29th September saw the chaos of the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and the former vice president, Joe Biden in preparation for the US election due to take place on 3rd November.
The debate was held in Cleveland, Ohio amid a public health pandemic that has claimed over 200,000 American lives. The debate topics of the night included The Supreme Court, Covid-19, the economy, race and the integrity of the election.
There is one thing that has been learnt from the last four years of the Trump administration. Trump may be president but remains a reality TV star. Policies, promises and professionalism was lacking throughout the debate, the raw reality of a fragile and polarised America was seen. Following Twitter spats and Hollywood campaign videos, it was inevitable that the debate would be one to watch but. Not many people predicted the volatile name-calling, interrupting and controversy that Biden and Trump bought to the night.
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by!” Trump answered to moderator Chris Wallace’s repeated question of whether he would condemn white supremacist and militia groups. The Proud Boys is a far-right, anti-immigrant all-male group with a history of street violence against its left-wing opponents, and the comment caused a reaction from both sides of the political spectrum with The Proud Boys quickly adding the president’s quote to their logo.
Critics and opposition to the President also came in thick and fast, with tweets from politicians and celebrities including U.S. Representative, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez calling Trump a “white supremacist…this is fascism at our door”. Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacists comes at an especially divisive time in America.
The 90-minute debate moderated by Fox News’ Chris Wallace was scarce of harmony as both candidates interrupted one another’s arguments. CBS news counted Trump as the bigger culprit, interrupting Biden seventy-three times throughout. It was a challenge for Biden to remain patient, he snapped at Trump asking him to shut up and calling him a clown. Compared to the Obama administration, Biden was much more calm and humorous. However, it would be too flippant to compare this election to previous elections.
The 2020 US election will be the most unpredictable elections in any democracy, with coronavirus at the forefront of the narrative. The postal vote has become a more popular and safe way to vote this year with four million votes already cast. Trump and Biden are tasked with winning swing states and convincing undecided voters that they are worthy of their vote with two debates to go and under a month left until election day.
So, who won the debate? It’s difficult to say among the insult slinging, schoolboy insults and disruptions. There was no obvious winner between the nominees, but there was one clear loser – the American people.