The first 2020 Presidential debate between President Trump of the Republican Party and former Vice President Joe Biden of the Democratic Party took place on Tuesday, Sept. 29th.
The debate did not accomplish much.
Likely, those who planned to vote for Trump walked away from the debate still planning on voting for Trump. The same goes for those supporting Joe Biden. Everyone in between was left still in between.
Typically, the purpose of a debate is to inform the American people about those running for president. It should reinforce what the American people already know about their policy. Perhaps, the debate provides them with a little new information and puts the positions of the participants in a different light. Unfortunately, this debate hardly got into substantial policy.
Instead, each candidate had a main theme that they emphasized. Both were ad hominem attacks, which attacks the character of the opponent, not their policies.
Trump’s attacks were more directed toward Biden’s career. According to the transcript, Trump mentioned five times that he has done more in 47 months than Biden has done in 47 years. His point being that if Biden wanted to accomplish a number of the policies he has put forth, then he could have done so in the last 47 years. However, Trump did get more personal when he brought up Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. Trump asked how Hunter made tens of millions of dollars from a Ukrainian gas company called Burisma and mentioned how Hunter was dishonorably discharged from the military due to cocaine usage.
Biden’s personal attacks can be characterized by the number of times he called Trump a “clown” (2 times), “racist” (2 times), and “liar” (1 time). Biden also attacked Trump’s career from multiple angles. He criticized his handling of the coronavirus, his attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and Trump’s corporate tax policy of 21% when Biden thinks it should be 28%, to name a few.
I’ll show my cards here, I am a Trump supporter. I voted for him in 2016 and I already voted for him in this presidential election. However, that does not mean I support everything about his personhood. When choosing who I vote for, I focus on their policy. So, I did not vote for Trump because of his personality (I was not a fan of his constant interruption during the debate), I voted for him because of his policy. One of my favorite conservative political commentators Allie Beth Stuckey said,
“These debates don’t mean much because voting for Biden or Trump is voting for WAY more than Biden or Trump. You are voting for an administration, for policies, for judges, and justices, for a worldview – none of which are well reflected in debates. The fact is, I believe the leftist ideology, as we’re seeing play out in major Dem cities, is a destructive one. I believe it leads to suffering, to resentment, to poverty, and to lack of security and safety. I don’t have to like Trump’s personality or debating tactics to be confident in this.”
- The 2020 Presidential debate accomplished very little in helping questioning voters decide who they would vote for.
- The reason for this is that the debate focused more on ad hominem attacks rather than policy.
- When you vote, you are voting for more than a person, you are voting for policies.