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Why we all lost in the first presidential debate

Why we all lost in the first presidential debate

Why we all lost in the first presidential debate
September 30
12:00 2020

The 2020 Presidential election not only made a fool out of President Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden, but it has made a fool out of us. The dumpster fire of the first presidential debate between Trump and Biden broke the internet as neither candidate presented an ounce of professionalism. Biden did compose himself to speak on serious issues related to the environment and social politics when he could, so perhaps it wasn’t completely unprofessional.

As expected, the president came off as an arrogant and pompous tool, but he outdid himself on this one. As debate moderator Chris Wallace mentioned, Trump has never devised a healthcare plan in the four years he has been in office. Trump shot down Wallace before he could finish his question and stated that he wanted to repeal Obamacare and get citizens better healthcare for a lower price and to make insulin “cheap as water.” My grandmother has diabetes and she has to rely on insulin shots to keep herself healthy. She has yet to see prices drop to the level that Trump has vehemently promised. As Biden re-affirmed in his argument, Trump has no plan.

When the topic of COVID-19 came up, Wallace told both candidates this was a serious topic and asked them to be serious. By this point, Wallace had already lost control of the debate as the two candidates continued battling against each other from resentment that stemmed from spewing months’ worth of attack ads. Trump told Biden that he would have been months late in response to COVID-19 and that he was a disaster during the swine flu outbreak, which is nonsense. President Obama and Biden did not shut down the economy when the H1N1 virus became a crisis nor was it the monster COVID-19 currently is, where a return to normalcy is still nowhere in sight. Unfortunately, 12,469 people died of the H1N1 virus in the U.S. from 2009-2010, but over 216,160 deaths in the U.S. since February of this year.

When it came to the subject of race, Trump stated he felt he had done more for Black Americans than any other president in history with the exception of Abraham Lincoln. However, Trump has blatantly refused to denounce the white supremacy group Proud Boys and told them to “stand back and stand by.” Instead, he wants to put an end to racial sensitivity training along with white privilege and critical race theory which he describes as “racist and radical.” Biden is not without fault in this situation. Though Trump was wrong on Biden calling Black Americans “super predators” when introducing a crime bill in 1994, it did lead to mass incarceration.

The debate went downhill almost as soon as it started. It is 90 minutes of two men who can’t stand each other resorting to cheap shots instead of talking about subjects that matter. Though I’ve been more critical of the current president, Biden failed to act professionally by setting aside his personal difference with Trump. He told the president to shut up and sarcastically stated that the first segment of the debate was highly productive. Biden has been a politician for most of his life. As a former vice president, it would have been better to save face and thoroughly answer the moderator’s questions even if his opponent was acting a fool. We’re all human and it is easier said than done, but debating is an integral part of his profession and he has far more experience under his belt to know better. Where I don’t fault him is him sticking up for his son Hunter Biden as well as other veterans.

For people in other countries who have nothing to lose, this debate could be considered entertaining television. For Americans, this was crash TV akin to Jerry Springer. There was nothing intellectual about this debate and it reflects poorly on the political climate in America. How our politicians act reflects on us because we are the ones who vote them into a position of power. If this is the best America has to offer, we should all do one united facepalm.

Featured Illustration by Durga Bhavana

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Adrian Maldonado

Adrian Maldonado

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