Between Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump  | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Between Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump 

Posted: Sep 27, 2016 at 5:56 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By  Sam Kargbo

I stayed up on Monday into Tuesday morning to watch the first presidential debate between Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I love Clinton: Barrack Obama has made a first in my lifetime and I am looking for another first in Clinton. There must be something in me that gets the kicks out of the breaking of class ceilings.  Conversely, from the first day Trump appeared in the presidential race, I have held the view that his involvement in the American presidential race exposes the underbelly of the American electoral and democratic process. The more the trumpery Trump wore into the primaries, the more I saw the joke in the process. Even in the worst of Africa, a candidate in the mold of Trump would pass for a big joke and yet he punched out sixteen others in the Republican primaries. In him I saw a personification of the verbalism in political campaigns.

Telling the electorate what they want to hear and ignoring the content or reality of what is said is the vessel on which I saw Trump soaring with a momentum that scared the wits out of me. The debate was therefore very crucial to me. I was fearful that Trump could have the ample opportunity to revel in the art of promising to bring the moon to the ocean for the American electorate. Thus, for many of us who believe that decency, poise, honour, ability, capability, knowledge, experience, temperament and vision matter in politics, the fact that Clinton thrashed Trump in every aspect of the debate was a great relief.

Televised presidential debates between contending candidates of the dominant Democratic and Republican parties have – with the exception of the 1964, 1968 and 1972 elections – become a routine. The debates afford the two candidates the chance of winning over undecided voters, who in the main are capable of swinging the electoral tide. The American electorate is customarily segregated into the camps of the two dominant parties – and traditionally protective of their candidates. The votes of these categories of voters are predictable. It is as difficult to persuade them to jump ship as it is difficult for Manchester United fans to be moved by Arsenal’s beautiful game. There are, however, neutrals who want to be convinced before casting their votes. To these independents the debates matter. The debates go beyond the communicative capabilities of the candidates. The ability of the candidates to communicate their perspectives on controversial or crucial issues matter; but the debates mean more. They are meant to let the electorate know the candidates and assess their respective agenda and preparedness for the oval office.

In the debate of Tuesday 27th September 2016, Trump seemed empty; coming short in his views on the issues thrown up by the questions he was asked. He had no concrete answer on what he would do for Americans as President, obviously low on knowledge about current events, as revealed by his rehearsed but flawed data and answers on race, domestic security and matters that have been constitutionally laid to rest – like his proposed stop and frisk to combat internal terrorism. Far from being a character fit for the job, Trump was dismal. He was discourteous, he heckled and sniffed; he interrupted Clinton and spent a considerable time drinking water, and yet turned around to accuse Clinton of not having the stamina for the job. Contrary to his accusation, Clinton demonstrated how prepared she was for the debate and for the job, as seen in her opening remarks, which, to me, characterised her night:

The central question in this election is really what kind of country we want to be and what kind of future we will build together… First we have to build an economy that works for everyone… That means we need new jobs, good jobs with rising incomes. I want us to invest in you. I want us to invest in your future. That means jobs in infrastructure and advanced manufacturing, innovation and technology, clean renewable energy and small business because most of the new jobs will come from small business. We also have to make the economy fairer.?That starts with raising the national minimum wage?and also guarantee, finally, equal pay for woman’s work.

I also want to see more companies to profit sharing. If you help create the profits you should be able to share in them, not just the executives at the top. And I want us to do more to support people who are struggling to balance family and work… Let’s have paid family leave, earned sick days, let’s be sure we have affordable childcare and debt-free college…

On the other hand, Trump’s opening remark was to accuse Mexico, China and foreign countries of stealing American businesses and jobs. He prided himself of having the ability of stopping them from stealing American jobs by reducing corporate taxes tremendously.