Comment- The First Presidential Debate 2020

Liam Elvish | Content Writer

H.G. Wells once said that ‘Civilisation is a race between disaster and education.’ Perhaps there is no greater contemporary example of such an assertion than in modern America where, since 2017, every unintelligible thing uttered is said with authority and all the great possibilities of language cease to exist.

The perpetrator is still seeking some form of grace and even now has the opportunity to redeem himself through a process of re-election for a whole new term of office. It is unsurprising that he wishes to go through with it, although equally unsurprising that so many of his own people are through with him. President Trump wastes no time in attempting to make himself look clever, with the result that he makes himself look even stupider than he is – which is surely no easy feat.

The first of this year’s ‘socially distanced’ Presidential debates, held in Ohio on 30th September, was a rebarbative piece of political theatre which ultimately failed in its purpose of fulfilling a constructive discourse between the two candidates for the highest office in the land; a far cry from the original Kennedy-Nixon stand-off precisely sixty years ago, ‘The Donald’, bull-headed as ever, stood against an incredulous Joe Biden.

Trump, imperfectly articulating his opinions in the usual bombastic manner, strove to silence his liberal opponent by shouting over him multiple times, prompting cries of ‘Shut up’ from Mr. Biden.

The whole affair was a shambolic spectacle, a wasted opportunity for thorough discussion on matters of international urgency, and an insult to the majority of the watching American populace.

This campaign was always going to be a highly-strung affair. Tensions have been mounting since Trump’s Inauguration over three years ago. But since January of 2020, it has taken an entirely different course. The Coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the plight of so many US citizens.

Although domestic issues have dominated the agenda, particularly with regards to the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd, the Democrats have demonstrated a desire to shift emphasis upon foreign relations in the next administration. Mr. Biden has stated he wishes for America to re-join the Paris Climate Agreement, a far cry from the Republican incumbent who has rested largely on the side of denial. Biden has also emphasised his interventionist stance in to creating 7 million new jobs over the next four years through raising corporation taxes.

History will do well for itself to ensure a Democratic victory in November; the alternative seems too harrowing to contemplate, not merely for those of us who, for the last four years, have consistently called out Mr. Trump’s inability to induce positive change but, more crucially, for those misguided amongst the US populace who, in all their sincerity, still actually believe he can. If Trump’s relentless project of narcissistic indulgence continues into 2021 and beyond then the western world can fear for itself at an even greater level than before.

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