The Sept. 29 Presidential Debate was not what anyone expected.
It featured constant interruptions and name-calling and was not a good night for either candidate. The event resembled two old men fighting for the last chair in a nursing home rather than a seat in the Oval Office.
President Donald Trump is not winning the presidential fight. Polls show him losing to former Vice President and Democratic candidate Joe Biden by a big margin in national polls and by a couple of points in certain battleground states.
The debate was Trump’s chance to explain to the American people what he has done in the past three and a half years and what he plans to do in the next four. But that didn’t happen.
Instead, Trump chose to take the low road by constantly interrupting Biden, calling him names, criticizing his intelligence, and making it personal by bringing up his late son. He also attacked the moderator, Fox News‘ television news anchor Chris Wallace, when he should’ve been looking at the camera and speaking directly to the American people.
In doing this, Trump helped Biden look better. Many came into the debate questioning whether Biden is mentally fit to be president—we’ve seen him lose his train of thought a couple of times on the campaign trail. He never let Biden finish a sentence, saving him from dropping the ball on national television.
Every time Biden was going to say a sentence or attempt to answer a question, Trump cut him off. Biden now looks like the rule follower with something to say who kept getting interrupted by the disrespectful man to his right.
But the problems weren’t all made by Trump—Biden also missed the mark.
During his campaign, Biden has promoted going “back to normalcy” and “restoring the soul of this nation.” However, he went down in the mud with Trump by calling him a “clown” and asking the now-trending question “Will you shut up, man?” This behavior goes against the message he is trying to sell.
Biden also lacked comebacks. He must’ve known that Trump was going to attack him, so why wasn’t he prepared? When Trump came swinging, Biden didn’t answer strongly. All he did was smile and say “not true,” which is not enough to convince voters that you are better than the current president.
When Trump interrupted him, Biden avoided answering whether he supports packing the Supreme Court, the Green New Deal, and raising taxes for the middle and high classes. That was a missed opportunity on Biden’s part—he should’ve taken the lead and shown strength.
Biden also showed some discrepancies in his platform. He said that he doesn’t support implementing a Green New Deal, but his campaign website says he does.
The chaotic result did not produce any winners, only a loser: the American people. It was an ineffective, unsubstantial, unprofessional performance by both parties. Saying that these are the best candidates out of all the eligible people to run is humorous.
How do they improve for the next debate scheduled for Oct. 15? Simple. Trump should focus more on discussing policy initiatives and less on attacking Biden and the moderator. Biden should be more defensive, elaborate on policy initiatives, and show himself as the leader of his party.
I hope they take the first debate as a lesson learned and improve their debating skills in the next round.