Clinton delivers great debate, Trump steals show with dangerous rhetoric

Democratic nominee shows policy competence, presidential fitness

Ethan Brown

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton did almost everything right in the third presidential debate, but Republican nominee Donald Trump’s flat out stiff-arm to traditional democracy proved to be the biggest headline from the final debate.

The event, held at the University of Las Vegas, began rather surprisingly, with both candidates sticking to policy-driven arguments. For the first time in any of the three debates, Trump held his ground and acted rather presidential for about 15 minutes. This was, of course, until Clinton brought up Russia’s hacking of email accounts to sway the election.

The Democratic nominee did this by using her best skill — preparation. Clinton showed a readiness to address any questions on her hacked emails and found ways to pivot the discussion back to Trump. This was specifically shown when she called Trump the “puppet” of Russia Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, causing a loss of whatever mature attitude he held in the debate’s early segments by lashing out at Clinton.

Trump’s response to many of Clinton’s claims didn’t help his case much either. He gave a rather lackluster statement when pressured about his relationship with Russia and told Clinton to “make it impossible” for him to obtain illegally dumped steel from China for construction purposes. Trump doesn’t seem to understand two major points: Clinton couldn’t change everything as just one Senator and Trump can’t use loopholes and blame politicians when he gets caught.

Chris Wallace, a Fox News anchor, performed the best out of any moderator in all four debates, presidential and vice-presidential. He not only handled a rowdy crowd but also kept the candidates to their time limits and challenged the two on important issues such as foreign policy and their economic plans. The third debate was no doubt the most policy-centered because of Wallace.

The major discussion point of the third debate came towards the end of the event when Trump said he would refuse to accept the election results if he lost. This isn’t just another Trump quip, it’s the blatant refusal of the U.S. electoral system. If Trump can’t accept the outcome of democracy, he shouldn’t be a part of it. This moment destroyed any chance of Trump winning the debate and only added weight to his sinking campaign.

On the other side of the podiums, Clinton did everything she needed to accomplish. She was collected but knew when to fight back against Trump’s juvenile attacks. She talked about policy more than she had in any other debate, one of her strong advantages over Trump, who lacks policy knowledge. Clinton’s only misstep was engaging Trump when he addressed her experience, which has earned too much stage time and seems like a pointless topic at this point in the election.

This debate was Clinton’s to win and Trump’s to lose, and that is exactly what happened. Trump did nothing to help his campaign and only created more drama. Clinton not only stayed calm, but brought an offensive approach to the event and showed Trump, and U.S. citizens, why she’s most fit to be president in this election.