Editor’s note: The following are two contrasting articles about the final 2016 presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Guest author Barbara Carrasco makes the argument for Donald Trump. Martin Paredes disagrees.
Martin: The final debate for the 2016 presidential race was different in that the two candidates; Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump finally addressed some real issues facing the country. Although Trump was initially in control, by the end of the debate he uttered two comments that have become the narrative of the debate. Trump just can’t focus on the issues and resorts to rhetoric that energizes his base but does nothing to bring new votes to his corner. In the end, Donald Trump did nothing to ensure a win on election night. However, we did get to witness proof that Trump says one thing to one audience and another thing to another depending on what he thinks will resonate better with the target listeners. It is typical marketing 101.
Barbara: Last night was an issue-oriented debate. We can all appreciate that. Trump was clear in letting the American people his stance on jobs, economy, immigration, border security, constitution, Supreme Court picks and his unwavering stance as a pro-life candidate. Everything Trump says at his rallies is heard by the media and anyone tuning in and he does not have two political opinions as Hillary Clinton does which she clearly stated in her secretive paid speeches to Wall Street. If it were not for WikiLeaks we would not be aware of her cozy relationships with her donors, special interest groups and now we can add foreign countries which don’t share American interests, that have donated millions upon millions to the Clinton Foundation in a pay-to-play scheme and we would not know about her bold attitude that she can fool the American people by taking a different stance in public than she does in private.
Martin: Donald Trump supporters argue that Trump is not a politician who says one thing and does another thing. Some Trump supporters gravitate to his rhetoric of border security and the mass deportations of undocumented immigrants. Obviously the US-Mexico wall is central to his politics. But, like the politician that many believe Trump is not, Donald Trump changes his political views based on his audience. Trump says one thing to one audience and another completely different thing to another audience – often in contradiction to the other.
The best example is on the issue of immigration. Donald Trump started his latest presidential campaign centered on the issue of immigration – building a wall on the US-Mexico border and deporting millions of undocumented immigrants. At the last presidential debate of 2016, Donald Trump again changed his message about immigration.
Donald Trump stated, about immigration; “One of my first acts would be to get the drug lords…out.” Trump added; “We are going to get them out, we are going to secure the border…and once the border is secured, at a later date, we will make a determination as to the rest.” [emphasis mine]
His comments were in response to the question of immigration specifically. Notice the change in tune? Instead of the Mexicans are “rapists”, Trump has changed his tune away from deporting millions to putting it on the back table for later. Isn’t that what has been going on for the last few administrations, putting the immigration issue on the backburner for a later time?
“But, we have some bad hombres here and we are going to get them out.” We can all agree that there are many “bad, bad people” in the US, some of them immigrants, both documented and undocumented.
The issue is that Donald Trump has made the immigration topic the cornerstone of his presidential campaign but instead of embracing it fully, he is now taken the “political” posture of putting it in the back burner that all previous politicians have done before him.
How is that different from the politicos that Trump says he is not?
Barbara: Trump is consistent with his policies on the border. At the presser with President Peña Nieto, Trump stated that every country has right to be a sovereign country and that border security would include a border wall. President Peña Nieto agreed that any country should protect its border as it sees fit even if it means a wall. Trump has been loud and clear here in the U.S. and in Mexico regarding his stance on the wall. He has further stated, and we would expect, that his policy on the wall would be prioritized. He would first remove all illegal criminal immigrants, gangs that roam our streets, and drug dealers that are ruining the lives of our children and destroying families.
Trump is aware that we cannot deal with those living in the U.S. illegally until we secure the border. It would be a waste of time, money and energy to keep the border open, fluid and dynamic while simultaneously trying to deal with those in the U.S. illegally. Not securing the border would be a vicious circle of non-productivity. Hillary on the other hand states we should be building “bridges” rather than walls. Yet in 2006 she clearly stated that we should build a “physical barrier or fence” to stop illegal immigration at the border and that we should do everything possible to make Mexico do their part in stopping illegal immigration. Trump is not pandering for the Latino vote. He wants legal immigration and has stated such on countless occasions. He believes, and I agree, that a country without borders is not a country.
Trump has shown his business acumen in analyzing the porous border. He has a specific strategy which he has clearly stated. He is firm and committed to building a wall and has let the “world” know we will secure our border, protect our citizens, encourage legal immigration and will streamline the entry process.
Martin: On the issue of NAFTA, Trump continues to trumped the notion that Bill Clinton signed the NAFTA agreement but neglects to point out the fact that NAFTA was envisioned by Ronald Reagan and negotiated by George H. W. Bush. Both are Republicans and Reagan is often referenced as the example of conservatism. Whether you agree that NAFTA needs to be renegotiated is immaterial when it comes to the facts. The facts are simple: it was the Republicans that envisioned and negotiated NAFTA. Bill Clinton’s only contribution to NAFTA was that he was forced to sign it into law.
