Both candidates have increased their campaign efforts to become the 45th president of the United States. At the first presidential debate on Monday, Sept. 26, both candidates presented their arguments to their American people.
Business mogul Donald Trump argued for some of the largest tax cuts to date for the wealthy, as well as deregulation to encourage businesses to stay in America. He also suggests that the government needs to renegotiate trade deals with other countries to keep American businesses prosperous.
Randy Price, the Lee Country Republican Federation chairman, said the party is happy with their candidate. They have been supporting Trump since the primaries. Price says Trump would bring change to the status quo and the American people are looking for a successful businessman.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton argued that cutting taxes for the wealthy would be “Trumped up trickle-down economics” (Trickle-down economics being the policy instated by Reagan that cut taxes for the wealthy on the basis that it would eventually benefit the middle class).
Nancy Worley, the Alabama Democratic Party chair, said her party is happy with their candidate as well. They began formerly endorsing her around the time of the California Democratic primary election, when it was clear she would be the nominee.
“As first woman chair,” she said, “I was very excited to get a female candidate.”
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Clinton argued for higher taxes on the wealthy and investing directly into the middle class economy, claiming “we need broad-based inclusive growth, not more advantages for the wealthy.”
Trump countered this point by saying higher taxes would drive away businesses, and since he was a businessman, he was the one for the job. The tax cuts would mainly benefit himself, Clinton said. This back and forth essentially continued for the rest of the debate while the moderator tried to keep the candidates in line.
They discussed clean energy (Clinton for, Trump not taking a clear stance) race relations (Clinton for community policing and retraining police, Trump for “law and order” and better community relations) gun control (Both for keeping those on the terrorist watch list from obtaining guns, Clinton for comprehensive background checks) and security (Clinton claiming cyber terrorism is the nation’s next big threat, Trump mostly agreeing).
The winner on the debate varies depending on which news source you are watching, but most agree it was one of the most highly televised and tweeted debates to date.
Price said Trump is strongest on national defense, job creation and economic development.
“Look at the polls,” Price said. "People want to be safe, and they want the security that comes with a job."
He believes this will influence independent voters to vote for Trump, and that there's a media divide between Clinton and Trump.
“All you have to do is look, you see how Fox will report something totally different than other media outlets," he said. "Is it fair? Their job is to report actual news, and the media needs to be more truthful.”
Worley says Clinton is the strongest on healthcare, and economic issues surrounding working families and small businesses.
“Hillary is well-prepared and experienced at every level of government,” Worley said.
She believes this will attract the independent voters toward Clinton — as well as Republicans who are not in favor of Trump.
Worley believes that throughout the campaign Clinton has been held to a different standard than Trump. Either because she is a politician and he is not, or maybe even because she is a woman. Worley thinks the media needs to start holding both candidates to the same level of expectation if they are to relay accurate information.
Both parties agree it is crucial for people, especially young people, to vote in this election.
“It is crucial that those eighteen-and-up vote," Price said. "This is their future, and every vote counts."
Since President Barack Obama rode a wave of millennial support to the presidency in 2008, Worley agreed.
“We need to make history, and we need to maintain our democracy,” Worley said.
Both parties within Lee County are taking volunteers and holding “get out the vote” events to rally support around their candidates. With this election, multiple appointments are up for grabs, including two Supreme Court seats that will effect America long after the 45th president is out of office.
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