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Letters: Finding fault and fact at first presidential debate

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton shake hands during the presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. Credit: AP

Here’s a question that debate moderator Lester Holt should have asked Hillary Clinton when she rebuked Donald Trump for the ugly way in which he talked about women [“Hard knocks at Hofstra,” News, Sept. 27].

Holt should have asked Clinton what she would say to those who are unhappy about the fact that she tried to destroy the reputations of women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual abuse or of having affairs with him. She claims to be supportive of women in such circumstances, but her conduct in respect to her husband conflicts with that posture.

Asking that question would have been consistent with Holt’s questioning of Trump. Holt asked hard questions of Trump but not Clinton. A question about Hillary Clinton’s behavior toward women who made claims about her husband would have logically followed from the discussion and would have lent fairness and impartiality to the debate.

The lack of coverage on this issue makes Holt’s omission especially important and reflects adversely on the media.

Nathan Dodell, Great Neck


I was very unhappy with the performance of the debate’s moderator, Lester Holt. Trump repeatedly interrupted his opponent and was seemingly allowed to take much more than his allotted time.

Both candidates should be told that the clock will be strictly observed. They will be given a 10- or 15-second warning light as they end their turn speaking, and after that, their microphones will be shut off.

James E. Stubenrauch, Amityville


Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), my representative in Congress, said he thought Donald Trump’s best moment in the presidential debate came when he attacked the North American Free Trade Agreement, “an agreement that [Hillary Clinton’s] husband signed.”

But the record shows that in 1993, King himself voted for NAFTA.

No wonder Congress is held is such low regard.

Edmund Fountaine, Oakdale


What if this presidential election pitted “Donna” Trump against “Harold” Clinton?

Would voters embrace a thrice-married female candidate who bragged about her sexual prowess, laced her campaign speeches with profanity and invective, and ridiculed the appearance of her Republican opponents’ wives? Would they overlook her threats against protesters, her sexist dismissals of reporters, and her not-so-subtle calls for violence against her opponent? Or would such behavior, exhibited by a woman, so disgust the electorate that her candidacy would be dashed?

And what of “Harold”? Would voters — including some women — still see his decision to stay with a philandering spouse as a character flaw? Or would it be perceived as the act of a decent family man concerned about his marriage and the welfare of his daughter?

Would voters regard his presidential aspirations as the work of a ruthless climber or the desire of an intelligent man eager to build on past successes for the betterment of his country? And would voters stop fretting about his health and stamina?

What a difference a chromosome would make!

Richard Conway, Massapequa


What exactly is Hillary Clinton’s infatuation with Donald Trump’s tax returns? Of course Trump pays little or nothing in taxes. He’s a brilliant businessman whose job it is to maximize the bottom line for both his company and himself.

What businessman in his right mind would willingly give more money than absolutely necessary to the bloated U.S. government, which systematically specializes in waste, fraud and abuse?

The fact that Trump doesn’t tolerate this scandalous wasting of taxpayer dollars actually makes the case that he’s radically superior to Clinton to lead America.

The real question that went unasked at Monday’s debate is, why is Trump vilified for doing what should come naturally to everyone?

Eugene R.Dunn, Medford


At Monday’s debate, Hillary Clinton rather astutely revealed that Donald Trump hasn’t released his tax returns — for reasons that are really not believable. She was able to learn from his casino license filings that he paid nothing in federal income tax for the years 2006 and 2007.

Trump muttered that he was “smart” to do this. Does that make the rest of us hardworking, patriotic citizens stupid?

June Zeger, East Meadow


My hope is that all good and loyal Democrats will come to the realization that Hillary Clinton’s lies about her email and the Benghazi situation have put Americans in harm’s way. Even amateur politicians would not make these mistakes. Clinton’s arrogance and extreme carelessness are a major concern and a formula for disaster for this country.

Jack Simpson, Lake Grove