpass the record numbers of President Barack Obama’s 2008 election.

There are still two more debates left and only time will tell if Trump will be able to bounce back and show a more presidential demeanor. Don’t hold your breath, though, since after the debate Trump said he was proud of himself for not focusing on Clinton’s family.

“I’m really happy I was able to hold back on the indiscretions in respect to Bill Clinton. Because I have a lot of respect for Chelsea Clinton,” Trump told CNN’S Dana Bash. “Maybe I’ll tell you at the next debate. We’ll see. But I’m very happy.”

Opinion editor Frank Campos is a media production senior and can be reached at [email protected]

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