First Presidential Debate 2016: 3 Major Differences between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Image: PBS News Hour

Posted by Carla Sanchez

U.S. presidential nominees Hillary Clinton (D) and Donald Trump (R) faced each other for the first time in a historic debate held in New York.  The candidates were asked about some of the most important issues facing voters this election, and there were clearly opposing ideas coming from each.

1) Income Inequality and Taxes

Former U.S. Secretary of State and now the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addressed income inequality directly. The income gap is wider than ever, leaving most Americans with a smaller share of the wealth. Clinton strongly advocates for higher incomes and more jobs. Some of the ways we can achieve this, she suggests, include raising the minimum wage, requiring paid family leave, providing affordable child care for working parents, and above all, “having the wealthy pay their fair share.” Clinton believes that in order to help the majority of Americans struggling in this country, the rich should contribute a portion of their abundant money to those who really need it.

Businessman and Republican nominee Donald Trump, on the other hand, is in favor of reducing taxes for all businesses and lessening regulations on companies, possibly hinting at a trickle-down economics plan. He intends to stop manufacturers from leaving the country or moving jobs abroad. He also argues that trade deals need to be renegotiated in an effort to keep jobs in America.

On the Topic:

Clinton: Requiring the wealthy to pay more/higher taxes.

Trump: Tax cuts for businesses.

2) Race

Clinton correctly stated that in this country, race determines too much, from where one lives to how one is treated. Amidst the recent eruptions of race-based crimes, Clinton calls for a need to restore trust between communities and law enforcement. She supports more training for police and adoption of the “using force only when necessary” ideal. Clinton also calls for criminal justice reform, condemning systematic racism. She is also in favor of common sense gun rules to reduce violent murders.

Trump did not hesitate in claiming that blacks and Hispanics in inner cities are “living in hell.” He straightforwardly calls for “law and order.” However, his proposed means – like stop and frisk – have been denounced as ineffective and unconstitutional. To this, he responds that urban cities are suffering frequent shootings. Trump is in favor of more law enforcement in areas plagued by violence.

On the Topic:

Clinton: Criminal Justice Reform

Trump: Law and Order

3) Securing America

Both candidates agree that securing the borders is imperative. However, they differed on what’s worst for the United States and an unexpected disagreement about whether or not Trump was in favor of the invasion of Iraq or not quickly became a heated argument.

For national security, Clinton proposes a gathering of more information and more intelligence as well as cooperating with Muslims in America and Muslims overseas.  She also believes that there needs to be a crackdown on the sources of strength for terrorists. Online, she says, ISIS recruits young people and influences radicalization, and this should be monitored by our government. Clinton suggests at continuing President Obama’s methods of approaching and destroying the problem.

Trump believes that in cooperation with NATO, forces need to get into Middle East nations and attack ISIS directly. He is not in favor of continuing current anti-terrorist practices and calls for tighter border security. Also, he worries about the possibility of nuclear weapons falling into the wrong hands, and disapproves of the Iran Deal, which he contends has a worse impact on the United States.

On the Topic:

Clinton: More information and cooperation. Combine diplomacy with strategy.

Trump: Stronger border security and keeping terrorists from taking up arms.

Americans are faced with an important choice and must choose the leader who best represents our values as a nation. 

Follow Carla Sanchez on Twitter: @carlasanchez_fl

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