The First 2020 U.S. Presidential Debate: What Did I Just Watch?

On September 30th, the first of three presidential debates took place between current President Donald Trump and former Vice-President Joe Biden. It was expected to be chaotic and it was that and then some. As the debate approached, many anxious Americans were left bewildered and frustrated after the pathetic and immature showing by both candidates.

The most glaring takeaway from the debate was that neither candidate could conduct the debate formally or professionally. The debate was filled with interruptions and small jabs throughout the entire debate by both Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Moderator Chris Wallace grew visibly frustrated with the candidates, Donald Trump in particular. During a year like this, it is critical that both candidates firmly get their points across. The viewers did not fully understand either candidate’s points because of the constant interrupting. Trump did the majority of interrupting during the debate but both need to be better if they want to be more effective in the next debate.

President Trump and Joe Biden both interrupting each other during the debate. https://www.npr.org/2020/09/30/918500976/trump-derails-first-presidential-debate-with-biden-and-5-other-takeaways

There wasn’t just a lack of professionalism between Biden and Trump during the debates, it seemed there was a lack of actual debating going on. Along with the constant interruptions, it seemed like both candidates were not even debating at times. Wallace asked Biden if he would pack the courts or possibly add to the court. This question is important because Trump just promoted Amy Coney Barret to the U.S. Supreme Court. This left many people on the left unhappy because there is an election going on, although we are still in Trump’s first term. Biden’s response included “The issue is the American people should speak. You should go out and vote. You’re voting now. Vote and let your Senators know how strongly you feel.” Trump responded to the statement by continuously asking him if he will pack the courts. Biden stated that he wouldn’t answer the question and told the audience to “Vote now” and then proceeded to tell President Trump “Will you shut up man” as Wallace attempted to move on to the next topic.

Although Trump and Biden acted unprofessionally, Moderator Chris Wallace seemed to ask some unfair questions throughout the debate, specifically towards President Trump. Wallace asked Trump if he is willing to condemn white supremacists and tell them to stop being violent like the situations in Portland and Kenosha. Trump’s reply was “Sure, I’m willing to do that.” “I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.” The public’s reaction to these comments is that Trumps a racist who will not condemn white supremacy groups. It is understandable why the public reacted this way, there were much better ways to answer the question. But the current president responded that way for a reason. The president has been asked this question countless times over the past four years. The president has condemned and insulted white supremacists countless times and it seemed that President Trump was growing sick and tired of the question.

President Trump participates in the first presidential debate, held on Tuesday evening in Cleveland at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic. https://www.npr.org/2020/09/30/918483794/from-debate-stage-trump-declines-to-denounce-white-supremacy

Although Wallace asked Trump to condemn white supremacist groups and seemed to blame Trump for the events in Kenosha and Portland, Wallace failed to ever ask Biden to condemn leftist hate groups like Antifa or the looting that has been going on in this country by many leftist protesters. It seemed that Wallace was on the left’s side and was pushing an agenda at some points throughout the debate.

All in all the presidential debate seemed like anything but a debate. The lack of professionalism wasn’t present due to the constant interrupting by both candidates, but prominently Trump. The absence in debating was due to Biden’s inability and reluctance to answer important questions asked by Wallace. Wallace also displayed an agenda and seemed quite biased through his questions. For the next debate to go smoothly in the future, there needs to be quite a bit more respect and professionalism shown from both candidates. They both need to let the other person finish when their opponent is given their two minute time slot to answer the question asked. Chris Wallace needs to do a better job asking unbiased questions and trying to control the interruptions. Lastly, Biden needs to stop running around questions asked by Wallace and give a firm direct answer that America can understand.