The Presidential Debate Set the Bar So Low that Even a Toddler Couldn't Limbo Under it
Scrolling through forums and social media, there appeared to be a general consensus about last night's debate: it was awful. To say it was an absolute embarrassment and a massive loss for the country would be an understatement. In fact, the only people who I might call winners are the folks at Webster's Dictionary who now have a new visual reference for the term "shit show." All that being said, I think it would be untrue to chalk this up as a "both-sides" issue. Biden didn't have a particularly impressive debate and lost his composure a few times with the clown comment and telling his opponent to shut up. But Donald Trump was overwhelmingly at fault when it came to the event's devolution. His strategy appeared to be muddying the waters as much as possible instead of actually answering debate questions. According to Slate (an admittedly-biased source but this is easily-corroborated information) the President interrupted Biden at least 128 times1. What at first appeared to be an overeagerness to refute Biden's points, quickly revealed itself as a strategy to take up air time and generate chaos. It felt like his plan was to make sure there was as little policy discussed as possible. Whenever a question about policy came up, he pivoted and cast aspersions towards Biden and his son. More often than not, Biden bit and the debate crumbled into name-calling until an overwhelmed Chris Wallace stepped in. Rinse and repeat about forty times and you have the general gist of how the night went. He also stated that he wouldn't commit to a peaceful transfer of power should Biden win. Like many of his other juvenile behavior, his rationale for this decision was that "Clinton and the democrats had done the same to him." So instead of taking the high ground and not replicating the behavior of an individual he so vocally despises, he decides to do what made people despise Clinton in the first place. He put the cherry on top of the shit sundae when, instead of disavowing and condemning white supremacy, he told the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by." Admittedly, as I'm sure many Trump supporters are quick to point out, he said that he was willing to disavow white supremacy before he made this comment. But when he was given the actual opportunity to do so, he told them to "stand back and stand by" which does not sound like much of a condemnation. Him saying he's "willing" to do something holds as much weight as a child telling his parents he's "willing" to clean his room. If he was truly willing, he would have done so. The fact that he has repeatedly skirted around calling out white supremacy during his candidacy and before it is probably the biggest red flag someone could wave. Either way, as someone without any party affiliation, last night's debate didn't sway me one way or the other. All it did was make me lose faith in any semblance of decency in this election. I recommend everyone go to their local liquor store and buy a few shelves; you're gonna need it. If you'd like to read up on/watch the debate I've linked a transcript2 in the sources section. If you decide to do so, your day will get worse. You've been warned.
(1) https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/09/trump-interruptions-first-presidential-debate-biden.html (2) https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/donald-trump-joe-biden-1st-presidential-debate-transcript-2020
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