back to top

What I Learned From The First Presidential Debate

A recap of the first presidential debate in 2016.

Posted on

Indifference is something that the American citizens cannot afford, especially during this election season. Despite the fact that neither one of the candidates are optimal, we still have to make a decision this November. To be completely honest, I don’t think that this decision is going to be one that I will have to ponder over much. Hillary might not be the best, but she is not even close to being Donald Trump, and the first presidential debate yesterday made that very clear.

Hillary Clinton is one hell of a debater, and she knows it! / Via

Whether it was by being calm while our friend, Donald, repeatedly interrupted her (fifty-one times, to be exact), or by not flinching when he stared daggers at her all night, Hillary showed us the charm and presence a presidential candidate is supposed to present. Although Trump would have used many more words (most of them being “wrong”), she stated precisely what she wanted to get across to the nation and didn’t get herself caught up in major issues that could have caused a setback for her campaign. Trump, on the other hand, was anything but presidential. He was duck facing, rambling, and moving around all night. Moreover, he possessed no self-control and etiquette when he constantly interjected Clinton and Holt with a “you’re wrong.” Hillary took full pleasure in him digging his own candidacy grave, and we could even see her chuckling at his ignorance.

Facts are inconsequential to Donald Trump, but he does like to call out his opponents when they are... / Via

Holt did a fantastic job in calling this out during the presidential debate, i.e. when Trump subdued his involvement in the Obama birther movement (and even tried to blame it on Hillary) Holt fact-checking Trump’s statements made the debate even more memorable, as Holt represented a non-partisan figure who simply did not have the patience to listen to Trump’s excuses. If a candidate can continuously produce such blatant lies and slander his opponents, what gives him or her the right to even hold office and represent America in front of the rest of the world. It’s one thing for a politician to lie or stretch the truth once or twice, because, let’s be real, honest candidates are as real as the ephemeral concepts of democracy and freedom in America are, but for someone running to be the President of the United States to lie or to incite violence among his supporters nearly every time he speaks is something completely unacceptable. There is a line, and Trump has clearly crossed it.

Hillary, despite her smug comment, did not prepare for everything?! / Via

Hillary proudly admitted that she had prepared well for the debate, and that is something that a presidential candidate should brag about. It shows her supposed preparedness for one of the most decisive debates that she will have to participate in in her life. Yet, one of the most cringe-worthy parts of the debate was when Trump actually had a head up on Hillary’s case, and Hillary wasn’t able to get a single point across to defend her case. It was on trade, a topic that was so obviously going to be discussed, it’s surprising how she, at least, looked unprepared for the barrage of jabs that Trump threw at her. Trump’s manner of yelling his argument was an obvious blunder on Trump’s part, however the points that he were making were also unapologetically valid (although, still, definitely an exaggeration). With her husband’s gaffe of the passage of NAFTA (which was detrimental to the American job market, but definitely not as much as Trump insinuated), and her flipflop on her stance on the TPP, she was ambushed into a corner on trade, an area that (as the previous Secretary of State) she is much more qualified to talk about. However, once confronted by Trump, she simply diverted the situation and went back to talk about his taxes, which was disappointing, but hopefully she will work on it for the second presidential debate.

Donald Trump has a lot of property! / Via

There was a point in time during the debate when all Trump talked about was how many properties he has all over the country. Every time a particular city or state was brought up, he would respond by stating that he had an investment there. He thinks that by having land in a particular region, he suddenly empathizes with the people that live there and their individual situations. Such a tactic, if anything, is counterproductive. By telling us about the millions of dollars he has squandered to acquire that land, he is only driving a bigger wedge between him and majority of the United States. It’s ironic how instead of relating to us, he’s coming across as a privileged bigot.

It's not smart to pay your taxes. (Well you could have mentioned that like a hundred years ago?!) / Via

I honestly don’t know what overcame Donald Trump when he decided to announce on national television, with over eighty million viewers, that not paying your taxes is smart. By trying to avoid paying his taxes, Donald is taking away from funding programs for education, veterans, and national security. What’s worse is that we KNOW that Mr. Trump has more than enough money, as he has repeatedly reminded us of his extravagance, and has no reason to avoid his national duty other than covering up his greed and bad investment decisions. In fact, this calls into question his purpose for even wanting to be president. If he doesn’t care to support programs that form the basis of our country, how can he care about running our country. The White House is a symbol for patriotism, not something that a business mogul can turn into a conquest. Trump even mentioned that if he didn’t get elected, he was going to expand his business to Pennsylvania Avenue anyway, so he would be getting there one way or another. By turning one of the most respected positions into a question about power and status is diminishing the value of his current position as one of the two main presidential candidates, and making a mockery of our country.

Hillary doesn't have stamina? Outraged, well you should be! / Via

It’s pretty obvious that what Trump meant by this particular statement is that Hillary is a women, and a women does not have the energy or the ability to run a country. I’m sorry to break it to you Mr. Trump, but if you want to go back to the 1900’s then you’re going to need a time machine! We are in the twenty-first century, living in one of the most progressive nations, yet on a national platform we get to hear that women are still not good enough to hold the same positions as men have done in the past. All of the progress that we have made in the past fifty years will all have gone to waste if we cannot accept the fact that men and women are equal . This was one of the lowest points of the debate, and Trump should not be able to get away with this.


Although I do not agree with every one of Hillary’s decisions, I know that she will make a much better president than Trump. If he couldn’t even control himself in a debate, how can he control himself while talking to leaders in other nations, or while trying to negotiate treaties. Trump’s entire campaign is a cruel joke to the people living in our country who are not white men. He has displayed zero respect towards women and people of colour; just those facts alone should caution any citizen from making the gravest decision of their lives and voting for the screaming, violent, orange, sorry excuse for a man. But even if those facts don’t deter people from voting for Trump, perhaps the fact that he has lied constantly in public about various things, and that he is someone he cannot trust at all would deter people from voting for him. However, regardless of your position, one thing is certain: everyone who can vote in this election should register to vote, because the future of the nation is in our hands.

**These are all personal opinions and in no way are a representation of what the magazine endorses. The publication of this article is not intended to offend anyone.

This post was created by a member of BuzzFeed Community, where anyone can post awesome lists and creations. Learn more or post your buzz!