US presidential candidates should discuss important topics

I was disappointed after watching the two recent United States presidential debates ("Clinton pips Trump in bruising first debate"; Sept 28, and "Trump hits hard, but not enough to turn the tide"; Oct 11).

Both candidates spent an inordinate amount of time indulging in personal attacks, casting aspersions on each other's integrity, and belittling and humiliating each other.

Scandal after scandal from the past was brought up and robustly discussed.

The audience was inundated with the exposure of apparent character flaws of the candidates. This is certainly unwise. Areas of importance were not given ample emphasis.

Ultimately, what matters most is whether the candidate possesses the competence, resilience and tenacity to overcome the many intractable challenges currently faced by the US.

The candidates should attempt to showcase how they can revive the troubled US economy, with the objective of turning one of the world's largest debtors into a creditor.

Other pertinent areas are how to improve the domestic employment outlook, fight international terrorism, tackle energy conservation and global climate change, and significantly augment diplomatic ties with Western allies, and especially with Russia and China.

The world welcomes a completely revamped and stronger US that can once again effectively take the lead.

We certainly hope to see both candidates address these topics during the third and last presidential debate.

Joe Teo Kok Seah