Letters to the Editor

Our nation watched in terror as the first 2020 presidential debate swept over national airwaves. Describing it as petty would be grossly exaggerating the actual spirit of the event. To be quite frank, the 90 minute broadcast was akin to a derailed train, continuously chugging through a desert valley filled with cacti, until finally lurching into a canyon and crashing.

The saddening part of this ordeal is that these two candidates are the future of our country. Trump trampled through the debate like a bull in a china shop; Biden double crossed himself and forgot what his party stood for to the point of oblivion. Both candidates acted in the manner of small children quarrelling over the last juicebox in the fridge. I am ashamed at the performance of them both. I don’t know if there was a clear winner—perhaps in pure strength Trump won. Perhaps in connection with the audience it was Biden.

Or, maybe it was Chris Wallace (the moderator). He seemed to be the voice of reason throughout the whole process. If I am to be pleased with anyones performance last night, it must be Wallace’s. I believe he asked extremely fair and even questions, although he leaned a little left at times. His demeanor was calm and controlling. He was saddled with a nigh-impossible task and I really believe he did an outstanding job.

The quality portion of the debate happened during the two minutes of “uninterrupted” questioning that occurred at the beginning of each section. There were some good nuggets of commentary amidst the rolling around in the mud that was open debate, but for the most part, the silence of one side lent fluidity to the other, and the result was some small bit of information shining through.

As far as actual information goes, Trump most certainly held the upper hand. His economic facts were completely correct. He was right when he said that Biden would have not shut down travel to China (Biden called this move by Trump xenophobic). He was correct in saying that the Supreme Court nomination was perfectly legal—and that Democrats would have done the same thing in his position. Trump was dead on when he said Biden had received no endorsements from law enforcement because his platform was fundamentally anti-law enforcement. Lastly he was right when he said unsolicited ballots lead to fraud—this was proven just last week when ballots were found lying in ditches, or in Texas wherein major elections were swayed by faked mail in votes.

However, it seems increasingly more common that the American people do not care about actual correctness—they care about appearances. In terms of appearance, Biden blew Trump out of the water. He made excellent eye contact with the camera (something he must have picked up on from his previous running mate). He appeared to be the more civilized of the two; granted this was a low bar to clear, but nevertheless he was softer. With the exception of a couple “‘shut up man” comments, he was laid back in comparison to our current President. Biden was personable throughout his 2 minutes of uninterrupted speaking—he got a little lost in some of his more grandiose statements, but this went mostly unnoticed. He managed to fulfill the role set out for him by his party: moderate Joe, the nice, empathetic guy who doesn’t like Trump.

The main thing is this: Biden had much lower expectations entering the debate. Even far left swinging sources like MSNBC have admitted that the bar is set much lower for Biden’s success as opposed to Trumps. Biden met their criteria— he was generally nice, he seemed alive, and most importantly he was not Trump. This is the basis of his campaign; Trump is bad, and Biden is not Trump. He made his point.

Regardless of appearances, it is clear that our country is approaching an immense cross roads—on one side lies a puppet for a party, a man willing to say anything and everything in order to appease the public; on the other, a man so vain that he makes a peacock look modest, but whose actions superseed his words.

I pray that our country may look at actions as opposed to words; content instead of character; and strength rather than flexibility.

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