The debate has been dubbed “the worst debate in history” by many, and that is probably the nicest take I’ve seen so far. Others have called it a “sh** show” and a trainwreck, and in many ways, all of these takes can be classified as accurate. If you did not watch this debate you should consider yourself lucky, because in more ways than one this was a waste of time. On a night where Trump had so much opportunity to focus on his policy and future, he failed miserably at being focused on what the people who might vote for him want to hear. Meanwhile, Biden had seemingly endless opportunities to hit Trump where it hurts and even though he seemed to try he couldn’t manage to keep on message long enough to drive his points home.
It is fair to say that Trump controlled this debate (and yes, him blatantly talking over the moderator and Biden is a form of control) Trump set the tone and Biden matched it time and time again. They both name called and both interrupted one another, but Trump, as expected, took the insults and aggression to a different level than Biden, and in a mud-slinging contest I doubt that there is anyone who can best Donald Trump. It was an ugly show of two old men that are vying for extreme political power and both sadly seemed incredibly unworthy of the position they seek.
The real question here is what is the outcome of this disastrous debate? The answer to that is difficult to obtain, but for argument sake let’s dive into what this performance means. My initial takeaway of this whole thing was disgust and sadness for our future, asking myself questions like “this is the best our country has to offer?” and “how did we get here?”. These questions are almost purely rhetorical in nature given how difficult it is to ascertain how and why this is where we are, but ultimately the only real conclusion to that is that we as Americans are responsible for this, we have allowed the system to pigeon hole people and promote the weakest of leaders based off simple popularity and talking point agenda. The media have now become king and queen makers now based on coverage choice and it clearly leans towards sensationalism and extreme talk (all to generate views and clicks). Meanwhile, the populous does not hold government leaders and members responsible for the lack of decorum and lack of legislative success.
What we saw last night was politics in its purest form. Both candidate’s arguments for why you should vote for them is apparently that the other guy is horrible, they seem to have no real belief or plan in themselves as leaders or as people who get things done and spur the real positive change that so many people want. So when someone asks you “who do you think won the debate last night?” the logical answer is this: in a nuclear war there are no winners, only losers.