There are now only 36 hours to go, until the commencement of one of the more anticipated television events in history. Obviously, I’m talking about the first scheduled Presidential debate between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, which should provide the ultimate spectacle to arguably the most fascinating US Presidential race of all time.
But what should be the expectations for this debate from the Clinton and Trump camps? After the horror month that was August, already, Donald Trump has begun to make key ground in several polls, to the point that in traditionally Democratic states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, Trump has taken various leads.
Given Trump’s rise has been accompanied with controversies regarding Hilary Clinton’s emails and health, an election once predicted to culminate in a Democrat landslide, now looks set for a close result.
Now that the predictions for the election have come within the margin of error, the onus and expectations have shifted heavily towards Clinton. As things currently stand, the election is very much Clinton’s to lose.
For it is her type, the establishment neo- conservatives within both major parties, that have bankrupted America and driven it into a series of needless and catastrophic wars. Up against this establishment figure is that of the ultimate outsider in the exuberant business man turned- politician, Donald J. Trump. And while the Clintons and the Bushes have owned the past, those who will own the future, is yet to be determined.
Despite elitist protest, the signs are there that Trump’s populist positions on trade, immigration and foreign policy, are resonating among American voters and in doing so, Trump has unleashed the once forgotten ‘silent majority’. Voters have been drawn to the existing platform that has created, with voter enthusiasm for Trump supporters superior to Hilary backers.
However, there is one final barrier lying between Trump and a further step towards the Presidency. Whilst his visits to Mexico and Egypt have aided in furthering a ‘Presidential’ Trump, doubts over his temperament and purportedly rash nature remain. It is this message that Trump is ‘unfit’ to serve as President due to such character tendencies, that has been rammed home by Clinton throughout this general election.
And with Clinton’s extraordinary array of errors and scandals, it appears that should this issue of temperament be adequately resolved, a Trump path to the Presidency would seem highly likely.
Considering all of this, an effective Trump first debate should comprise of a simple, straightforward strategy.
The Donald must focus on his core campaign messages, while allowing time for dissecting Clinton’s weaknesses and horrific track record as Secretary of State, both in terms of foreign policy and in her inexcusable disregard for the delicacies of classified information. But while average voters do not at great length analyse specific details of policy proposals, what will be of note to the average onlooker, is the manner by which Trump carries out the first debate.
Subsequently, rather than content being the primary means to assess Trump’s performance, style will be the most important factor. If Trump is to remain calm, composed and capable of conducting himself in a way which seems in accordance with common decency, this will be a significant victory.
With Trump’s current wave of momentum, all that is required is a cool, steady approach, to legitimize the idea of a President Trump, as an alternative to the status quo of Washington corruption, as epitomized in its purest form through Hilary Clinton. I also thoroughly encourage the Donald to stick to his campaign’s core populist tones on trade, immigration and foreign policy.
Further, attacks on Hilary’s record must avoid references to trivial issues, such as Bill’s past mistresses or other irrelevant matters. If these assaults are kept in check with some sort of discipline, and the core issues are emphasized, Trump will take a perceived victory.