The First Presidential Debate Quickly Descended Into Chaos

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The first presidential debate quickly descended into chaos as the candidates exchanged combative words and frequent interruptions.

On Tuesday, the general election debate between the presidential nominees, Donald Trump and Joe Biden quickly descended into bitter arguments as Trump and Biden displayed a combative exchange of words and frequent interruptions with the debate moderator.

Chris Wallace, a Fox News anchor, started the debate by asking both presidential candidates about whether a Republican should fill the vacated seat by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Trump, a known Republican, answered the question by presenting that since he won the 2016 presidential election, he should be entitled to fill in any court vacancy before the next president is elected. Meanwhile, Biden, a Democrat nominee, argued that voters should have a say about filling in this vacated Supreme Court seat, saying that Trump should wait until after the election. 

Health care and Affordable Care Act

“President Trump Delivers Remarks on the America First Healthcare Plan” (public domain) by The White House

As the debate started to turn more into health care and the issue about the Affordable Care Act, the responses between Trump and Biden took nastier turns as Trump began to talk about how Biden is an extremist that was shaped by the progressive wing of the Democrat party. He further stated that the Democrats want to go socialized medicine.

Biden championed the “Medicare for All” proposal and did not support Trump’s single-payer health care. Biden focuses more on a public option plan instead. 

“Joe Biden” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

On the other hand, when the Fox News anchor challenged Trump about his health care proposal and raised the lack of a detailed plan about health care, the Republican candidate sparred with the moderator and directed his responses instead towards him. To quoted Trump said to the moderator, “I guess I am debating you, not him. But that’s okay. I am not surprised.”

“Will you shut up, man? This is so unpresidential.”

For much of the debate’s opening minutes, Trump was seen to frequently interrupt Biden while he’s speaking and spoke over him as a former Vice President who tries to respond to questions given by the news anchor.

As Biden grew frustrated about the interruptions, he stated that everything that Trump said so far was a lie. And as he lost his patience, he snapped and fired back at Trump with the statement, “Will you shut up, man? This is so unpresidential.”

Biden then accused him of being the worst president that America has ever had. Trump answered back at Biden, stating that he had done so much for America in the 47 months that Biden has done in 47 years. This comment by Trump was an indictment of the former Biden’s long career in Washington.

Proud Boys and White Nationalism

However, as Trump continuously attempted to pin Biden, he was caught in his own message with the shown refusal to condemn white nationalism and his denial to commit to a more peaceful transition of power. 

As the moderator prompted President Trump to denounce white supremacist violence after two anti-racist activists were killed during protests in Wisconsin, Trump simply responded “sure” followed up with a question asking which group he should condemn. 

Biden then named the Proud Boys, a far-right all-male group with platforms that supports some of Trump’s ideas, which includes closing the borders and libertarianism. Trump replied this by saying, “Proud Boys? Stand back and stand by.” He continued by blaming the violence as coming from the left side instead. 

The debate continued as they talked about mail ballotting. Trump raised continued to undermine the integrity of this voting process, which already begun in many states. He asserted that the mail balloting process that most states resorted to in response to the pandemic was rampant with fraud. 

With just a few weeks left until the much-awaited election day, Trump is trailing in national state polls. With the heating accusations about how Trump mishandled the pandemic and the damaging reports surfacing about his finances and past remarks on the military, this first presidential debate was perhaps his best opportunity to shift the direction of this presidential race.