The much-heralded debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump may very well swing the sentiment of the American people toward the candidate perceived by the majority to be the winner.
Some think Trump will resort to his egocentric bravado and reckless name-calling, which has characterized his campaign. Others fear Clinton will mirror the Democratic demagoguery and condescending attitude, which has typified her in the past.
While many of the polls show the race in a dead heat with neither candidate having a distinctive edge, Secretary Clinton has some very positive factors that position her favorably to win the presidency.
First, Hillary Clinton gives Americans the opportunity to make a historic decision by electing the first woman president. To many people this is vitally important, a bridge that needs to be crossed, a corner that needs to be turned, a woman’s rights’ issue that needs to be achieved, and a victory that needs to be won. Barak Obama championed that cause for minority groups and many believe Clinton is the perfect candidate to do the same for women.
Secondly, the Democrats have a massive, well-organized ground game with great strategists and an ample number of people to implement the game plan. They know how to use the Internet and social media. President Obama used these new tools to defeat Clinton in the 2008 primary and John McCain in 2012 presidential election. Many of the president's strategists and campaigners have now joined Clinton’s team and are effectively soliciting grass roots support across the country.
Third, the Democrats have had great success in winning the minority vote; and the number of minorities eligible to vote has increased considerably in the past eight years. The minority vote and the Millennials who strongly supported Bernie Sanders could become the determining factor in the 2016 election.
Fourth, the liberal left has been winning the culture wars in recent years. The left has celebrated the Supreme Court’s attempt to redefine marriage and the laissez-faire interpretation of the First Amendment that has resulted in the erosion of our religious liberty. The moderates/liberals have rejoiced in the stricter gun control laws and stronger environmental laws. There are too many examples of liberals winning the cultural war to mention here, but most Democrats have been on the winning side in those contests.
Fifth, Donald Trump has not always been the paragon of virtue and his rhetoric during the Republican primary was seldom guarded. It is also curious, if not shocking, that he would state he never had reason to have to confess any sin. Furthermore, he seems to have altered his position on several issues of importance to the American people.
These five issues may give Hillary Clinton some kind of advantage, but let us also consider five issues that may well give Donald Trump an advantage.
First, Mr. Trump seems to be capitalizing on the angst of the American people toward a broken political system in America. Millions of Americans seem to think politicians aspire to office to see how holding a position of influence will benefit them. Years ago Mark Twain said, “America is a nation without a distinct criminal class with the possible exception of Congress.”
Americans cry out, “We no longer have a representative form of government, because once we elect people to office they seem to be only interested in advancing their own personal agenda.” Trump appears to offer a fresh alternative to an entrenched bureaucracy. Some believe that Clinton’s election would simply be more of the same kind of politics that has existed for the past eight years.
Second, Mr. Trump has already won the victory over 16 Republican competitors; and he has drawn extraordinary crowds at his political rallies. The populist support Trump has received bodes well for the Republican presidential nominee, but it is the electoral vote that matters most and whether he can win that vote is still up for debate.
Third, Trump’s policies are appealing to millions of Americans. His promise to appoint Supreme Court judges that are strict constitutionalists meets with strong approval among conservatives. His determination to strengthen our military and deal with ISIS in the swiftest and most efficient way possible is also being well received in an ever-increasing fashion. His policies on immigration, trade, sanctity of life, and oil independence are all widely accepted by conservatives.
Fourth, although Trump has been divorced twice and married three times he seems to have a family that is loving, industrious, united, and committed to the very best of his values and principles. Trump’s wife, Melania, and all of his five children have been solidly behind their father in his bid for the presidency.
Fifth, although Trump and Clinton are virtually the same age; he has campaigned vigorously and seems to be more physically fit than the former first lady to fulfill the responsibilities of the office. Clinton has had to cancel her scheduled rallies on several occasions and come nowhere close to maintaining the rigorous schedule of Donald Trump. I might also add that when one gets alone in the voting booth with no one watching to see which lever is pulled or which box is marked, Trump just may have an advantage in that moment of truth.
Since the election seems to be a toss-up on this day of the debate, the candidates’ performance could swing the pendulum in a decisive way. Since this may be the most important election in decades, make sure you are registered and do not forget to vote.