Liberal Column

Clinton victorious after passionate performance in final debate

/ The Daily Orange

Hillary Clinton has finally had enough.

After months of Donald Trump’s scorched-earth campaign aimed at discrediting Clinton’s character, record and policy, the Democratic candidate took a stand when she had little to gain from the third and final presidential debate on Wednesday.

This time around Clinton strayed from the “when they go low, we go high” strategy that her campaign had seemingly employed over the course of the previous debates.

In the shadow of the Trump Hotel — which is built from Chinese steel, by the way — Clinton was in rare form, showing a passion and temerity that she had yet to exhibit. Clinton’s detailed and descriptive policy outlines countered Trump’s talk of “big league” immigration reform, a “great trade deal” and other hyperbole. The specifics of her campaign were eloquently stated, yet the tone with which she delivered these proposals held a slight tinge of anger.

Clinton has been criticized for being too political and not showing enough emotion, yet she held nothing back on this occasion. Clinton called out her opponent for his failure to bring up “The Wall” in his meeting with the Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto, and elicited laughs from the audience when she questioned “Who does that?” in regard to the six-foot-tall portrait of himself that Trump purchased with funds allocated to his foundation.

Most potently, Clinton called attention to Trump’s proposed punishment for women who seek abortions.

“Using that kind of scare rhetoric is just terribly unfortunate,” Clinton said. “You should meet with some of the women that I’ve met with, women I’ve known my entire life. This is one of the worst possible choices that a woman and her family has to make. And I do not believe that the government should be making it.”

Regardless of policy, this was a defining moment in a night that included Trump eliciting audience laughter for saying, “Nobody has more respect for women than I do.” Clinton exposed Trump as the sexist, misogynistic bully that he is.

When Donald Trump leans into the microphone, purses his lips and calls Clinton’s statements “wrong,” it does not discredit what she is saying. When Donald Trump brings special guests to the debates to be used as props, it does not make him appear sympathetic. When Donald Trump bullies his opponent by impersonating her, calling her names, and questioning her judgment, it does not make him strong.

By most measures, Clinton has a strong advantage in the polls. Her victory in the election seems imminent, as evidenced by the Trump campaign’s refusal to state whether or not they will contest the results of the election.

Clinton’s refusal to stand by and play out the string into November shows that she has the strength and leadership skills needed to properly carry out the presidential duties this country needs. She was also amiable, genuine and heartfelt.

Ultimately, Clinton eliminated all doubt regarding whether or not she has the character to be president and she did so in spectacular fashion.

Ryan Dunn is a freshman history major. His column appears weekly. He can be reached at rarozenb@syr.edu.

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