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A Reflection on The First Presidential Debate 2020

That was embarrassing. 

As I watched the first debate unravel, all I could think was how embarrassed I was that this is our reality. Two grown, old men roasting each other on live, national television. The debate was about 90 minutes long, but it was excruciating to watch with almost no proper answers given to the questions at hand. Honestly, it felt like I was watching a movie filled with dodging, insults, bickering and interruptions; So many interruptions in fact that the moderator had to scold both candidates and order them to settle down, not that they listened any way.

Before the debate I wasn’t too concerned, I thought the country can’t be that bad. After I watched the debate, I realized we are worse than I thought. I am genuinely worried and scared for this year’s election outcome. The reason I am so worried now is not just because there was a complete lack of respect and professionalism during this debate, but because some very clear statements were made that quite frankly I find alarming. Here are some, not all, of the statements that stuck with me:

  1. When asked to clearly condemn white supremacy and militia groups President Trump said: “Stand back and stand by”

  2. When asked why he had eliminated racial sensitivity job training President Trump replied: “Racial sensitivity training is racist”

  3. When directly asked if it was true that he had only paid $750 in federal income tax during 2016 and 2017 President Trump averted and did not answer the question regarding federal income tax specifically. He replied with “ I paid millions of dollars in taxes, millions of dollars in income tax”.

And the list, unfortunately, goes on. Not only were remarks like these made, but the personal lives of the candidates became targets. Biden at a point, was forced to defend his family and sons names because Trump kept bringing Biden’s family up! Truthfully, I think a discussion on one of the candidate’s children was not a subject that should have been in the Presidential debate. Let’s also not forget that when asked if he could tell his followers to not take their anger to the streets if he lost, President Trump basically said that whatever happens, happens and did not clearly state that they should NOT take it to the streets.

Reflecting on what President Trump said starting with the first statement. It is alarming to not condemn Neo Nazis in general, but to tell white supremacist and Neo Nazis to “stand back and stand by” is especially alarming and disrespectful considering the social climate in which the United States is currently in. With the excessive police brutality becoming more apparent and unapologetic. With riots and protests still occurring every day and the lack of police reform it is simply out of place to say such a thing. Again it shouldn’t be said to begin with, but especially now. To sum it up, it is hate speech, it is promoting racism. Trump has consistently promoted such speech and actions, with this people think it is acceptable to act in such a way.

For the second statement. Racial sensitivity training is done in jobs and schools in order to make the reader understand their privilege and to realize that some people simply dont have the same advantages and opportunities whether it be due to race, sexuality, gender, ethnicity, ability and socioeconomic status. Generally it is aimed towards white people because they are the ones that have not been oppressed. When President Trump says it is “racist” he is referring to the concept of reverse racism, which means that one can oppress white people…which is simply not true. By eliminating the Racial Sensitivity Training he condones and approves of ignorance and of racism and ostracization.  He promotes and allows for the workplace to become an unsafe environment for minorities.

Finally for the third point, Donald J. Trump states that he has paid millions in taxes. Which was acknowledged by the moderator Christopher Wallace when he posed the question. President Trump averted said question even after evidence was made public that he did indeed pay little over $700 in the year 2016-2017. Not only is the amount a problem within itself considering that most citizens pay way more in taxes and have a considerably lower wage, but the fact that the leader of one of the most powerful and prominent countries in the world is blatantly lying. Not only that, but this is not the first time he has been caught in a lie.

Again there are a lot of things that went wrong that night, making it truly disastrous. Both President Trump and Former Vice-President Biden made false statements, The Washington Post has an excellent article that fact checks the big statements made that night. There was a lot of jabbing, insults and not enough useful relevant information given regarding each candidate’s stance on certain situations. 

I honestly do not know what is going to happen this November when we find out who won, but I can tell you that even though it shouldn’t be a tight race, it’s looking like one. I encourage you to go out and vote. Vote however you can, whether it be mail-in, going to the polls, however you can and want to, but please vote. Our future depends on it.

Alondra is a bright, smiley, cow-loving student majoring in Psychology and minoring in both biology and philosophy. She is also a pharmacy technician and hopes to one day become a doctor. On her day to day she is running from one place to another and being vocal about her activism. Alondra tends to be a busy bee and also a social butterfly. When she's not busy you will find her in a hammock and hanging out with her friends or family. She is also a proud puertorican, a libra , a Halloween fanatic and a mom to a lovely pitbull mix named Bella Rose
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