On Monday evening, liberal and conservative journalists Peter Beinart and Bethany Mandel, respectively, held a talk at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan prior to the first presidential debate between real estate executive Donald J. Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Over the course of the discussion, Beinart and Mandel both discussed a variety of notable moments and information about what might be the ugliest presidential election in contemporary United States history. Among them, Beinart pointed out how Clinton’s infamous “deplorables” statement and the Clinton campaign’s fumbling to disclose her pneumonia were perhaps the two lowest points of her campaign.
Mandel, whose rural upstate New York upbringing helped to shape her conservative worldview, mentioned that Trump’s appeal comes from rural whites who other candidates have neglected. She also highlighted Mozilla’s CEO losing his job due to his opposition to marriage equality as an example of the “political correctness” that many fear will affect them, and drive them to vote for Trump.
Beinart also highlighted that entertainment and politics have become increasingly intertwined in recent years, and touted the possibility that Trump was the end result of this problematic fusion.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the talk was Mandel’s mention that despite her conservative background, and despite the future of the Supreme Court laying in the balance in this election, she will vote for Clinton. Her reasoning being that she would rather have a Supreme Court that she disagrees with for at least a generation than risking the possibility of a world war, possibly involving nuclear weapons, if Trump were to be elected.