Thursday, October 1, 2020


Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden First Presidential Debate Poll

By Lily Hikam*)

            The presidential debate last night ( was quite a historic event. Unanimously, media pundits as well as the general public deemed it the “worst presidential debate in history”. And watching it, I tend to agree with that assessment. When I was asked to pen this opinion piece I kept remembering the shouting match that made up the majority of the debate and had a mild bout of post-traumatic stress (PTS) attack. When I said it was bad, it really was bad. It seemed like a convergence of factors allowed this event to be a singularly bad event, from the choice of moderator, the vast amount of questions that they seek to cover, and of course the candidates themselves.

            First, the moderator was Chris Wallace from Fox News. Note that I do have nothing against Chris Wallace and his tenure on Fox News (in fact, I don’t watch his show at all). I would say, however, that he was utterly useless as a moderator last night. He was unable to stop the incessant interjections by Trump whenever it was Biden’s turn to speak. I saw someone on Twitter commenting that Wallace was like a substitute teacher who had trouble getting his unruly students under control. And there’s a lot of grain of truth in that.

            Then there’s the debate format and the questions. To me it seemed very ambitious to try to fit a multitude of topics into one debate. Last night’s debate covered topics such as healthcare, education, pandemic handling, and criminal justice issues. It ended up as being a very incoherent debate in which no issue got the discussion it deserved. Rather, it would have been better to have debates focused on certain issues since we’ll be having 3 debate sessions anyway. That is, if they don’t end up canceling the rest of the debates due to how abysmal the first one was.

             Finally, the candidates themselves, neither of whom made a case for themselves to the portion of American people who are still undecided on who to vote for. They seemed to only be appealing to people who have set their minds to vote for Trump/Biden, as demonstrated by Trump repeatedly calling Biden a “radical Marxist” when in reality he is the furthest thing away from it. This is a line of attack that would only resonate with someone who is so deep in the right-wing bubble, and not someone who was still undecided.

            All in all, it was a very chaotic debate, one that didn’t shed even the smallest light on what these candidates stand for. I guess the best descriptor for what transpired last night was two kindergarteners had a food fight on national television, the teacher couldn’t break up the fight, and we’re all were forced to watch it unfolded. As with every debate, the question that is inevitably asked is always “who won, and who lost?” It’s easier to answer who lost because it was the American people who had to settle between a choice of that was not that significantly different on many issues.

And the winner, as always, is the American oligarchic class whose interests will remain protected and looked out for regardless of who wins the election come November. See you in the next squabbling called the Presidential debates, folks!

*) PhD in Biochemistry
School of Medicine
University of California at Irvine



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