US Presidential Debate 2020-1

Donald Trump and Joe Biden, the two candidates for president nominated by the US duopoly held a debate last night. "Minor candidates" were pointedly not invited. If you didn't watch it you did not miss much. There was a lot of shouting, interrupting, and name calling in between most of the same talking points that are spouted by anonymous commenters on the internet.

The two men are quite old, but overall Biden looked more affected by age, where he would sometimes struggle to remember something. Biden also has a much slower way of talking, almost like he knows he doesn't have much to talk about and so talks slow to use up all the time on one idea. This might be the election where the VP choice is the most important, Donald Trump is already the oldest US president, and Joe Biden is even older.

The tone of the debate was not so much a serious presidential forum, but more like two trolls in an internet comment section going back and forth and arguing over each other. For example, the zingiest comeback of the night:

Biden: "First of all, my opponent does not know what he is talking about, and number two -"
Trump: "You're a number two."

There were a lot of loaded questions of the form: "Mr. Trump, given the fact that (leftwing talking point) why should voters listen to you?", and "Mr. Biden, since it is true that (rightwing talking point) how will you handle things?", which many times led to the moderator never actually finishing the question because the candidates wanted to jump in and challenge the assumptions he was loading into each question. The moderator should have just stuck to questions to prompt the debate, not interjecting his own point of view into it. The moderator also did a poor job of getting the candidates to not talk over each other.

Trump spent the night talking to the people in the room with him, Biden and the moderator, which seemed natural. Biden, on the other hand, took several moments to look into the camera and try to talk directly to the people watching. It came across as uncomfortable and slightly condescending, like he was trying to tell me what I was supposed to believe.

There were a few questions that each candidate sort of dodged or only answered vaguely before moving on to their own pet topics, but there was one question that stood out where Biden actually refused to answer the question. The topic was the Supreme Court, and the moderator asked something like "Some on the left have suggested 'packing the court', adding additional justices, would you do that if you were elected?" and Biden flatly refused to address the topic. Trump then asked him who he would pick, where is his list (Trump has published a list of possible judges to pull from for the Supreme Court, which was one thing that got some of his less enthusiastic supporters on his side, they figured they at least knew what sort of judges he would appoint) and Biden basically ignored the challenge.

Overall, I would say Trump won this debate. He came across as more lively, more in command of his facts, and more assertively executive. He may have said some things that were not true, but he sounded like he believed every last one of them and you should too. Biden seemed to be trying to take credit for anything good that happened during the Obama administration, but everybody knows the VP pretty much does nothing so the brags sounded hollow.

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3 Responses to “US Presidential Debate 2020-1”

  1. Aaron Rogier says:

    I was stunned by how obviously geriatric Biden was. Especially when several times his voice fell into the soft whispers of the terminally elderly. The camera wasn't doing him any favors either. The locals are comparing Biden's performance to failed local presidential candidate Daniel Martinez for the shared softness and obviously advanced age, but... Martinez's opponent was the composed and young Luis Lacalle Pou. Biden's opponent was the nearly as old but far more active and combative Trump.

    Anyways, watching last night's debate made it clear there that the Great Again is dead. All that remains is the details of how things are going to go deeper into the shit.

  2. I was unaware of this ``debate'' until it was almost over, and didn't care for what I'd observed of it, and so appreciate the summarizing. Of course, when criticizing the debate itself with a normal person, the normal person interprets this as ``Yeah, my guy is doing great and the other guy isn't even trying, so it's hardly a real debate'', rather than recognize it as nothing but a circus, and yet a boring circus.

    It's asinine that there's an age minimum for public office, but no age maximum. Mine attempts to point out that all but token issues are identical in these politics, and that many important topics aren't even mentioned, are ignored in favour of the token issues, which are so important. I care so much more about copyright lasting longer than a human life than subhumans aborting their future criminals, but it's unlikely this one injustice amongst many will ever be mentioned.

    This election year feels different than four years prior, in part because I no longer have regular access to the larger television channels, and the astroturfing also feels lighter, although this means it's either more subversive or concentrated moreso into the larger channels I already avoid; there's still no venue I'm aware of free from such screeching, but it still feels different.

  3. [...] suppose since I wrote up a review of the first presidential debate I should continue with what happened at the vice-presidential debate as [...]

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