America’s Future Lays in the Hands of Two Children

The Presidential Debate has left many Americans in shock of how childishly the two candidates behaved.

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The Presidential Debate has left many Americans in shock of how childishly the two candidates behaved.

Sam Renz, World Views editor

From 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. EST on Sept. 29, millions of Americans tuned in to undoubtedly the most chaotic, eventful, and cringeworthy debate in American history. President Donald J. Trump and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden quarreled, bickered, and interrupted each other for 90 minutes straight. The men’s attitudes on stage made middle school drama seem mature, and this was no thanks to Chris Wallace, the moderator, who consistently failed to keep the discussion civil and on track, and who was totally ineffective at stopping the candidates from interrupting one another.

Televised via numerous broadcasting programs, both candidates used some expected key phrases, like when Trump misused terms such as “the radical left” or “socialism” on several occasions that resembled Red Scare dog whistles of the 1950s, or Biden’s frequent use of the “soul of this nation” to portray himself as America’s savior from Trump’s presidency.

But in addition to the typical, redundant vocabulary, numerous moments in the debate still managed to surprise every viewer, like when Biden called Trump “racist,” a “clown,” and even “the worst president America has ever had,” and not to mention the unprecedented, “Will you shut up, man?” 

The American people have seen so much controversy develop around Donald Trump’s actions and words in the past, but nothing could have prepared us for Trump’s two biggest shockers: his refusal to explicitly denounce white supremacy and his insensitive comments about Joe Biden’s sons.

As noted in a Politico article by Christopher Cadelago and Elena Schneider, “The moment Trump seized upon Biden’s sons” after Biden was admiring Beau Biden’s military service, Trump sidetracked the conversation with “I don’t know Beau. I know Hunter…” and proceeded to politicize Hunter Biden’s past drug problems and claim that he was dishonorably discharged from the military (which is false, according to Joe Biden and various fact checkers).

Immediately following this outrageous moment, Biden’s response resonated in the hearts of many supporters and many undecided voters. Rather than relying on insults on the president’s character, Biden focused on the fact that his son, like thousands of other Americans, overcame this drug problem. Biden then concluded, “I’m proud of my son,” the perfect wholesome response to counter Trump’s low blow. 

Biden had some very powerful remarks, most notably, “It is what it is because you are who you are,” referring to President Trump’s dismissive attitude towards the hundreds of thousands of COVID-related deaths in the United States. However, it is foolish to ignore Biden’s faults and low points, like when he was unable to name a law enforcement group that supports him and when he contradicted his own website by rejecting the Green New Deal. Regardless, Biden’s overall performance was much stronger than was anticipated by the Americans who previously had an image of Biden as weak and forgetful. 

As many people have also expressed, regardless of who is considered the winner, millions of Americans lost their faith in the future of our country, seeing the immaturity of both the candidates. Overall, considering the candidates’ highlights and failures, this debate was a sad reflection of the candidates’ characters.