What to take away from America’s worst presidential debate (OPINION)


The two presidential candidates, Donald Trump (R) and Joe Biden (D), loudly interrupt one another while illustrating the menacing fate of our nation to 73 million viewers during the first presidential debate. The event took place in Cleveland, Ohio, with the two “discussing” some of our nation’s most pressing issues from two socially distant podiums.

Nitya Shah, Comet Editor-in-chief

As you may have heard, the presidential debate happened last week. And to be quite blunt, it was a catastrophe. From the 90 minutes of constant shouting, heckling and degrading, it may have been hard to actually learn anything about where the two stand on issues such as climate change, racial injustice and the virus that has taken the lives of over 200,000 Americans.


So, I’m going to summarize and reflect on the main takeaways from the first debate, what the actions of the 2020 election candidates have demonstrated for America’s future and what we can learn from how certain topics were handled by Trump and Biden.


Constant argumentation translates to ignorance, preventing any real points from being made and questions from being answered.


Although the two both participated in the constant squabble, it was clear that Biden tried to refrain from personal attacks, while Trump allowed them to accompany any response he may have had to questions asked by news anchor and debate mediator Chris Wallace. 


Wallace attempted to, a multitude of times, ease tension in order for the two to share their views on major topics, but instead was rebuked with even more interruption and chaos. 


Even by examining the body language of the two, it was apparent who was speaking for and to the people, and who was speaking just to argue with their opponent. Biden kept eye contact with the camera, and virtually all viewers, while Trump would keep his focus on Biden when speaking. Behavior reveals much about one’s true intentions.


Fact checking is always vital when trying to validate your argument, and always think about what is about to come out of your mouth before it actually does.


Although the media and other forms of receiving information is more accessible than ever due to the widespread use of technology, unreliability with certain information has proven to be more prominent than ever before. 


Credibility is something Trump has always had trouble with upholding, and this holds to be truer than ever when he speaks publicly, such as the debate. For example, Trump exclaimed that Portland sheriff Mike Reese is a supporter of him. Yet, with the blink of an eye, Reese quickly went to Twitter to debunk this falsity, saying he had never supported the president and does not intend on doing so in the future. 


This just shows us that if he lied about something so miniscule so easily, then how many other little white lies has he spewed to the people of our nation? Is the same man that has so openly bashed fake news one of the main perpetrators of disinformation?


Use your voice, especially when you have over 70 million people to use it in front of.


One of the most frustrating things of the whole debate was seeing constant personal attacks, dismissal of white supremacism and the overlooking of a lethal virus from Donald Trump, while hearing constant weak refutations from Joe Biden.


Biden had a large amount of opportunity to prove to America that he may be the better choice or convince undecided voters, and maybe even some right-leaning voters, that he was the way to go. He had the chance to illustrate a better, more put-together nation for citizens, sealing the election in his favor. Yet, from all of these possibilities, almost none were accomplished by the former vice president — all because he could not speak up. 


Yes, for the most part it was Trump that cut Biden off, not even letting him get a word in, but there were still moments of silence, which could have been utilized by Biden in order to show our country he is what we need if we want to make it past 2020, a year that has been filled with constant tragedy.


With all of this being said, one thing is for sure: I am petrified just thinking about the fate of our nation. Use your voice and vote if you can. Every vote counts, and trust me, this election is no different.