Last night Americans stayed up to watch the first of three presidential debates that will occur before election day. Our nominees who took to the stage were former Vice President Joe Biden and current President Donald Trump. Under normal circumstances, voters watch debates to gain knowledge on how candidates will potentially handle current and future situations that affect the livelihood of Americans. We learn about their platforms and what their plans are to better this country. This year has proven to be a challenge for most Americans. We have all lost and sacrificed so much, so it came as no surprise that people were especially eager to hear how these nominees plan to rectify and heal this country after months of suffering.
The answers Americans were hoping to hear about our nation’s struggles were not given. Instead, we watched in awe and absolute disgust as Biden and Trump bickered like petulant children. It was a joke, plain and simple. The debate was more about their ongoing petty squabble than the needs of our country. However, if you take the time to sift through all the interruptions and name-calling, you will find a few moments during the showdown that should be acknowledged.
Let’s start with the biggest upset of the whole night, a moment that has everyone’s heads reeling. Chris Wallace, last night’s moderator, asked Trump if he would be willing to condemn white supremacists. This softball question should have been answered with an easy yes, followed by a brief statement about hate being a key factor in dividing our nation. Instead, Trump addressed Proud Boys, a well known violent white supremacy group, stating “stand back and stand by. …someone has got to do something about Antifa and the left.” This insinuates that the group will be called upon to take care of these well known anti-Trump organizations. Proud boys took to the internet after this, making their official slogan “stand back and stand by,” calling Trump’s words “historic.” People were outraged that Trump not only didn’t condemn white supremacists but encouraged Proud Boys, as they announced Trump’s message inspired many more to join the hate group.
President Trump: "Are you talking about Hunter?"
Joe Biden: "I'm talking about my son Beau Biden!"
— The Hill (@thehill) September 30, 2020
Trump continued his night by crossing a very personal line for Biden. He blatantly disrespected Biden’s late son Beau Biden, who served as a soldier in Iraq before dying of cancer in 2015. Biden was talking about Beau’s heroism before Trump interrupted him to dismiss the sacrifices Beau made for his country and attack Biden’s other son, Hunter. “I don’t know Beau. I know Hunter. Hunter got thrown out of the military. …He was dishonorably discharged. …for cocaine use.” People were appalled that he had used Biden’s familial struggles as a false attack point. First, Hunter was not dishonorably discharged. That statement was false. Discharged and dishonorably discharged are two very different things. Second, people’s struggle with drugs should not be a point of mockery. Many, including Hunter Biden, fight to get clean, a feat that is not easy and should always be encouraged, not become a source of degradation.
Does Joe Biden know what he's talking about?
Joe Biden: "The Green New Deal will pay for itself as we move forward…"
Chris Wallace: "Do you support the Green New Deal?"
Joe Biden: "No, I don't support the Green New Deal." pic.twitter.com/ampOmwPGTo
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) September 30, 2020
Trump was not the only one to make mistakes last night. Joe Biden slipped up when asked about his stance on the Green New Deal. For the sake of clarity, the Green New Deal was introduced to us by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez. The deal ultimately aims to vastly reduce the use of fossil fuels and lower greenhouse gas emissions, helping the environment. Biden responded that he does not support this deal. Many were confused as Biden and Harris’ website states that they believe “the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face.” Many of Biden’s voters were unhappy with the inconsistency, and Trump supporters were all too elated to point out his error.
To say the debate was a mess is an understatement. We witnessed Trump and Biden spew insults and interrupt each other at every turn. Regardless of who voters decide won the debate, it is clear that America lost.