After an anxious build up, we finally got to see the Democratic and Republican candidates right up next to each other this week. We'll spare you the general recap (transcript here, a good fact check here) and try to sum up why the Arab American Institute is pretty concerned about how it all went down. In an election year that has been divisive, often times xenophobic, and way less than aspirational - - all we got Monday was more of the same, and most of it from businessman-in-candidate Donald Trump. The Republican nominee continued with his birther nonsense, added to his misogynistic blather, wouldn't back down from the stop and frisk insistence, and even bragged about cheating people out of money, legally. That's not the America we want, or know. We're left wondering why Donald wouldn't try to clean up his unpopular and offensive rhetoric on these topics - it must be because he truly believes it. But although most everyone is agreeing that Hillary "won the night," we've got to take issue with at least one of the punches she threw on the debate stage, and it wasn't directed at Trump. Clinton slammed Congress in what has become a regular stump speech blurb on "keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists." We covered this for you last week, but we'll keep trying to politely point out why the so called "No Fly, No Buy" legislation perpetuates a deeply flawed, discriminatory, and dubiously unconstitutional watch listing system. Maybe we've been too polite, which we can't say for Trump's debate style.

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