Barbara: We can go back to the history of NAFTA but the result is that it has harmed American jobs and our economy and renegotiating a trade agreement is a wise approach. Nothing remains static and reviewing old contracts will benefit all parties. As in any business, contracts have beginning date and an expiration date. NAFTA or any other agreement should be reviewed, if it warrants changes, then changes should be made. Trump rightly states that any agreement the U.S. enters into should put American first!
Martin: This brings us to the most important issue facing the voters – does Donald Trump have the decorum necessary to represent the United States on the world stage? The answer is simply a resounding “NO”. The debates have proved this. In the last debate Donald Trump interrupted Hillary Clinton numerous times with “wrong”.
Whether Clinton was “wrong” is immaterial because negotiations between parties means posturing the argument without rudeness. Decorum is necessary in any negotiation and especially more so in international discussions. Calling Hillary Clinton “nasty” towards the end of the debate shows not only a disrespect of the process but also further exposes Trump’s inability to keep the adult decorum expected of the future representative of the United States.
Barbara: Hillary, without cause, consistently makes snide remarks about Trump, unsubstantiated and unprovoked attacks on his character. At the moment she was talking about changing the tax code and she sarcastically states “if Donald doesn’t find a way not to pay his taxes.” This was uncalled for and unprofessional. She neglects to state that she and Bill took a $700,000 carry forward in 2015. The same tax code provision she is denigrating Trump for using. Regarding his use of the word “nasty,” Trump is correct. She calls his supporters “basket of deplorables” and irredeemable; she calls Bernie supporters “losers” and “basement dwellers”; she calls the Latino voters “needy voters”; she calls black men “super predators” she calls the catholic religion “backward religion” and a “bastardization of faith”; she calls her own supporters “ill-informed and apathetic voters.” Please explain how these statements and her unprovoked attacks on Donald are not “nasty?” Hillary is an example of a perfected, programmed and shameless “provocateur.”
Where is the criticism when Hillary continues to speak over the moderator and over her opponent to make a point? She uses valuable time speaking over others that Trump interjecting the word “wrong” is justified. She just won’t shut up even after being told she has exceeded her time. She did this to Bernie and she does it to Trump. She is a respecter of no one, doesn’t answer the questions, but she is quick to criticize others and she skirts around a question and immediately pivots on the attack of her opponent. Perfect example is her pivoting on the pay-to-play scandal, or pivoting to Putin and demanding Trump denounce his interference in our election. She has no proof to make such a statement. She should just answer the question! She doesn’t state her position BUT she wants to state her opponent’s position which clearly is not her opponent’s position.
Let’s us not forget this is the first election ever, that an outsider threatens the elite ruling class. First time an outsider is not paid for by Wall Street, lobbyists, special interest groups or donors. First time an outsider will truly represent the American people and our interest. First time we hear at a candidate ending his rallies with “God Bless You” or “We love you.” First time a candidate is attacked from all fronts which are in collusion with the opponent and is blatantly exhibited by their coverage of Trump. First time a candidate refuses to be scripted and programmed to impress the public. First time a candidate is willing to be himself and not someone his “handlers” want him to be.
First time we will elect a candidate that is “looking out for us.”
Martin: But more importantly is Trump’s inability to articulate for the benefit of the country his willingness to accept the outcome of the election. There is no perfect electoral system in the world. Where a system is in place opponents will look for ways to circumvent the system toward their benefit. Donald Trump has acknowledged using the system to his benefit – to reduce the tax burden upon himself. Clearly Donald Trump understands that most everyone, if not everyone, uses any tools available to them for the best outcome.
Again, whether you believe that the US electoral process is “rigged” is immaterial because ultimately it is to the benefit of the country’s welfare that there is an orderly transfer of power. Donald Trump does not have to agree to overlook voter fraud but he could have acknowledged the orderly transfer of power by agreeing to accept the outcome absent obvious fraud. He did not and instead exasperated the fear of an illegal election by stating that he will wait until the election to acknowledge whether he will accept the will of the voters.
A president would look to bolster the nation by embracing its electoral institutions and the intelligence of its voters. A president does not act like a child and insinuate that he will take his marbles and go home if things do not go his way. A president does not interrupt an opponent on national television with childish remarks nor does he call his opponent “nasty” publicly.
Donald Trump does not have the persona to be president and thus he will not be elected on November 8.
Barbara: Regarding the concession speech, Hillary once again, with her false indignation, looks back at history and our peaceful transfer of power. Well, what “power” is Trump to transfer? The transfer of power that everyone is so incensed about is the transfer of power from a sitting president to an incoming president. The purpose of a concession speech is to acknowledge that one has lost, nothing more than that. There is nothing that mandates or obligates a candidate to concede to the winning candidate and absent a concession speech, the winner will still be seated. I believe Bill Clinton encouraged Al Gore not to concede because they questioned whether or not Bush won the election. To this day there remain those who feel it was an election stolen from Gore!
Recently we have learned of the voter fraud being committed in NY where democrats are being bussed to different locations, and in some instances to different states, to cast their votes more than once. I had an individual tell me he was registered in NM and TX in order to cast his vote twice. Trump has valid reasons for his suspicion of voter fraud.