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Recap: The First Presidental Debate

On September 29th, 2020, Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio, hosted the first of 3 presidential debates to take place between Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump. If you were able to wade through the schoolyard taunts and screaming match that incited, you would have heard the 7 main topics discussed during the debate. As Chris Wallace tried to navigate the torturous waters filled with rebuttals and interruptions against him. Wallace’s questions were posed around seven topics: the Supreme Court Justice nominee, Trump’s taxes, how the Corona Virus was dealt with, the American economy, the integrity of this election, racism in America, and climate change.

While the main takeaway for me on Tuesday night was that neither of these men has a real plan for the next 4 years. Therefore, they would rather yell and talk over each other than inform the public. They abandoned the public, who they serve for on the reality of their policies in which they plan to implement when January comes around. Here is a recap of the topics discussed.

Supreme Court Justice Nominee

The issue up for debate is the fact that after the recent passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Another vacancy resides on the panel that is now being raced to fill before the election. Proposed is judge Amy Coney Barrett, a 48-year-old Louisiana native. Barrett was most likely chosen for the position because of her public criminalization of the Affordable Care Act and the court decisions that have upheld it. Because this issue is being brought up to the Supreme Court on the 10th of November. Trump has publicly stated his want to repeal the act makes sense in choosing this nominee. Biden begged the public to fight in the stalling of this nomination. And to first see the results of the election. This is to deny Trump what would be the 3rd court appointment during his term.

Trump’s Taxes

After Trump’s taxes were leaked by The New York Times on September 27th, 2020, stating he only paid $750 last year, it is no surprise that it was mentioned during the debate. When asked how much he paid, Trump responded with “millions!” And, Mr. President, I am going to side with Joe on this one, if you paid your taxes in full, release your tax statements, something Trump has yet to do in the past 4 years! Because Mr. President, my question is if you really did only pay $750 in taxes, why am I, a teenager, a college student paying more in taxes than you?

The United State’s Response to COVID-19 

The way the handling of coronavirus was addressed during the debate was quite interesting. Trump defended himself by stating he has done an incredible job with the whole situation, and stating Biden could have never have done what he did. While Biden appealed to the audience as we expected he would, by bringing up points like who has an empty chair at the table due to someone lost via COVID while staring directly in the camera. To me, neither of these responses was good enough. We are in the middle of a global pandemic, in which the United States has already lost 200,000 Americans. Trump responds with he brought back football, and Biden that Trump hid the truth from the citizens of how serious the virus would be. However, what neither of these responses did was give a clear plan of action on what tactics will be taken to lessen the impact and hopefully end the reign of this virus soon.

The American Economy 

When it came to the topic of the economy, I expected nothing less than what was given. Trump said he had the American economy at the best it had been historically pre-corona and Biden spoke about his ability to pull the nation out of the 2008 recession.

The Integrity of this Election

The last topic that was discussed to its full amount was the question of the integrity of this year’s election. We all know how Trump feels about mail-in ballots. Trump only implements more doubt by consistently claiming remarks of ballots being sold or found in garbage cans that have yet to be either proven or disproven. Biden’s response was just begging the population to vote, hoping he can scrounge up enough to swing the electoral college in his favor. The only thing that this has aided is the argument that will happen after November 3rd, while mail-in ballots are still being counted, and the winner is yet to be projected.

Racism within America

However, the 2 most pressing topics facing America today seemed to bring the most silence over Cleveland tonight. Those being: racism in America and climate change. When faced with questions surrounding the current issues of racism. Trump answered with a rant about Antifa only to be fact-checked by Biden when he stated that Antifa is not an organization but a mentality. Trump also surrounded his main points around how he has dealt with the “civil unrest” of rampaging cities and how he has “done the most for the black community since Abe Lincoln.” Biden spoke about creating law and order. Personally, I do not think either of these responses was good enough to address a country literally in flames due to anger. It is simply unfair and proves how little either of these men actually cares about their people.

Climate Change

When it comes to climate change, a topic that was not originally supposed to be discussed this week, 2 main things were said. Trump has no plan to address climate change in any way in the next 4 years instead he tried to rip radical leftists away from Biden by making him completely denounce the Green New Deal, a plan presented to congress by Ed Markey of MA and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY. Biden plans on rejoining the Paris Accord and implementing the Biden Plan, which I can only assume after today’s plans on creating new higher-paying, greener jobs.

After this debate, I cannot say I am feeling any better about this election than before. I can say that this hour and a half was far too entertaining and the cause of far too many drinking games. It was also the reason for many memes being created instead of showcasing a pressing and important issue as it should have been.

Gillian is currently a senior at Pace University on the NYC Campus. She is originally from Baltimore, Maryland where she earned her AA degree at the Community College of Baltimore County. She is majoring in communications at Pace and loves writing as a hobby. Her favorite day of the week is Sunday and her favorite color is forest green. She also reminds you to recycle! She can be found on all social medias @jillrh02
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