The Decorous, the Deceitful, and the Derailed

2020 debates reflect the year.

The 2020 Presidential Debates felt more unprofessional than ever.
Photo courtesy of Twitter

The unanimous viewer response to the debates thus far—disastrous. It seems to suit a year marked by a global pandemic, record-breaking natural disasters, and devastating unemployment rates all while the man at the helm writes off more money for his hair care than a majority of citizens make in an entire year. While the election is meant to be the fabric of hope and constant revolution to reflect the people, it seemed to be largely a laughing-stock.

Yet while both candidates had their share of petty remarks, it was overwhelmingly clear who was at fault for derailing the content-matter of the first debate. Joe Biden, who threw his fair share of insults at Trump, attempted to tune him out and speak directly to voters: “You folks at home, you folks in Scranton and Claymont and all the small towns and working-class towns in America, how well are you doing?” Biden also attempted to stay on track with his questions, talking about getting rid of Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy so that they can “invest in people who in fact need the help,” until he was cut-off once again by one of Trumps 128 interruptions (as counted by a team from Slate).  

Perhaps the most ironic decision of all was Trump’s decision to mock Joe Biden’s mask-wearing saying, “I don’t wear a mask like him, every time you see him he’s got a mask—he could be speaking 200 feet away from me and he’d show up wearing the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.” All Biden could do was smile and laugh—laugh indeed. Only a week later and Trump would be confirmed positive for the virus along with a number of other Republican team members and representatives.  

When it came time for the vice-presidential debate, there was much-needed relief from the adolescent chicken fight shown from the presidential candidates. As Pence claimed that the administration’s response to the pandemic had been well-executed, saying, “under President Trump’s leadership, operation Warp Speed—we believe—will have literally tens of millions of doses of a vaccine before the end of this year. When you look at the Biden plan, it reads an awful lot like what President Trump and I have been doing every step of the way.”  

Perhaps this would be a more damaging remark if it could be applied to when the virus’ threat to the world was being mocked and de-legitimized by our Cheeto-in-Chief—the time when it was most vital to respond. Former President Obama had warned about this necessity six years earlier warning of the potential possibilities of an airborne illness.  

Kamala responded to Pence’s remark with the reality: “Whatever the Vice President is claiming the administration has done, clearly it hasn’t worked when you’re looking at over 210,000 dead bodies in our country, American lives that have been lost, families that are grieving that loss… The Vice President is the head of the task force, and knew on Jan. 28 how serious this was.” 

With the final debate coming on Oct. 20, the debate commission has made the decision to mute the opposing candidate’s mic at the start of each question, hopefully cutting away the insults. 

This is a selection from the Oct. 21 issue. To view the full issue, visit:

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