The first presidential debate of the 2020 election season is in the books. President Trump was at times brash and abrasive, constantly interrupting Democratic nominee Joseph R. Biden and continually refusing to yield to either his opponent or to the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News. In other words, he was Trump. His manner surprised no one.
Some were surprised, however, when former Vice President Biden tried to play the same game. Early in the debate, he went to the “Liar Liar, Pants on Fire” offense, repeating multiple times that Mr. Trump was lying. Mr. Biden referred to the president as “this clown” at least twice. He also resorted to the schoolyard mantra of “Will you shut up, man?”
The last person who tried to get down and dirty with Mr. Trump in a debate was Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida during the Republican primary season in the 2016 election. Mr. Rubio’s public standing was permanently damaged by the exchange. It seems that while people accept Trump being Trump, they still expect a higher level of discourse from other politicians. Mr. Rubio failed, and it torpedoed his candidacy. Mr. Biden’s insults didn’t do much to help him, either.
The former vice president’s biggest problem, however, was that he spent most of the evening sowing the seeds of mistrust. Not just mistrust in Mr. Trump, the electorate would expect that. Throughout the evening, Mr. Biden expressed distrust in a wide variety of groups and institutions. He indicated he didn’t trust the CDC in handling the coronavirus pandemic. He was clear that he doesn’t trust Johnson & Johnson or the other private entities to create a safe and effective vaccine against the coronavirus. Mr. Biden doesn’t trust a constitutionally assembled U.S. Supreme Court to render decisions on Obamacare, the 2020 election or apparently any other legal issue. Mr. Biden doesn’t trust private insurance companies to provide health care options to the American public.
Perhaps the most alarming issue he raised was why kids are back in school. During the discussion on COVID-19, Mr. Biden literally asked the question, “Why are schools open?” The simple answer comes directly from the CDC. Their statistics show that 99.98% of Americans under the age of 18 survive the coronavirus with little or no ill effects. To clarify, that is 99.98% of those who have been infected, not of the population at large. The total population numbers are even more impressive. The point is that schools are open because kids aren’t dying in any statistically significant number. The fact Mr. Biden doesn’t know that and apparently wants to shut schools down again is very disconcerting.
As a bonus Mr. Biden also indicated he doesn’t trust White America at large. “People have to be made aware” he said, that Whites are inherently racist and society reeks of injustice. Great. Mr. Biden supports a government education program that will instruct all of us what to do and what to think. Stalin would be proud.
One of the more perplexing Biden statements came when he was speaking of law enforcement and emphasized he was quite sure America suffers from systematic injustice. In the very next sentence, the former veep said the vast majority of police are good, decent, hardworking people. So which is it? Is law enforcement the home of systematic injustice, or are the people who make up that system good and decent? It can’t be both.
During a discussion on the Supreme Court, debate moderator Chris Wallace asked Mr. Biden if he supported the idea of expanding the size of the Supreme Court and thus giving himself four lifetime appointments of justices. Mr. Biden’s answer? “Whatever position I take, that will become the issue, so I will not answer the question.” Of course, his position is an issue. Apparently, one more group Mr. Biden doesn’t trust is the voting public. He doesn’t believe voters should hear his position on what would be the most significant change to the high court in U.S. history. He doesn’t trust you to hear his words and decide for yourself if you agree.
Mr. Biden does not trust the CDC.
Mr. does not trust the pharmaceutical companies to make a safe and effective vaccine.
Mr. Biden does not trust the Supreme Court.
Mr. Biden does not trust you to choose your own health insurance.
Mr. Biden doesn’t trust public schools should be open.
Mr. Biden doesn’t trust you to understand White supremacy and White privilege, so he’ll educate all of us.
Mr. Biden doesn’t trust the police.
Mr. Biden doesn’t trust voters to hear his opinion on matters of importance so he simply won’t share it.
All of that in 90 minutes. Mr. Biden didn’t outline action plans during the debate but instead spent virtually all of his time sowing the seeds of mistrust and fear. He would rather burn down our institutions and create chaos than run for election standing for anything. The content of the former vice president’s debate was embarrassingly bad.
Can you tag Mr. Trump with the “rude” label for all his interruptions? Yes. You can also assign him one other label from the first debate: the winner.
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