processing the debate
Watching the debate felt like watching a reality show (or, more like two siblings bickering). To be honest, I wasn’t expecting a civil debate but I was totally shocked at the level of disrespect during the 90 minutes. While rather entertaining to watch, I left with the thought “what is happening to our country?”. The fact that I entered the debate expecting a limited amount of civility speaks for itself.
Over the interruptions and bickering and overall confusion, I found that there was little to no substance given to the points that the candidates were able to squeeze out amidst the schoolyard taunting and blatant disrespect to the moderator and the debate in general. Trump would vaguely pass over a word or two about his policies and then resort to trying to diminish Biden’s appearance, bringing up personal subjects (like Biden’s sons) into an argument which it had no place for. I’m amazed at the level of restraint Biden exhibited, especially during those moments, as I don’t know if I could’ve been as collected as he was if put into his position. Even though Biden did exhibit rather childish behavior - which was totally unprofessional- it was nowhere near as extreme as the behavior President Trump displayed. Not only did Trump actively argue and harass Mr.Biden, but he also directed his brusque remarks to Chris Wallace (the moderator) who was just trying to do his job. It got so bad to the point that even Wallace had to raise his voice to be heard. This decorum was very embarrassing to watch.
I was irritated with both candidates with how vague they answered the questions (if they even answered the question at all). Biden was a little more clear in his answers but to be quite honest they left me with even more questions than what I had coming into the debate. I also feel many of Biden’s points were drowned out by all the interruptions and insults by President Trump. One thing I liked about Biden is how he continued to look into the camera while speaking his points. While kind of cheesy, I think that it was a smart decision to make it appear that he was speaking to the viewers directly (unlike Trump, who chose to position himself so he only looked at Biden and at times the moderator). Speaking of Trump, he was vaguer in his answers, choosing to skirt around the main point of the question and choosing to answer with arbitrary information that held no substance to the topic at hand (ex. his “I brought back football” in response to how well he handled COVID-19). He wouldn’t even answer the question about condemning white supremacy and white supremacists groups, instead telling them something along the lines of, “Stand by and stand down.” (like @ernest, I was also surprised by the directness of the question and very frustrated by the president’s answer). By the end of the debate, I honestly felt like I wasted 90 minutes of my life as I had learned virtually nothing about the candidates’ policies/plans.
In response to the question of whether this debate will affect the upcoming election - I seriously doubt it will. Trump’s behavior in this debate was nothing that we’ve never seen before and I don’t know how undecided voters will react to this debate.