Yet, again, the United States has caught the attention of political news stations, as expected. The second presidential debate of 2016 concluded late Sunday night in St. Louis, Missouri. Moderated by Anderson Cooper, of CNN, and Martha Raddatz, of ABC, Hillary Clinton of the Democratic party and Donald Trump of the Republican party held the spotlight for just over an hour and a half.
As somewhat expected, the debate began with both figures walking sternly to the spotlight and eventually saw the two candidates forgo the traditional handshake. The general topics dealt with bringing somewhat of a repeat of some subjects in pervious debates. ISIS, emails, environmental issues leaning towards global warming, and the new hot topic on Trump's recent "locker room talk" led the conversation.
Beginning with the "locker room talk," Clinton brought up the recent comments recorded from 2005, with Trump speaking with Billy Bush, then host of “Access Hollywood,” behind the doors of a private bus. Trump used explicit words and talked of specific actions he claims to have performed on women, and the way he disrespectfully treats women.
After minutes of harassment from Hillary, Trump said, "I'm very embarrassed and I hate it. Nobody has more respect for women than I do." He then went on to point out some of the less than desirable statements and implied actions of former President Bill Clinton, husband of Hillary's. Trump went on to say, more controversially, that "If you look at Bill Clinton. Mine were words and his were action. There has never been anyone in the history of politics that has been so abusive to women."
Trump also added, "It's just words folks. It's just words." The response inferred that Clinton is all talk and no action. This is an idea Trump has pounded in to voters, especially those that support him. Trump attempted to downplay his comments, the way that Clinton continues to downplay her deletion of 33,000 emails, on a private server.
Clinton later continued talking of the leaked video and comments from Trump, saying, "It's not only women and it's not only this video that raises questions about his fitness to be president." Later in conversation, Clinton added insults that confirmed her case of Trump as unfit for the presidency. Clinton reiterated how Trump mocked of a disabled reporter, attacked a Gold Star Family, names he called women, such as pigs, how he questioned the motives of a federal judge and his labeling of Muslims.
Trump then proceeded to try to take control, bringing up fiery comments on the e-mail scandal involving Hillary. Claiming, "There has never been anything like it," he made a strong point: that Clinton's deletion of 33,000 emails on a private server as Secretary of State is over the line of suspicious. Clinton claims she is "not making any excuses" and admits there was no evidence that her e-mail was hacked. This accusation by Trump made Clinton somewhat hesitant, in responding, which, in turn, made her seem uncomfortable. This exchange seemed to give Trump momentum.
Trump started a conversation saying, "I probably shouldn't say this," then asserting that if he were president, he would name a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton and her missing e-mails. Trump has every intention to discover “his truth” regarding the deleted emails. That Clinton was Secretary of State when the e-mails went missing, Trump says, makes the incident most important.
After the candidates caught their breath and regrouped, Trump admitted he, "of course," avoided paying federal income tax due to a loss that he could carry forward. "A lot of my write off was depreciation," the pseudo-Republican claimed. A recent New York “Times” article reported that Trump may not have paid federal income tax for up to eighteen years, since 1995, because of a $916 million loss, in 1995.
Trump later announced that he doesn't agree with his running mate, Mike Pence, on a policy for Syria. America needs to force its way into war and bombings, in Syria, says Pence, if Russia and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continues to bomb civilians. Trump disagrees. Trump said, "He and I (Pence) haven't spoken and I disagree."
This disagreement lead to Trump's ongoing defense of Russia, claiming that "I don't like Assad at all, but Assad is killing ISIS; Russia is killing ISIS." Later Clinton and Trump talked of their strategies for of Syria. Clinton plans to continue on the path President Obama created. That is, stationing Special Forces on the ground, training rebels and counterintelligence missions and enforcing a no-fly zone.
Trump murmured about Mosul, Iraq and several other tangents before stating that the US, under his leadership, would embark on some sort of special mission. "Why can't they do something, secretly,” said Trump. He doesn’t want to reveal his plan because he doesn’t want ISIS to know of it.
This debate didn't help much in the way of shifting opinions, but rather gave people stronger reasons for supporting one or another candidate or even a third party candidate. The highlight for anti-Trump interests were his locker room comments, admittance to not paying taxes and having an opinion that differs from his running mate, Mike Pence.
Clinton had a good, if sometimes wobbly, night. She started, with a level of embarrassment, over the locker room comment. She then shifted to effectively criticizing Trump. Her criticism continued for the whole night. She spoke well of her overall plan for ISIS and the middle east.
Rather than the night being filled with discussion on extremely important American issues, such as ISIS, environmental issues, minimum wage, legalizing marijuana, and gay rights, among others, words of hate and despise flew, wildly, with each candidate taking shots at the other, every chance they got.
Many Americans have most of the same questions after the debate, as they had before. "How are the candidates actually allowed to run for president" Trump is a crazy, money-focused businessperson, with no political or governance experience. Clinton has been under investigation for activities surrounded by a lack of full disclosure; nobody knows what exactly happened. It's a messed up situation, no doubt.
For now, all we can do is hope for USA, as a whole, and with for the best with the election. May the best candidate win and may the best opportunity for America rise. America has always been the helping hand to many other countries, donating food, supplies and money at the click of a button. It's about time they get some good vibes, and that starts with the right president.
John Doe is an unknown writer and reviewer, who won't reveal his name.
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