The first presidential debate was a disaster. Both candidates screamed over each other to get their point across, attacked one another instead of focusing on campaign promises, went off-topic, and directed inflammatory remarks against one another, instead of focusing on policies.
First off, Trump acted like a child. His performance was unpresidential, disruptive of the moderator, and interjected every single time Biden spoke, especially when it was not his time to talk. Trump deliberately interrupted Biden to avoid debate, brought up Biden’s family, addressed Hunter Biden’s drug problem, and got under his skin.
He also said, “I don’t know Beau,” who is Joe Biden’s son, who died from brain cancer in 2015. He also consistently attacked Biden and Harris and called them “radical socialists” numerous times throughout the night.
Furthermore, Trump was asked to condemn white supremacists, but, instead, deflected the issue by saying, “Almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not from the right-wing.” He completely ignored the question to blame the left for violence instead of condemning white supremacists, which was the whole point of the question. He then said they should, “Stand back and stand by,” which addressed right-wing extremist groups.
None of the president’s points were received well by the audience due to his constant interruptions. He also had to be talked to like a child, so he would calm down and let Biden and Wallace have the deserved time to speak. Wallace had to raise his voice multiple times like a school teacher because of the chaos initiated by Trump. Sadly, this is the man who represents America.
Biden kept his cool for about the first five minutes of the debate, but then reacted to Trump’s interruptions in an expected, but unprofessional manner. He told Trump to “Keep yapping,” and to “Just shut up man.”
We all expected Trump to talk over everyone, but nobody expected this from Biden. In all honesty, Biden could have made a better effort to keep it together, but now he knows what to expect for the next debate. His reactions showed an emotional side of anger and frustration, which how his opponent was acting.
Biden consistently brought up emotional appeals to the audience by saying, “How many of you woke up this morning to an empty chair at your kitchen table because someone died of COVID.” This emotional appeal was related to the current topic and had a strong use of pathos.
While it pulled at the audience’s heartstrings, Biden bringing up Beau Biden was not relevant to the question. Trump then switched the topic to insult Hunter Biden, which was also completely unrelated. Biden did have fewer fallacies, but he still retaliated against the president’s immaturity with immaturity.
Both candidates handled this debate disgracefully. Trump instigated chaos, while Biden encouraged it. They had a complete lack of respect for one another, focusing only on insulting. They didn’t even fulfill the main purpose of the debate, which is to help the American people understand the campaign’s policies and the candidate’s personality.
To add insult to injury, Trump further perpetuated party division. While they both were not ideal, Biden far outperformed Trump in many fields. If this division continues in future debates, I fear what America will look like on Election Day.