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First faceoff Presidential debate today joining Hillary and Trump

 

 

The blockbuster debate which is expected to draw a record audience of over 100 million viewers on TV will be held at Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York.

US Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will lock horns on Monday night in the first of the three presidential debates ahead of the US Presidential elections slated to be held in November this year.

Republican candidate Trump and Democrat candidate Hillary have engaged in a slugfest over the past year and the debate is expected to throw open a spree of personal attacks rather than concerted discussions on policy matters.

The blockbuster debate which is expected to draw a record audience of over 100 million viewers on TV will be held at Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York.

The 90-minute debate will be divided in 15-minute sections. The venue was chosen after Wrights University withdrew from holding the debate due to budgetary constraints.

Hofstra hosted the presidential debate in 2008 between then senators Barack Obama and John McCaine and in 2012 between President Barack Obama and governor Mitt Romney. Hofstra will now become the only university in the US to host three presidential debates.

Trump and Hillary stand poles apart on their views on policy issues. While Hillary is more liberal, billionaire Trump, though known to be eccentric, is far more conservative. He has also come out as grandiose during his presidential campaign.

The leading US media has been critical of Trump’s stand on policy issues but the largely religiously conservative Catholic vote-bank in the US plays a key role in deciding crucial states and Trump has the upper hand in that case.

The major issues up for discussion are likely to be foreign policy, immigration, healthcare, military and LGBTQ rights

Foreign Policy

Hillary is an experienced hand when it comes to foreign policy. Her four-year stint as US Secretary of State in the Obama administration saw her touring over a hundred countries.

She has built a rapport with leaders across the globe and is known to be a tough negotiator in matters of foreign policy. Hillary, however, comes out as too soft on the Arab world and that will be exploited by Trump to his benefit.

Trumps relatively thin view of foreign policy looks to put him in a weaker position against the tough negotiator Hillary.

Trump has targeted ISIS and claimed that he knows them more than the US Generals. Trump has claimed that he has a plan, that he hasn’t disclosed yet, on dealing with the terrorist group.

His sympathies and constant praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin will give Hillary a chance to put Trump on the backfoot. Even though he doesn’t give much details of his plans, he aligns to the majority collective anger of the Americans against the world beyond US borders.

Trump seeks to insulate the US and undermine the US-NATO members’ partnership by demanding payment in return for security. Many see that as a reckless stand and one that has been criticised by his fellow republicans.

While Trump has expressed his sympathies and support to Israel, he has voiced distrust against the rest of the Middle East. he might just invoke the DNC hack issue which may throw the debate open for vitriol and deviation from the core issues.

Immigration

Hillary has spoken in favour of refugees and immigrants, whether legal or illegal, and has stressed that she is committed to allowing people to come to the US to follow the ‘American Dream’. She has championed the rights of immigrants since her days as a law school grad.

She has charmed the large hispanic community and has their support which she will look to maintain. Hillary has argued their cause with empathy. Trump has followed a hard-line stance on immigrants and has advocated deporting of illegal immigrants from the country.

The huge hispanic vote base has stood opposed to Trump’s view but he looks to tap into the conservative white and undereducated swing voters. This debate is expected to be bitter and bordering on moral questioning. Also, Trump’s controversial plans to build a wall on the entire length of the US-Mexico border with what he calls as OPM (other people’s money) will be an issue sharply contested.

Healthcare

Hillary has openly endorsed President Barack Obama’s controversial health program Obamacare and plans to continue if she is elected. On the other hand, Trump has slammed it calling it an “exercise in socialism or communism”.

Trump believes that the program goes against the US capitalist interests and should be discontinued at the earliest. Healthcare is a key election issue in every US election. Healthcare in US is extremely expensive and Obamacare promises healthcare for all.

However, lawmakers have in the past termed it as wasteful and ill conceived. Meanwhile, Trump has not given any clear stance on how he plans to improve the healthcare situation in the US and his argument will largely revolve around bashing Obamacare.

LGBTQ and Women’s Rights

Hillary has advocated the right for abortion and has stood in support of gay marriages and LGBTQ rights. Trump has stood in stark opposition to both. Although both matters are legally in alignment to Hillary’s stand, Trump seeks to overturn the situation if he is elected to the oval office.

Military

While Hillary has showed a liberal and restrained stand on military issues advocating solving international disputes through diplomatic efforts, Trump has batted for boots on ground and that a strong and acting military is a symbol of US pride globally. Trump has insisted that he will wipe out ISIS and other extremists by deploying troops on ground.

However, Hillary has stressed that she wants to limit damage to US military forces and will control the international threats through working closely with its global allies.

Trump has rubbished this stand claiming Obama and his engagements and policies with allies has made US weak and that it needs to be dominant on the world stage and not depend on allies.

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