Being Right: Winning on Ideas, Not Insults

Undoubtedly, this has been one of the most controversial elections in history. It gives us the highly unexpected matchup of a career politician vs. one of America’s best-known businessmen. The rhetoric throughout the campaign has been harsh: Clinton is untrustworthy while Trump is disrespectful to women. The level of animosity between the two is strikingly obvious to the public. What have we seen from the two candidates and what can we expect looking ahead?

Despite the fact that Donald Trump won sweeping victories in the Republican primary, we have seen that for the majority of presidential election season, he has trailed Hillary Clinton in the polls. Does this mean that all hope is lost for him? Absolutely not. With the way this election has been progressing, it is clear that anything is possible. Time after time, we have seen Donald Trump dig his own grave with bombastic and shocking commentary only to later maneuver his way out in order to save his campaign.

Clinton decisively won in the first presidential debate while Trump was riled, a little flustered and  not clear on his answers. The second debate on the other hand was surprising, to say the least. Trump had a great performance in which it was obvious that he rehearsed and prepared for the questions. The second time around, Clinton seemed a bit flustered, especially when questioned about her private conversations with Wall Street Executives. 

Now, Trump needs to continue the momentum and mobilize undecided voters to the polls on Election Day. The best way to do this in the final presidential debate is to simply focus on the issues at hand. For the entirety of the election, the mass public has been caught up in each of the candidates’ personal problems and issues: affairs, marital troubles and Trump’s infamous tax returns. While these issues may give us a very slight glimpse into who these candidates are, they do not holistically define them. 

This last debate must focus on Trump’s individual stance on real issues affecting the American people: the economy, education, race relations, the Supreme Court justices and gun control. These are the issues that I want to hear more about. These are the issues that the vast majority of Americans want to hear more about. Since Trump does not have a political track record, it is key that he does not waver on issues because we are voting for him based on words and not prior actions. In the past, Trump has appealed to voters based on emotion and their loss of trust with career politicians. Now, Trump needs to win voters based on his ideas.

As we all know, this is such an incredibly important election year, especially for the Republican party. Hopefully before election day, we can receive some clarity on what each candidate wants for the future of the United States, as opposed to focusing on just personal issues. Unfortunately though, I am not convinced that this will happen before we take to the polls November 8.