Gordy: Presidential debate or middle school argument?


Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic / Public domain

The Presidential Debate drew a lot of controversy due to the lack of structure and frequent interruptions.

Colin Gordy, Staff Writer

The first presidential debate of the 2020 election year left many viewers in complete shock. The constant interrupting, screaming, mockery, personal attacks and lack of respect for the moderator has left many believing this was the worst presidential debate in American history. In fact, it really makes me question the integrity of this election. If one word could sum up the first presidential debate, it would be: yikes. 

When the debates first started, I assumed that things would go smoothly. They greeted each other and the moderator, Chris Wallace and smiled at the cameras. However, that expectation ended very fast. From the start, the complete lack of respect for the presidential debate was shown very clearly. From Joe Biden telling Donald Trump to, “shut up, man,” and calling him a “clown,” to Trump constantly interrupting Biden and the moderator, the first presidential debate felt more like a Saturday Night Live segment. 

Many will argue that the only person being unprofessional during the debates was President Trump. However, there were still many unprofessional, childish remarks from Biden. One of the “highlights” of the night was when Biden said, “it’s hard to get any word in with this clown.” While I found this extremely funny, I did not think it was a proper thing to say during a presidential debate. On the other hand, President Trump made many disrespectful, childish remarks as well. “You graduated the lowest, or almost the lowest in your class. Don’t ever use the word smart with me,” President Trump remarked. This is just an unnecessary personal attack against Biden that was uncalled for. Another highlight of an extremely entertaining, comedic debate was when President Trump addressed Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pochahontas.” How Elizabeth Warren was relevant in their discussion? I’m not sure either.

Personally, I think the “winner” of this debate was Vice President Biden. Even though Biden didn’t necessarily outshine President Trump in the debate, I find most of his views to align with my own. One of the topics discussed during the debate was Trump’s nomination to the United States Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett. I agree with Biden in his idea to wait until after the election to nominate a justice. On Nov. 10, exactly one week after the 2020 presidential election,  the Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments regarding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Should Judge Barrett, an outspoken critic of the ACA, fill the seat of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there will be a chance that millions of Americans will lose their right to health insurance. Biden supports the ACA along with nominating another liberal-leaning justice to the court, and I support the same. 

Forming an opinion about the first presidential debate was one of the most challenging things I’ve done this year because I honestly don’t know what to think. Both parties were disrespectful and childish, and neither belong in the White House. I did not think it was possible to make the U.S. elections worse than they already were, but President Trump and Vice President Biden managed to do exactly that. This debate showed more than two imbeciles making fools of themselves. This debate, like many recent political events, showed that the U.S. two party system is broken and in need of change. The first presidential debate was no more than the equivalent of a garbage fire, and a big one at that.