The Bull Moose Party supporting Donald Trump and Students for Hillary went to toe-to-toe in a debate Tuesday night over taxes, immigration, terrorism and more. A day after the most-watched Presidential debate in U.S. history, the debate is one of several events that are part of UPUA’s second annual PSU Votes Week.
The debate began with a discussion over corporate taxes. Johnna Purcell, the President of Students for Hillary was first to speak. Purcell highlighted the fact that Clinton plans to impose an exit tax on companies who wish to move their corporate headquarters and shelter money overseas. The revenue from this added tax would be used to invest in domestic industry. Students for Trump responded by emphasizing that the United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the world and that because of it, companies are moving out of the U.S. and to Mexico.
During the close of the first topic, Purcell noted, “We need to work on the policy that is best for us, that is best for students, that is best for people working paycheck to paycheck, and that is the policy of making corporations pay their fair share.” Students for Trump replied with an analogy about kids on a playground who have a race with one another. The analogy consisted of a student who works hard and trains hard, one who is average, and another who is lazy. They related Clinton’s proposed tax to giving the student who works hard and is the best a five-pound weight. “Those who are successful and make this country successful don’t need to pay more because they’re working harder,” replied Students for Trump.
The debate then shifted slightly to issues that have been plaguing both candidates with questions from the audience. The first contentious question pressed the fact the Donald Trump has not released his tax returns, a practice that every presidential political candidate has done for decades. Students for Trump replied by stating that all the information is in Trump’s financial disclosure form and that he will happily release his tax returns against his lawyer’s advice when Clinton releases emails and transcripts of speeches to “Wall Street donors.”
The next question, which was directed at both candidates, asked where each of their candidates would draw the line between free speech and hate speech. “You shouldn’t be able to say things that are going to inflame people to the point that they take violent acts against certain groups. That should not be allowed,” said Purcell. “That is where the line is drawn. The line is drawn between your freedom to say something and my freedom to feel safe in a space.”
Students for Trump had a very different view. “The hardest part about freedom of speech is getting it to the things that you hate most because the things you hate most are typically the things that deserve to hear the light of day,” said Chris Baker, the Communications Director for the Bull Moose Party. Baker went on to remark that Galileo’s speech and theories about astronomy were banned because of the Catholic Church. “Who is to say that there is not another fantastic idea out there that someone is going to kick you in the dirt because another person doesn’t like it,” questioned Baker.
The debate’s next segment moved onto the question of accepting refugees from the Middle East given there is a potential national security risk involved. Students for Trump emphasized that Middle Eastern nations should be doing more to accept refugees and that we need to secure our borders first.
“Even if there is one terrorist out of all of those thousands we accept, they could go on to commit the largest mass shooting in United States history like what happened in Orlando several months ago,” Baker said.
Students for Hillary then defended their candidate’s stance to increase the number of refugees the United States accepts to 65,000 annually while noting that there is an extensive vetting process in place by several national security organizations and even the FBI director’s approval to screen any possible terrorists.
The debate concluded with both organizations explaining why their candidate should be the next President of the United States. Students for Trump concluded by stating that “dark money” controls politics and Hillary Clinton. The organization wrapped up the debate by stating that Donald Trump “stands with us” and that they’re not “with her,” a common tag line from the Clinton campaign. Students for Hillary ended their debate by stating that Clinton has spent her entire life fighting for the rights of women and children and the lives the country’s most vulnerable people.
The next debate will be today between College Republicans and College Democrats on the subject of Obamacare.