Revisiting the first presidential debate

Entertainment Trumps Politics

By: Dina Usanovic

September 29th marked an important milestone in the election year- the first debate. Many Americans were intrigued to watch the debate and learn the policies each candidate intended to implement should he win the election. In such an uncertain time, the debate should have given Americans the hope of getting some answers to what the future might hold. 

Instead, we watched incessant bickering, interrupting, and insults for ninety minutes. Biden might have performed better in the debate than Trump did (subjectively), but many Americans feel there was no real winner. The debate only resulted in a major loser: the United States. Countries watching the debate were rightfully disappointed and embarrassed for our nation. Biden and Trump succeeded in making a mockery of the United States’ election process. 

The President completely undermined the debate process. Both candidates were said to have agreed to a process in which each candidate would be able to respond to the questions for two-minutes each, and then enter an open discussion on the question until it was time to move on. However, President Trump refused to allow Biden his two-minutes. With countless interruptions and talking over Biden, it was nearly impossible for Biden to answer the questions posed to him. 

Furthermore, President Trump went as far as calling Joe Biden’s dead son a “loser.” He also used Biden’s other son, Hunter, as fuel for the fire by referencing his past drug abuse issues as a possible sign of corruption. Another aspect of the president’s performance that upset many people was his refusal to denounce white supremacists. Instead, he told the Proud Boys, a neo-fascist organization with ties to white supremacists, to “stand back and stand by.” He also refused to admit that climate change is caused by human beings. 

While the president’s behavior was questionable, it is arguable that Biden was no better. Biden largely abstained from interacting with Trump on his level, yet he did insult the president on a few occasions. Biden called Trump “the worst president America has ever had,” along with name-calling, and telling him to “shut up.”

As a follow-up from the debate, one of the more contentious issues was the Coronavirus pandemic and how each candidate has handled the virus personally and politically. Trump spent a large portion of this segment making fun of Biden for holding rallies with less than ten people because he cannot get crowds as large as Trump’s. Biden rebutted this by claiming that he limited his rallies as a precautionary measure to protect his supporters and his staff from the virus. The president also made fun of Biden for wearing his mask when there was no major threat of contracting the virus because of social distancing. 

Ironically, Trump recently announced that he and the first lady- along with several staff members- have tested positive for the virus. The first debate has proven that there is no clear winner for the upcoming election and that the United States is losing as a country.

Tweet by Donald Trump concerning the seriousness of COVID-19, or lack-thereof, Source: Twitter