The first presidential debate for 2020 is in the books. Or at least an event touted as a presidential debate. It came across more as a sorority sister spat over who had the richest boyfriend. In a year when the presidential election may be one of the most crucial in history and the American people need to clearly hear the policy differences between candidates, we received nothing more than mutual bullying and character assassination. We deserve better. This was truly not Biden’s or Trump’s finest hour.
The ideological stances of the candidates and parties have never seen a wider chasm of contrast. As Biden and the Democrats describe America as a broken country in need of their saving grace, Trump needed only point to the innate greatness of America and the many accomplishments his policies yielded until an epidemic derailed the American economy. Instead, we received bashing, bloviating, and hyperbole. Neither candidate looked remotely presidential and voters are left scratching their heads.
Much of the Democrat talking points that Biden stands on involves outright falsehoods about Trump, his positions, and his accomplishments. For example, Biden blamed Trump for 200,000 deaths with the Coronavirus. This is obviously untenable, and Biden could never articulate anything more that might have been done than has been done. Trump needed only to counter the misleading talking points of Biden with real data and standing policy. But he was not content to do so.
Trump browbeat Biden and his time in office, calling his forty-seven years of service worthless. Trump attempted to articulate Biden’s involvement in corruption with China and Burisma in Ukraine. The questionable relationships of Hunter Biden, attained through his father’s influence as then Vice President, are well documented. But Trump’s efforts came across as crude and bullish. And the point was lost on the audience.
Chris Wallace, perhaps the most liberal personality at Fox News this side of Shepard Smith, did not help matters. He often sided with Biden and put leftist talking points across as fact for the candidates to address. Some of his questions were appropriate to garner responses that might elucidate a candidate’s position, others were simply pointed and biased.
It was my wife that actually caught the most interesting aspect of the debate. She noted that a Biden had a specific “tell”. Whenever Biden said “the facts are” he then proceeded to make statements fairly devoid of any facts. At one point in the debate we counted nine “the facts are” statement in a two-minute segment. None of the conclusions Biden came to were based on any facts but on hollow rhetoric. This repeated habit emphasized the platform Biden must champion, painting Trump and his administration in an exaggerated and hyperbolic (read untrue and misleading) light. But that platform offers no real solutions to the supposed “problems” Trump is accused of.
This debate likely did not convince anyone who is not already in one camp or the other. The numerous Independents who were hoping for additional understanding of the issues were left empty-handed. When voters need to understand the critical issues at hand, we are left with empty and ringing ears.