By BENJAMIN ROCHETEAU
At 6:00 sharp on October 19, 2016, millions settled in front of televisions, tablets, phones, and computers to watch what could have ended up being one of the most important events in the 2016 election: the third presidential debate. It was not one of the most decisive, as that would probably have been with the first presidential debate or the release of the Trump tapes, but definitely one of the most important. This election will probably go down in history as the election in which America became the laughing stock of the international community. On the stage, two of the weakest candidates to ever run for president fought for public approval. One candidate was a man who represents everything hated by society: idiocy, rudeness, racism, sexism, hypocrisy, and maliciousness. He has broken laws and taken advantage of the working class and the law countless times. The other candidate was a woman who has a background of controversy and scandals, and whose support comes mainly from fear of Trump winning.
Throughout the debates, the quality of the performances of both candidates has steadily increased. The candidate who changed the most dramatically is undoubtedly Trump, who at first obviously did not know what he was talking about and evaded questions as if he were trying to dodge bullets. However, as the debates went on, he transitioned into a candidate who was composed, who tried to answer the questions, and who knew some facts about the subject which he was discussing. It may sound like an amazing transition, but it truly just highlights the ridiculousness of this election. One of the front runners of the American presidential race is a man who originally acted like he’d never learned of politeness or politics and who, to this day, still acts like a child.
During the debate, his blatant hypocrisy left him wide open to comebacks from Clinton, who ridiculed him intensely and made him look like a fool. Her negative sentiments were backed up by the fact that his diction was as limited to his usual handful of adjectives and insults. He did, surprisingly, use a surprising amount of fact in his arguments, which showed that he had practiced substantially more than he had for his other two debates combined. Combined with the fact that some of his arguments actually made some sense, his performance showed that this debate was by far Trump’s strongest debate.However, he was still completely dominated by Clinton in all three debates, who had more facts, better arguments, and logical responses to Trump’s arguments.
Throughout the debates, Clinton was like an oak tree, taking all the abuse Trump could throw at her while responding mostly passively, with the occasional withering comeback, like when Trump attacked her on what she did while in office, and Clinton countered by describing what she and Trump were doing while she was in office. Her defenses seemed a bit worn down, though; Trump managing to slip underneath her skin of a couple of occasions, but never for long. This occurred when Trump went on a tangent to attack Clinton on her e-mail scandal. She completely ignored the attack, and talked on Trump’s tendency to go off on a tangent when attacked. While some may say the she ignored his provocation, it also shows that she was unwilling to talk about the e-mails, which shows that she was uncomfortable with the subject.
Some polls on the internet claim that Trump won the debate, but that is far from the truth. While Trump was somewhat strong during the beginning of the debate, he lost steam before the debate was even halfway done. He became the same uncomposed wreck that he had been at the end of the first two debates, and he was still far from being as calm or in control as Clinton. Clinton’s knowledge of the facts gave her a deciding edge against Trump, who at times dodged questions completely. These overt evasions showed that he either did not know the subject or that he was unwilling to expose himself to criticism, both of which are unacceptable for a president.
Trump’s attempts to dodge the questions were not ignored by the moderator, Chris Wallace, who tried to get answers out of him regardless, such as when Wallace tried to wrestle an answer out of Trump on his position on Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case which gave women the right to an abortion. Wallace was probably the best moderator out of the three that America saw, as he asked hard and intelligent questions and tried to limit their answers to straight answers regarding their opinion or platform. And although he may have lost credibility by attacking Clinton on a quote found on Wikileaks and by asking some questions which had some Republican bias, he gained credibility by keeping the candidates on a much shorter leash than his previous two colleagues had. He made the third presidential debate the most informative of the three, and as the third debate is the last major chance for the candidates to make an impression on the undecided, he has finalised the results of the election.