First Presidential Debate 2020

On September 29, the first presidential debate for the 2020 elections took place. During this debate, former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump went head-to-head, presenting themselves to America. The purpose of such a presentation is for the people of America to have a taste of what their candidate can and will do for their country.

The moderator opened the debate with a question about the Supreme Court. However, this topic didn’t last long as, while President Trump pleaded his case for Justice Amy Barett being good for this country, her solid virtues deeming her a positive influence, former Vice President Biden argued that the elected candidate should be the one choosing the next Justice, in other words, allowing the people – through their vote – to choose. Although a prevalent issue, this topic didn’t last long as the subject switched to American healthcare. Lots was said, but Trump’s overarching message was that he supports military healthcare and wants to end the Obama Care plan for good. As one would expect, Biden was on the complete opposite side of the argument; he aspires to extend Obama Care’s reach and proved that even if Trump succeeds in demolishing Obama care, he has no new health care plan, which could cause an immense problem in the country. Although they do not have a health care plan in place, Trump and his campaign have begun their plan to start lowering drug prices by taking out the individual mandate.

Unlike the previous topics, COVID-19 was an extremely important topic that wasn’t well-addressed. Coronavirus is the most pervasive problem happening around the world but neither candidate gave a real solution when asked questions about it. Trump plans to close the country and enforce masks, while Biden rambled on about how he would do a better job than Trump, but still didn’t provide a solution. Biden says that his goal is to provide money and housing to the people, but he did not suggest his way of doing so. Still, President Trump talked about the impending vaccine and how the country will soon be under control, under his guidance.

The moderator then quickly moved on to the United States’ economy and its unemployment rate. Mr. Biden started his argument by saying that Trump entered presidency when the economy was at its peak, and through his four-year term, with the help of the pandemic, the economy dropped immensely. He also elaborated that President Trump will be the first president to ever end his term with a higher unemployment rate than he started with. The moderator then asked about the economy, but yet again, neither answered with a plan but with the idea that the other is wrong. President Trump said that the democrats, and their governed states, are trying to open their economy when the election is over, which will destroy small businesses. He said that his party would get the economy running in order to prevent the decline of businesses and the incline of unemployment rates. After the first question had little to no real answers, Biden finally gave an economic plan of sorts, which he said will create new jobs and a surplus of money (according to the democratic Wall Street Journal). However, Trump responded by saying that by creating the plan, the country will spend an extreme amount of money which can potentially put them in higher debt. Biden’s system will create an immense amount of jobs but will cost trillions of dollars to get up and running; it can make the economy crash and the unemployment rate rise once again before the program even hits the ground.

The next topic given was race. Trump started the debate by saying that he fully supports “law and order” and that he will support law enforcement in order to solve the problem at hand. The problem of antifas and white supremacy was also brought up, and he said that he is willing to do anything to put those two groups away for good. Unlike President Trump, former Vice President Biden didn’t exactly elaborate on these problems; he continued to criticize President Trump by calling him names such as a clown, fool, and even a racist. Soon realizing that he was getting nowhere with his argument,  Biden eventually answered the moderator’s questions. He started by saying that he fully supports peaceful protests but is against violent responses. Moreover, when Trump repeatedly asked Biden if he supported law and order, Biden didn’t specify whether he did or didn’t due to his voters coming from both sides of the coin. After being pressured by both President Trump and the moderator, Vice President Biden said that he agrees with law, order, and justice. Biden ended his arguments by saying that he supports the police; he isn’t for defunding the police.

After the two candidates interrupted and bashed each other, the next topic, climate change, was presented. Trump kept it simple,  stating that his goal in the future will be to fix the water and air in this country. Thus is his rationale for stopping Obama’s climate change plan, as its accomplishments didn’t compensate for the money that was being spent on energy, which drove its prices through the roof. Mr. Biden didn’t agree with Trump at all. He said that he will bring renewal energy costs down to the same price as coal and oil. Besides that, Biden wants to rejoin the Paris Accord if he is elected president. 

The last and final topic that was given was election integrity. This was an extremely unique topic because both candidates agreed on one thing: they each want a fair election. Nevertheless, President Trump said that there is a huge problem with mailing ballots; there’s a flaw in the system. This flaw can cause an unfair election as it can take so much time for votes to be counted, thus delaying the election’s results past November 3. Biden’s response was quick as he elaborated on voting online and via ballots. He said that there is no way of cheating in their system and the results will be fully fair.

Moises Sutton, Class of 2023, a student at Scheck Hillel, states, “Listen, neither Trump nor Biden executed well, and both focused on the past more than the future, but Biden did a great job when he spoke to the people while Trump spoke directly to his competitor.” A second classmate, Daniel Brown, Class of 2023, says, “I don’t enjoy watching politics very much, but one thing that stood out to me was that President Trump kept giving Biden facts for which he denied wrongfully.” This debate, although it might not have been the most eloquent, effective, or traditional,  displayed to the people of America the two candidates who can potentially govern their country.

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