The first presidential debate for the United States between the two nominated candidates took place on Monday 26th September at 9pm (Eastern Time) at Hofstra University in New York. The participants in the debate were Donald Trump (Republican nominee) and Hillary Clinton (Democratic nominee). The debate lasted for 90 minutes.
It was a debate to articulate the policies, positions, visions and values of the candidates. Three main topics of the debate were achieving prosperity, America’s direction and securing America.
1. Achieving prosperity:
As with all presidential debates, the domestic issue of jobs in the country arises time and time again.
-The problem of lack of jobs and income equality.
-There needs to be more jobs in infrastructure (roads, bridges, airports and so on), advanced technology (software, coding and so on), renewable energy (solar, wind and so on), and growth in small businesses.
-Specific issues of income inequality: raising the national minimum wage, profit sharing (so those who make the profits will get more a share of the profits rather than simply lining the pockets of the executives), getting the balance right between family and work, making university affordable and debt free.
-It is tough to bring jobs back to the country as there is cheaper labour overseas, which is attractive to profit hungry businesses.
-Enforce the trade deals America has.
-Focus should pivot more to clean energy. Some country is going to be the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. Why not let it be America? This creates jobs, activity, and is the right thing to do for the sustainability of the planet.
-Slashing taxes for the wealthy hasn’t worked. Top down doesn’t work in America. Needs broad based inclusive growth.
2. America’s direction:
-Race unfortunately determines too much. It can determine where someone lives, it can determine the result of the criminal justice system, it can determine the kind of education received in public schools.
-Need to restore trust between communities and the police. Need more training and techniques for the police, for them to be better equipped to use force only when necessary.
-Everyone should be respected by the law and everyone should respect the law.
-Need to get guns out of the hands of people that should not have them. Of those that are out to do harm. If someone is on a watch list and deemed too dangerous to fly, that person is too dangerous to buy a gun.
-Need to deal with mandatory minimum jail sentences. Shouldn't have a jail system that is profit driven to fill cells.
-Many police find it difficult to deal with people who have mental health issues. This is a major concern for policing. They need more support, training and assistance.
-There are the right ways of doing things and there are other ways that prove to be ineffective.
3/ Securing America:
-Cyber security and cyber warfare will be the greatest challenge facing the next president.
-There are two different adversaries. Independent hacking groups with commercial interests and state sponsored cyber hacking.
-USA does not want to engage in cyber warfare between countries. However USA will defend the citizens of their country.
-On Iraq: George W Bush made the agreement about when American troops would leave Iraq. The only way that American troops would have stayed in Iraq is to get an agreement from the then-Iraqi government that would have protected American troops. The Iraqi government would not give that protection.
-By working more closely with allies on intelligence, it will better protect America's security.
-NATO Article 5: an attack on one member state is an attack on them all. The only time Article 5 has been invoked was after the 9/11 attacks. The 28 nations of NATO said they would go to Afghanistan to fight terrorism.
-The USA spent time building a coalition including Russia and China to impose the toughest sanctions on Iran, in efforts to prevent their nuclear weapons program. These economic sanctions worked, as they compelled Iran to the negotiating table. This negotiation broke up Iran's pursuit for their nuclear weapons program.
-Trump's cavalier attitude about nuclear weapons is troubling.
-It is the policy of the United States to reduce proliferation of nuclear weapons.