BY SAADIA EL KARFI ’17
I grabbed my food, filled up my coffee mug, found a good comfortable spot in the Blanchard great room and most importantly, gathered my wits to watch the final Presidential debate. I tweeted, took notes, laughed, cringed and left Blanchard feeling proud of Hillary’s performance, thankful for Chris Wallace and, last but not least, appalled by Donald Trump. I mean, logic doesn’t help much in analyzing anything that happens in this election, but let’s just give it a try.
Last Wednesday’s performance was the best yet for the Democratic nominee. It seems that Clinton finally, after two practice runs, figured out the art of balancing out when to engage and when to absolutely ignore her idiotic opponent. There is no doubt that her biggest moment was her instigation of Trumps’ answers and comments about the allegations against him of groping and forcing himself on women.
She came across as calm, composed, and strong when faced with Trump’s
childish one-word interruptions: “Wrong.” She even brushed off his rude comment about her being a “nasty woman.”
Clinton was a real champ at not only highlighting Trump’s unpopular immigration plan, but she also directed him in a very great tangent to talk about Putin in a discussion about open borders. In fact, he does seem to be more in favor of believing Vladimir Putin than US intelligence and military agencies. I think he should just move to Russia!
Now let’s talk about the losers of this debate: Trump and his cult of personality. He fell right in the mud when he refused to say that he would concede if the election results showed that he had lost. His “I’ll just wait and see” answer was an absolute failure to recognize the core pillars this country was built on and the core institution of democracy as a whole. He has no understanding of either.
He even appeared to have admitted that The Trump Foundation’s money was used to settle his lawsuit in Florida. But what really ticked me off was his claim that he “didn’t even apologize to Melania” about the allegations against him. Wait a second, didn’t Melania tell CNN this past Monday that Donald apologized to her and that she accepted his apology for his predatory and offensive comments about forcing himself on women? Who is lying here?
What’s more disturbing is his claim that all of the allegations are fictitious. His response in a rally last week regarding a woman who accused him of assault was, “Believe me, she would not be my first choice.” Trump would rather discuss Hillary’s emails than defend or even discuss the allegations against him made by 9 different women. Trump was also confused about what it meant to discuss jobs and what it meant to discuss NATO.
Let’s do some fact-checking about Trump’s tax plan. Donald’s business failures in the 90’s helped him avoid paying federal income tax for 20 years. When Clinton challenged him about years in which he did not pay federal taxes or even release his tax returns, he said, “That makes me smart.” It is no surprise to all of us that his real estate empire, “of which most Trump Towers are built using Chinese steel,” as Clinton said, was built on exploiting any and all government tax abatements, credits and subsidies possible.
Trump’s tax plan would increase federal income taxes for 20 percent of families with one or more children and more than 50 percent of single parents in the United States, according to a report by NYU tax expert Lily Batchelder. Trump wants to lower the Federal estate tax, which only the wealthy in this country pay. Moreover, he wants to cut the corporate tax rate by more than half — to 15 percent. What’s alarming about this is that he wants to give all businesses the possibility of us- ing this low tax rate, even “pass-through” corporations which have profits usually taxed via personal income taxes rather than typical corporate taxes.
He is winning the support of working-class voters who identify with his “outsider” attitude, who see him as a fighter against Wall Street and the White House, but is he really who he claims to be? Most of his credentials as a “populist” were born out of the challenge he presented to the G.O.P. on issues like trade and immigration, as well his promises to protect Medicare and Social Security.
Your vote matters. Many Americans think their votes don’t matter because they see the major parties as members of some sort of corporate oligarchy or even two self-serving politicians. But let’s face it friends, can you imagine a more destructive mishap than Donald Trump being president? I can’t!
I’ll leave you with this quote from Bernie Sanders: “I understand that neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump are particularly popular. But forget that for a moment. Take a hard look at the agendas of the Campaign ... Hillary Clinton is the necessary choice.”