The People vs. The Candidates

The People vs. The Candidates

Hillary Trump.jpg

Jennifer Richardson, Business Contributor

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off tonight in a heated debate that mirrors an age old tradition of publicly humiliating and undermining the traditional values of the republic. By traditional values I mean that elections have been about the candidate, rather than the people the candidates are there to represent.

Tonight’s 90-minute debate speaks to whole a new level of voting age constituents, the Millennials. During tonight’s debate Trump and Clinton started off calm and collected, and then it quickly turned on its head. Clinton took the first question asked by Lester Holt, and eloquently changed the question to suit her own needs. Trump, while not as graceful of a speaker, answered the question adequately.

This campaign and the election as a whole resonates with an election from America’s early years. The election of 1828 between Andrew Jackson, the democrat, and John Quincy Adams, the National Republican. The campaign between Jackson and Adams has been named the “dirtiest” campaign to happen in America. The 1828 election was won by Andrew Jackson, a hot head and a fighter for the common man. It is important to keep Jackson’s and Adams’ political party affiliation with historical lenses in mind, because Jackson’s values, although a democrat, align with today’s Republican party. Adams’ values align with today’s democratic party.

”In 1827 supporters in both the Adams and Jackson camps began concerted efforts to undermine the character of the opponent. Even though the two candidates had strong differences on substantial issues, the resulting campaign turned out to be based on personalities. And the tactics employed were outrageously underhanded.” — About Education

“A good deal of mud was slung on both sides, much of it aimed at Jackson’s marriage, his violent escapades, and the incidents of ferocious discipline and of disrespect for civilian authority that dotted his military career.... Jacksonians branded Adams as a corruptionist, an aristocrat, and—ridiculously—a libertine.”— Miller Center

he Jackson and Adams campaign focused on the other candidate’s personal life, which has no bearing on the candidates’ ability to effectively govern. Just like how both the Clinton and Trump campaigns focus on each other’s personal lives, rather than their constituents. Perhaps this is why Bernie Sanders appealed to so many Americans. Whereas Trump and Clinton come from wealthy backgrounds, and championed themselves rather than the constituents. Once a person accepts a presidential nomination from a political party it should no longer be about the candidate, but about the people.

“Hillary Clinton accused Donald Trump of insulting America’s veterans and pressing dangerous military plans around the globe on Tuesday, seeking to undercut his appeal to service families in Southern voting battlegrounds. Trump declared ‘our country is going to hell’ because of policies she would make even worse.” — Penn Live

“‘Like a schoolyard bully who can’t rely on facts or issues, Trump has only one way of responding to legitimate criticism of his own vulnerabilities: ‘I know you are, but what am I?’” — Politico

Clinton and Trump are trying to undermine each other’s candidacy by making the other look bad like a high school popularity contest. Not only are they failing to reach their constituency, but they are undermining their campaign. Americans are tired of hearing the negative rhetoric associated with these events. Americans don’t care who did what happened 25 years ago. Americans want to know what the candidates are going to do for them.

A New York Times article compares Trump’s campaign and rhetoric to the,

“style of Andrew Jackson, and the states where Mr. Trump is strongest are the ones that most consistently favored Jackson during his three runs for the White House. What Mr. Trump borrows from Jackson is not an issue, but a way of thinking about the world. Mr. Trump promises to fix his supporters’ problems, no matter who else is hurt. He’s a wealthy celebrity always ready for a fight, a superpatriot who says he will make America great again. He vows to attack government corruption and defend the common man. All this could be said of Jackson.”

Within the the first fifteen minutes it could be easily seen that Lester Holt had trouble containing Clinton and Trump as they attacked each other like bullies. The American people were hoping to see a debate between civilized and educated people, but instead the American people received two candidates who cannot cast aside their petty squabbles for 90-minutes and put the people first.   

As the debate dwindles down the American people need to realize that this country can no longer rely on two bickering ideologies. There is more to America than Republican and Democrat. We are more than our political identification. So for this election please remember that we are all Americans, and that is far more valuable.

Follow this author on Twitter @jrichardson1776

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Missed Opportunities

Live Blog: First Presidential Debate

Live Blog: First Presidential Debate