By Fatinah Albeez |
Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Most of us know this as the Tuesday we don’t have school, but the choices made on that day will determine the course of the next four years for our country. Whether in the next four years, we will see a wall be built on our southern border or broken by the first female in the Oval Office. This is the last month for both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to secure last minutes in key swing states.
The presidential campaign is coming to an end in only 26 days. October brought much light into the public eye about the GOP and Democratic candidates, their policies and their character.
Here’s a recap of what’s happened so far:
In the First Presidential Debate at Hofsta University, Clinton and Trump discussed the topics: “America’s Direction,” “Achieving Prosperity,” and “Securing America.”
With regard to our economy.
“The central question in this election is really what kind of country we want to be and what kind of future we’ll build together,” said Clinton. “First, we have to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. That means we need new jobs, good jobs, with rising incomes.”
“Trumped up, trickled-down economics” is the term she coined that night when asked about Trump’s plan for the economy. Whether Trump’s plan is precisely that is for you to decide.
“Our jobs are fleeing the country. They’re going to Mexico. They’re going to many other countries. You look at what China is doing to our country in terms of making our product,” said Trump. “We have to renegotiate our trade deals, and we have to stop these countries from stealing our companies and our jobs.”
Held at Longwood University, the Vice Presidential Debate showed a more defensive atmosphere. Democratic VP candidate, Senator Tim Kaine, had his strong points but failed to maintain his composure. His temper escalated as he repeatedly questioned Pence about Trump’s actions, specifically how he could defend someone who has called women pigs and slobs, avoided paying his taxes for 18 years, and spurred hate against Mexican-Americans and Muslim-Americans alike. Republican VP candidate, Governor Mike Pence, on the other hand, remained calm as he he attempted to defend Trump with statements that unfortunately neither fit the Republican presidential candidate as we know him, nor matched many of Trump’s statements.
Political controversy clouded the second and final presidential debate. Two days prior to the debate, a 2005 recording of Trump and Access Hollywood reporter Billy Bush leaked, in which Trump made numerous statements about how he treats women in a manner that is commonly referred to as sexual harassment.
While the candidates did discuss policy during this “town hall debate,” they continuosly evaded questions and pointed fingers at one another throughout the debate. In all honesty, the Socratic Seminars in our History classes at the IA are more functional. Perhaps the most enlightening question was asked by Karl Becker: “[W]ould either of you name one positive thing that you respect in one another?”
#PresidentialDebate and #VPDebate was trending much of this month as Twitter users followed the debate, tweeting memes and opinions. This innovative use of social media has lead to an increase in the number of millennials engaging in the political sphere.
Here are some of the most liked Tweets during the debates:
From reading many Tweets, it was evident that here was quite a bit of criticism surrounding the choice of moderators. (Lester Holt, Elaine Quijano, Anderson Cooper, Martha Raddatz and Chris Wallace).
Despite claims that they were biased, the process of selecting moderators promotes fairness. Each moderator was chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), a non-profit organization that has sponsored the presidential debates since 1987, based on three criteria:
1) Individual’s familiarity with 2016 presidential campaign
2) Experience in live broadcast television/news
3) A common ideal that the debate’s focus should remain the policies and statements of both candidates. CPD takes it upon themselves to prohibit the campaign teams of either candidate to have a role in the selection of a moderator and to allow the moderators to select the questions to be asked, which are then not revealed to CPD or the candidates.
While the Twitter frenzy will continue on the Third and final Presidential Debate on Wednesday, Oct. 19, a more appropriate representation of the average American’s mood towards the election is captured by Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin (who play Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, respectively) on Saturday Night Live. They both use a plethora of sarcasm in their skits to bluntly convey the candidates’ messages to the public.
At this point in the election, most are tired of the unconventional politics that are abound this election. Secretary Clinton has been on the campaign trail since April 12, 2015, while Trump began his campaign on June 15, 2016.
Amongst those exhausted is 54-year-old singer-songwriter and political enthusiast Sheryl Crow.
While visiting talk show The View, Crow urged viewers to join forces with her in getting the American presidential election cycle shortened.
“I am starting a petition shortly after the election for people to sign… We’re one of the only countries that doesn’t limit campaign season and I think it’s ridiculous. England has 3 months, Canada has 6 weeks — I’m just saying 6 months.”
Had this election been only 6 months long, would our nation be in such a political and racial divide as it is now?
Story compiled from the following sources: