US Elections 2020: First Presidential Debate proved to be a mockery of democracy with Trump and Biden spat
Four decades ago when John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon appeared in first televised presidential debate, the world watched the two candidates engage in a meaningful and intelligent discussion. Usually when two presidential nominees face each other in presidential debates, it is usually a display of intelligence, respect and composed discussions. But not this time. This year the world watched in complete dismay the unfolding of democracy hitting rock bottom of a nation which is known to be world’s biggest democracy. Presidential nominees, former VP Joe Biden and President Donald Trump faced each other in the first presidential debate of this election in Cleveland, Ohio and world saw a huge spat between these leaders.
The vicious encounter between the leaders on September 29, saw Trump and Biden trade insults, and showed a sitting president trash and neglect norms of a behavior suitable to be ‘presidential’ during a primetime telecast. The debate was a real-time rendering of how the US is heading for a decline. Never had politics in America sunk so low — it was a reminder how the country is in a midst of calling for reforms related to shootings, racism, white supremacy, Antifa, economic turmoil, pandemic, racial rift and political chaos.
Throughout the 90 minute debate session, Trump constantly bullied and interrupted Biden and also the moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News. He ignored blazing questions and Biden’s arguments around policies and facts. Instead he stooped low and took aim at Biden’s son who was relieved from military over consumption of cocaine. Biden initially seemed bothered by Trump’s constant interruptions, but then came in sync with the tempo of his opponent and responded by calling him a “clown”, a “racist” and “the worst president America has ever had.” Biden criticized Trump of his failure to take control of the pandemic and criticized his handling of the coronavirus crisis, his failure to come up with a solid healthcare plan and his response to racial protests and injustice.
Trump dodged and declined to condemn white supremacists
Biden repeatedly called Trump a racist saying, “This is a President who has used everything as a dog whistle to try to generate racist hatred, racist division.” During debate moderator Chris Wallace asked if he could directly condemn white supremacists. To this Trump flatly refused to condemn the White Supremacy directly and said “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.” This is being projected as direct endorsement of the all men white supremacists group Proud Boys.
President Trump unleashed a series of misinformation around elections and mail-in ballot voting but failed to confirm if he would encourage his supporters to practice order and peaceful proceedings during and after November 3 elections. Trump said, “I’m encouraging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully.”
Complete denial of coronavirus pandemic
The best strategy opted by President Trump in last days of campaign seems to be override all the questions and confrontations related to coronavirus pandemic. Trump seems to be eager to move on from the blazing topic, the one that can actually cost him the White House.
Trump openly called the vaccine topic to be political and mocked his opponent Joe Biden of wearing mask. Instead of acknowledging the severity of pandemic in US, Trump maintained that he did the best and Joe Biden would have done far worse. Biden repeatedly mentioned the 200,000 Americans who died during pandemic.
Supreme Court — the highlight of the debate
Dominating issue of debate night was Trump’s Supreme Court justice nomination of Amy Coney Barrett as replacement of late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The opening topic was lost amid the chaos right in the beginning. Biden tied to diverge the topic of Affordable Care Act while Trump tried to pin Biden on proposals to end Senate’s filibuster and expansion of Supreme Court. Nothing substantially came out of these points as Trump continued to interrupt Biden.
When Trump attacked Biden’s son Hunter Biden, the former VP snapped back and said, “My son had a drug problem, but he’s overcome it and I’m proud of him.” This can be a powerful connection between Joe Biden and thousands of Americans who are themselves or someone in their families are facing alcohol and drug addiction.
The clear winner after first debate night was Joe Biden who’s campaign raised $10 million in three hours after debate. This is smashing fundraising records, clearly indicating the leading opponent in the most high profile elections in United States of America history.