US President Trump complained and bullied and lied. Presidential nominee Joe Biden rolled his eyes and called Trump “a clown” and told him to “shut up.”
Presidential debates take place before elections. They’re supposed to be a chance for voters to find out what each candidate will do for the country, if elected. Each candidate is supposed to talk about things like the economy, human rights, climate change—and how they will make those things better.
But at this debate, which took place on September 29, there was very little of that. The US president had trouble letting Biden speak without interrupting him. Biden, in turn, became frustrated and annoyed.
Moderator Chris Wallace (a journalist from Fox News), was supposed to keep the two presidential candidates focussed on the topics. He was unable to do that, and frequently fought with Trump as the two talked over each other.
There was almost no chance for voters to find out about the issues or the candidates’ plans for the country.
Often, after a debate, pundits (people who comment on politics) declare a candidate “the winner” of the debate based on how well they performed. In this case, most pundits say, there was no winner but one big loser: the American public.
There will be other chances for voters to hear what the candidates have in store. A second presidential debate is slated for Oct. 15 and a third for Oct. 22.
The two candidates for vice-president, Mike Pence and Kamala Harris, will debate on Oct. 7.
Let’s hope things go better in the next debate.
Note: This article was written on Sept. 30 and originally scheduled to be posted on Oct. 5, but it was preempted when US president tested positive for COVID-19 (that’s known as a “fast news week”!).
THINK AND DISCUSS
Have you ever tried to have a discussion with someone who talked over you and wouldn’t listen? How did it make you feel? How did the other person’s behaviour affect your discussion?
What questions do you want the presidential nominees to answer?
If you were a presidential nominee, how would you behave? If you were the moderator–the person in charge of keeping everyone on-track, what would you do?