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Too Late for Candidates to Debate

By Ed Parsons - Editor | Oct 7, 2020

Why even bother? What was the purpose? With everything the public knows about each candidate, and with the majority of peoples’ minds already made up, why debate? Neither candidate had anything to gain and both had everything to lose by debating, and it looks as though that may be exactly what happened.

Especially for the President who needed to appeal to women, who, polls suggest, have deserted him in droves.

The Presidential debate would have received an ‘F’ if graded at the high school level. I was never a great orator and never stood a chance at winning during my high school speech class days, but I would try my hand at politics if I could arrange a debate between the current President or ex-Vice President. However, I would never do so if I had a moderator such as Chris Wallace.

Entering Tuesday nights clash in Cleveland, it was clear what each presidential nominee had to accomplish. However Trump’s debate hooliganism dashed any hopes of accomplishment for himself, Joe Biden, or moderator Chris Wallace. The event was a spectacle of insults, interruptions, endless cross-talk, exaggerations and flat out lies even by the lying standards of current politics. It was the debate from hell and an exercise in futility for Wallace, who debated with the President nearly as much as Biden.

The Presidential debate didn’t help Trump catch Biden, but the horror show sure scared America. The debate if you could call it that, let America know that the United States is infected with more than COVID-19. In the midst of a deadly coronavirus pandemic, economic distress and racial turmoil, American voters deserved a serious exploration of the nation’s problems along with solutions.

Instead, they got a chaotic insult fest that was like one of those awful 90-minute movies that leave the audience feeling dumber than when it went into the theater.

Failure by Trump to properly address the most important subjects, and to side step the answers through diversion towards other subjects, clearly shows he cannot be relied upon to properly inform the public of the truth. Americans should be saddened, if not angered, by the distressingly unhinged debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Much of the blame lies with Wallace who should have taken control of the debate undermined by Trump’s constant interruptions and disregard for the time limits agreed to by each candidate and their campaigns.

The loser was the American public. The worst debate in presidential history.

This is America in 2020, wracked by a pandemic that has killed 200,000 plus people, and deep structural failings on healthcare and inequality, as well as the perilous state of its politics and a realm of bitter divisions in which facts appear to be optional.

Trump when invited to condemn white supremacists, told the far-right Proud Boys to stand back -and stand by. Biden dismissed his rival as a clown, a liar and America’s worst-ever president, while urging him to shut up.

He failed to make an impact on issues including the revelations of Mr Trump’s astoundingly low tax payments and the future of the supreme court.

Tuesday’s rancor was a manifestation of the bile spewed every day, out of sight of an international audience, in communities, towns and cities across the country.