American Election: Highlights from the Third and Final Presidential Debate

Hira Rahman - 1A Nanotechnology
Posted on: October 22, 2016

With the general elections quickly approaching, the American people were recently graced with one final debate before they cast their ballots. The general consensus among the pundits is that Hillary Clinton dominated the debate, leaving the Trump campaign in ruins. In fact, Clinton is now up 7.1 points. While many issues were discussed during the debate, here is the CliffsNotes version of the third and final presidential debate:

Will Trump accept the election outcome?
As his poll numbers fall, Donald Trump has been advocating that the elections are rigged in favor of Clinton. He has continuously warned his supporters of “large scale voter fraud”. As a result, when asked whether or not he will accept the election results, Trump responded by saying “I will look at it at the time.” While during the primaries, there was reasonable evidence of voter suppression in many states, it is more likely for Trump’s loss to be a result of his self-induced implosion.

Abortion and Roe V. Wade

On the topic of abortion, Clinton praised Roe v. Wade, the supreme court judgement that legalized abortion in 1973, as long as the life and health of the mother is taken into account. When asked about late-term abortions, Clinton argued that the government should not intervene in such personal and “heartbreaking” decisions. Trump responded to Clinton’s position using right-wing talking points, stating that “you can’t take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb on the ninth month”.

Securing the Border

As expected, when asked about immigration, Donald Trump called for stronger borders and again argued that “drugs were pouring in.” Trump also accused Clinton of advocating for amnesty, saying that “we have some bad hombres here and we’re gonna’ get ‘em out”. As for Clinton, she reiterated that she supported a pathway to citizenship, which will be included in the comprehensive immigration reform package she plans to introduce within her first 100 days in office, stating that “I don’t want to rip families apart.”

Clinton Foundation: “Pay to play”?

When asked about a possible conflict of interest between the Clinton foundation and her position as secretary of state, Clinton avoided the question and instead took to boasting about the charitable work her foundation does. Trump and Moderator Chris Wallace did not press her on the issue, but it’s a question that deserves an answer, seeing that emails show that some Clinton Foundation donors have gotten government contracts in the past.

Trump’s latest sexual assault allegations

Donald Trump’s misogyny has been known to the public for a relatively long time. Anyone can go through the years of Trump’s interviews and public appearances, and catch all sorts of inappropriate comments directed towards women. He has made it very clear that women are only sex objects to him.

On October 7, the Washington Post released a video from 2005 featuring Donald Trump bragging to Billy Bush that he groped and kissed women without their consent. Trump’s surrogates and supporters have been quick to dismiss the video, claiming that everything said was simply “locker room talk.”

Following the release of the video, there came the reports that in 2005 on the Howard Stern Show, Trump claimed that he walked into dressing rooms while the pageant contestants were naked: ”No men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in, because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it. … ‘Is everyone OK’? You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody OK?’ And you see these incredible looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that.”

Over the past few weeks, more than a dozen women have come forth and accused Donald Trump of sexual assault. Donald Trump had denied all allegations, insisting that he never assaulted the women accusing him of sexual misconduct since they were not attractive enough to be assaulted.

The Trump Campaign has undone years of progress for sexual assault survivors over the last two weeks. Their defense of the sexual assault allegations made against Trump consist of decades-old stereotypes that still prevent many survivors from coming forward. All women who have made claims against Trump have been accused of being gold-diggers, hungry for fame or political tools for the Democrats to destroy his campaign. Not only do his statements belittle the women who have accused him of sexual assault and harassment, they also silence other sexual assault survivors.

Trump accuses Clinton of doping

On October 15 at a New Hampshire rally, Donald Trump accused Hillary Clinton of taking performance enhancing drugs prior to the second presidential debate and proposed that both candidates be required to take drug tests before the final debate:

“We’re like athletes right? Hey, look. I beat seventeen senators, governors. I beat all these people… We’re like athletes right? … But athletes, they make them take a drug test right? I think we should take a drug test prior to the debate. I do. Why don’t we do that? We should take a drug test prior because I don’t know what’s going on with Clinton. But at the beginning of her last debate, she was all pumped up at the beginning, and at the end it was like, ‘Oh, take me down.’ She could barely reach her car.”

This is definitely his excuse for his poor debate performance, and we can easily dismiss it as the incoherent ramblings of a man who looks he’s about to become the thing he hates most in the world: a loser.