The first TV debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, mainly because of Trump’s rude behavior, has turned into what the media on the left and right calls shame.
Nancy Pelosi had warned Joe Biden in such a way: refuse debates with Donald Trump, you cannot argue with someone who constantly lies and does not respect the rules of the game.
And whether Pelosi was right in Cleveland last night, in the first of three TV debates in a historically significant election race. Trump appeared so aggressive and rude that moderator Chris Wallace (an anchor of the Trump-friendly Fox News, nevertheless) had to constantly rebuke him. His opponent barely got a chance to use his speaking time. But contrary to what Pelosi feared, the unsavory spectacle could only have played to Trump’s disadvantage. Because while rabid Trump fans may have enjoyed his constant bullying and interruptions and scornful discussions with the moderator, it seems unthinkable that this unseen behavior has won souls over the undecided voters.
“I think Donald Trump has ended his presidency tonight,” David Axelrod, the former top adviser to Barack Obama, concluded on CNN. Rick Santorum, a former Republican presidential candidate, did not contradict him. “I knew Trump was going to come to this debate with the knife in his teeth, but he got out of hand.”
Afterwards, almost all American media expressed their disgust at the spectacle in rare unanimity.
The only difference is who they held responsible for it. The neutral and more Biden-spirited media speaks shame about the president’s stance, while Fox News – Trump’s fan channel – for example – talks about ‘an exhausting shouting festival’ and makes it seem a bit more like the chaos was coming from both sides. Even though it was Fox News’ own Chris Wallace who struggled for an hour and a half to keep Trump close to the rules of the game. “Mr. President, please, we agreed on rules.”
There was even a funny moment towards the end of the debate, when Wallace – after Trump once again interrupted his opponent and went a no-brainer – told Biden to “get back to the question.”
“What was that question again?” asked Biden, who was nevertheless extremely alert to a few hitches after an hour and a half. Wallace grinned, glancing at Trump. “Do you want to believe that I hardly remember myself?”
The big loser was the estimated 100 million TV viewers. If they hoped to learn a lot about the program points of both candidates, they were in for the trouble. Not in this debate, where Trump called Biden “ a fool who was among the worst students of his year, ” and Biden twice called Trump a clown.
Will you shut up, man?
The intention was that the debate would have six topics of 15 minutes each – about the hot topics (all domestic, incidentally) such as the appointment of the new judge in the Supreme Court, the corona crisis, the economy, the protest of black America and the riots. in many cities. That was a noble endeavor of Wallace, the only Fox News presenter with a reputation for impartially moderating, which he also did: if Wallace went wrong, it was because he couldn’t control Trump.
As soon as Biden took the floor and tried to explain why it is indecent to rush to appoint another judge with the specific goal of getting rid of Obamacare – especially during a pandemic in which Americans need good health insurance – Trump began to interrupt him. and to be called a socialist.
Biden’s plan was to answer aggression with dignity. He had Trump speak out, just scoffing as Trump spoke, determined not to let himself be thrown off balance. But Trump’s behavior when Biden tried to make his point was so irritating that Biden lost his temper for the first time after about twenty minutes and “will you shut up, man?” said.
It was an atmosphere to which a debate in the past sometimes escalated, but now it started like this and only got worse after that. When Biden said ‘number two’ in a list, Trump even responded: ‘You are a number two’ – American for a big message, so ‘a piece of shit’.
An attack by Biden – who posted his latest tax returns online just hours before the debate, in contrast to the devastating reports of Trump paying barely any taxes for years – got bogged down because Trump just kept shouting about him in Biden’s speaking time.
In that sphere, interesting moments were of course scarce. The closest came the president and his challenger to a coherent exchange of views when it came to corona. When Trump made it look like a vaccine is a matter of weeks, Biden turned to the public and said, “ His own scientists say it’s going to be next summer, but he sees it differently. The man who never had a plan of action about this, who first hid how dangerous the virus was and then declared that it would miraculously go away when summer came. Do you still believe that man? ‘
Trump then argued that the economy is recovering despite corona, but that Biden would immediately squeeze that resumption back with too strict measures. “Everyone talks about those deaths, but there are also companies that go bust, depression, suicides out of desperation.”
Pareded vicious attack
But most of the debate has been filled with poisonous attacks on the media and his opponent by Trump.
Biden also spoke harsh words – he called Trump a patented liar and a racist – but he did so in his own speaking time and in the context of reasoning.
Trump, on the other hand, burst into rant about conspiracies against him – even when Wallace urged him to answer the questions.
Was Biden the winner in this circus? There were times when he let himself be pushed aside too easily, but he kept it decent. His strongest moment was when he countered Trump – who constantly boasted of his support from veterans – by talking about his (dead) son Beau who served a year in Iraq. In a moment of mind-boggling rudeness, Trump cut in on Biden and began shouting all kinds of mean things about Biden’s other son, Hunter.
Biden, who normally rarely speaks out about his son, responded with dignity: “My son Hunter has had a serious drug problem, a problem common to many American parents. He solved it, and I’m proud of him. ‘
In a battle for the crucial voices of doubting white women in Suburbia, this reaction was perhaps the most important minute of the evening.
Furthermore, both sides have a moment that they will undoubtedly play out. For Republicans, that’s when Joe Biden dodged a clear answer to the question of whether the Democrats below him will expand the number of Supreme Court justices to allow for additional appointments. Admitting such a thing would greatly motivate conservative voters to vote for Trump anyway, and Biden’s evasion will be interpreted as an admission.
Democrats are disconcerted about what Trump said about the election results, which he says will end in chaos over post-voting shoddy voting. When moderator Wallace asked both candidates to urge their supporters to avoid violence, and specifically asked Trump to condemn white supremacist militias, he replied after some insistence, ‘Okay, I’ll ask them to stand back and standby. – to withdraw and keep ready. ‘
Two more debates are scheduled for the next few weeks, but after last night’s disgraceful screening, there are voices calling for them to be dropped.
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