Tougaw: Who won the third debate?

Taylor Tougaw

Plot twist: In a surprising turn of events,it turns out that republicans are for 2nd amendment rights and Democrats are against it. Republicans are against abortion and Democrats are for it. Trump wants to put in republican justices to the Supreme Court and Clinton wants to put in Democrats. Trump wants to build a wall to keep immigrants out, Hillary thinks that’s stupid.

Here’s another shocker: Trump wants to lower taxes and Clinton wants to raise them. Is any of this new to anyone? Who just read any of that and was honestly shocked? I’ll wait.

Ad

If you’re familiar with boxing or MMA, you’ll know that when two fighters come down to the last minute and nobody is the clear winner, both fighters will swing for the fences in hopes of getting that last second knockout punch.Last night was the third and final presidential debate of the 2016 election, and I expected blood. Good thing it doesn’t matter what I want, because what we got instead was the most boring three-peat of the past debates.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that this makes sense for both candidates. Better to play it safe. Unfortunately for the rest of us, that makes watching the debates (and writing a summary of who won) less exciting than it could have been. That being said, I must give major props to the moderator. The questions asked tonight were tough and he didn’t let either candidate slip away from them. Instead of recapping every little thing each candidate said that you already know, I’m going to pick out some of my personal highlights and pick a winner at the end.

The first question was the best question. Both candidates were asked who they would fill the supreme court with (wow, a policy question!). Unsurprisingly, Trump said he would put in conservative justices, and Clinton said she wants Democratic justices in there. No surprises here. What made this such an important question is that, for potentially the first time in American history, all three branches of government are up for grabs at once. The presidency and Congress can go either way, but whoever wins the presidency will in fact control the makeup of the Supreme Court. This is an extremely important topic for potential voters to consider, and I encourage each one of you to think about this during the election.

The Supreme Court question led directly to the next very hard hitting question of abortion. I didn’t think any moderator would touch this, but touch it they did. They were also asked if they would overturn Roe V. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling in favor of abortions. Again, no surprises here, but overturning a landmark Supreme Court case is no easy feat. Having the conviction to do so (or not do so) reflects how they each think they can fill the Supreme Court.

I should jump out here and address when Secretary Clinton was asked about her recent Wikileaks scandal. Wikileaks has slowly been releasing many of Clinton’s emails which contain damaging and extremely shady practices. When asked about this, Clinton did not try and address the things that Wikileaks was releasing. Instead, she tried to cover it up by saying that it is an extremely grave concern that foreign governments are hacking us and we do nothing about it. She’s totally right about that: Being hacked by a foreign government should be out utmost concern. However, right now, the public wants to know what the hell she was thinking when writing some of those (borderline illegal) emails. If her only answer is “well its a bad thing that somebody found them,” then we have a problem. Not a good look for Hillary.

Speaking of ‘not a good look,’ Trump was asked a tough question as well. Chris Wallace, the moderator, asked Trump ” nine women have come forward and said that you either groped them or kissed them without their consent.Why would so many different women from so many different circumstances over so many different years, why would they all in this last couple of weeks make up….”

Tough question, tough answer. To make it worse, Trump is replied by saying “I don’t even know those women.” Unfortunately for Donald, he is on video in the days prior to the debate saying that those women weren’t attractive enough for him to grope. Not a good look for Donald.

Trump did turn this around, however, by pointing out the surprisingly untouched fact that, for all of her talk about women’s and social rights, Hillary Clinton has taken a ton of money from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, countries where gays are murdered publicly and women have next to zero rights. If she was really for social justice and women’s rights, why would she accept this money? No response from Clinton.

Perhaps the most terrifying part of the night came near the end, and the one we should all be paying attention to. I will put here, verbatim, what Chris Wallace asked Donald Trump.

“But sir, there is a tradition in this country, in fact one of the prides of this country, is the peaceful transition of power and that no matter how hard fought a campaign is, that at the end of the campaign, that the loser concedes to the winner, not saying that you are necessarily going to be the you loser or the winner, but that the loser concedes to the winner and that the country comes together in part for the good of the country, are you saying that you are not prepared now to commit to that principle?”

Ad

And what did Trump say? Did he say, “yes, I’ll honor the outcome”? Nope. Instead what he said was “What I’m saying now is I will tell you at the time. I will keep you in suspense, okay?”

This could be one of the most potentially horrifying things that has ever come out of a pre-militaristic coup-leader’s mouth since Leon Trotsky was ice-picked. Clinton was right to point out how terrifying this sentiment could be.

This debate was the same old same old that we’ve seen. Both sides had good quips and retorts, but the fact that Donald refused to say he would potentially admit defeat is too worrying to ignore.

I give this one to Hillary.