What The Hell Was That: A Review on the First 2020 Presidential Debate


As the debate came to a close, I sighed in agreement with the ABC commentator who said this was the worst presidential debate in history.

Wednesday morning, a layer of hopelessness rested on the citizens of America as we were all recovering from a disaster that occurred the night before.

Last Tuesday night, Sept. 29, Sen. Joe Biden and President Donald Trump had their first presidential debate. Each party had their own expectations for the debate, but no one would prepare for what is being called the worst presidential debate in history.

The debate kicked off with Trump arguing with Chris Wallace, the moderator, within the first fifteen minutes. Trump kept interrupting Biden each time he tried to talk – even during the allotted two minutes per topic that each campaign agreed would be uninterrupted. At one point, Wallace brought this up and had to give Biden 30 extra seconds to make up for the missed space.

I felt my eyes bleed as the debate continued with no one really getting a chance to talk in depth about their policies. Biden did not really help by laughing and calling Trump a clown. However, I will hand it to Biden that talking directly to the American people reminded us that this is who we currently have as president.

A huge takeaway from the night was Trump’s negligence to directly denounce white supremacy. “Stand down, stand by” was his response, which enabled groups like The Proud Boys to see it as a message to prepare to mobilize. The morning after, I was startled to see other republicans practically begging Trump to denounce white supremacy.

Trump also belittled Biden for wearing a mask too much. His comments settled in as quite ironic come Friday when he was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Trump also blatantly lied during the debate about his federal tax income. He said he paid millions, when the New York Times reported he had only paid $750. When confronted with the fact that the Obama administration had a lower rate of unemployment, he responded with the fact that the stock markets are up. Thank god Biden got two seconds to say that the stock markets being up does not mean there is a benefit to the people.

Toward the end of the debate, Trump threw out insults to Biden’s son, criticizing Biden for his son’s past addiction issues. This discussion made me feel so incredibly bad for Hunter Biden. Absolutely no one deserves their previous issues with addiction to be broadcasted on national television for political gain.

As the debate came to a close, I sighed in agreement with the ABC commentator who said this was the worst presidential debate in history. A panel debated on who won the debate and the conclusion was either Biden or neither candidate.

The next day provided the conclusion on the winner. An NBC/The Wall Street Journal poll came to light this week showing Biden an entire 14 points ahead of Trump. However, it is worth acknowledging by this time last election, Hillary Clinton was up 11 points and she ended up losing the electoral college.

Right wing conspiracy theories started spreading on Trump’s behalf. These theories accused Biden of wearing a wire or taking drugs before the debate. Biden debunked the wire theory in a statement. Trump went as far as to suggest drug tests before debates and Biden’s campaign challenged that saying, “If the president thinks his best case is made in urine, he can have at it.”

The overall cringe of the debate resembled the feeling of watching a kid argue with your teacher in middle school. That night left me in curiosity of how much alcohol was sold directly after the debate because after that, both parties needed a way to cope.

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Kieron Kessler
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