By: Dylan Brennan, Columnist
The final presidential debate of 2016 was certainly an interesting one. Trump was definitely much better prepared for it this time — he at least started out with a calmer tone. While I don’t agree with everything Donald Trump proposes, he has given good explanation of his vision with such issues as illegal immigration. He wants people to be legal, documented American citizens who pay taxes and fully contribute to American society. Ironically, Trump was baiting Clinton early on in the third debate, and she seemed more flustered and unprepared than he did for the first half.
Of course, Trump can’t help himself, and so he soon devolved into constant interruptions and bickering. This is where many people believe he lost the debate. From calling Clinton a puppet, to calling her foundation a criminal enterprise, to saying she’s “such a nasty woman,” many people were disgusted with how Trump ended the 2016 debate season.
This is a good point to better define myself and where I stand politically. I am not a hardline Republican. I am a centrist who refuses to vote Clinton. Now I may be a bit biased, but when Trump insults Clinton, it doesn’t sway my vote at all. Anyone who loves Clinton is already voting for her, so Trump doing these verbal pokes and prods aren’t going to affect independent voters, at least in my view. However, it may not necessarily invite newcomers to the Trump fan club. While his aggressive nature in speaking to Secretary Clinton may galvanize Trump’s base, his childish name-calling and speaking out of turn doesn’t reflect well on his presidential mannerisms. All I’m saying is that this won’t sink his ship as the media may proclaim.
The same goes for his infamous statements that the elections may be rigged. There have been several revelations as of late that could support his hefty claim, most notably the O’Keefe tapes, which secretly recorded a meeting of DNC surrogates boasting how they commit voter fraud and multiple votes per person, let alone inciting violence at Trump rallies. This video was the trending at No. 1 on social media before the debates began, and I’m astonished the media didn’t even mention it. Trump cited this example as a reason why he says this, so he at least has legs to stand on despite what some would say.
So, in short, I do believe Trump won this final debate, but that small victory won’t move national polls or flip swing states like Pennsylvania or Ohio in his favor. He was also marred with slip-ups and bouts of snide remarks.
All he did was solidify his current support, but he missed a golden opportunity with a national audience watching to expand his appeal to women, independents and disgruntled Democrats.
Being good at the last debate is nothing compared to his floundering the last two, and Clinton was prepared and consistent in all three events.