Bill Collier- The first 2020 US Presidential Debate moderated by Chris Wallace was, as most observed, a slugfest bordering on an all-out brawl. While it may have seened Wallace leaned toward Biden in terms of favor, certainly he did not spare Trump tough questions as he did Biden, the conduct of the two men was brutal.
Civility was not present, neither decorum. And if some feel Trump was rough and interrupted too much, others thought he was tough and only trying to level an unfair playing field. Wallace rarely ever scolded Biden for interrupting Trump while being quick on the trigger against Trump.
Overall, it was a debate in name only. The moderator was clearly participating on behalf of Biden. But many also say Trump did himself no favors either.
But is this so?
One skill Trump has is his ability to know, tap into, and exploit the real zeitgeist of the country. Considering we have been experiencing over 120 days of violence and rage financed by the same people backing Biden, is it any wonder Trump thinks a smackdown, pro wrestling style, is more in keeping with the spirit of the times than a nice, civil debate?
I don’t think debates matter, other than showing the temperament of candidates. But America knows these two men, Biden the down-to-earth, if handsy, working class guy with a blunt but softer tone and Trump the reality TV star who has transformed the Presidency into his pro-wrestling style bully pulpit. We didn’t gain any new knowledge here, exept maybe Biden’s meds are working better than expected, if indeed he is on meds.
Looking at these men and what policies and actions they pursued in power, looking at their policy proposals and positions, and looking at their Party platforms, we can see a stark raving difference in philosophy. Trump may be lighter than we prefer in terms of a strong devotion to the Bill of Rights, but to Biden the Bill of Rights are like ice cream, easily melted to create a new reality in conformity with the utopian vision of his backers.
While Trump is his own man, sometimes maddeningly so, Biden is a sock-puppet for a set of billionaire backers on one hand and radical street thugs on the other hand. We have never declared either men true Freedomists, and we see this race to the bottom of decorum and decency as seriously undermining the Republic itself.
This debate, which we watched after the live event in bite-sized pieces so we could analyze it with less emotion of the moment, did not help anyone. Although, we confess, at times Trump makes moves we do not understand which later prove to be in keeping with the spirit of the times in ways few others saw.
If indeed this rude slugfest was in the spirit of the times, you might want to revisit our article on the concept of intentional nationhood, because this country is in poor shape if this is the best we can do.
Biden appeared to keep his composure more, so some will see he won, albeit by stating some big, fat, juicy lies. He lied about his son. He lied about whether he backed the “green new deal”, and overall misrepresented his radical leftist agenda, portraying himself as a reasonable moderate. But he probably fooled a lot of people who don’t take time to look at his record, associations, positions, or party platform.
Trump was outrageous, angry, and always on the attack. He is also known to misrepresent things, in other words, lie. But if indeed he truly meant to be so combative because he gets something about the zietgeist we mere mortals cannot comprehend, then perhaps he did what he wanted to do.
Who won more likely depends on one of two factors: your disposition comapred to their agenda or your stomach for pro-wrestling style slugfests versus real debates.
No decent high school debate would be allowed to run like this was, that’s for sure.
It was a debate between one man, President Trump, and two men, Chris Wallace and Joe Biden. Considering how the odds are stacked against him and considering his track record in getting the zeitgiest right, we think Trump won by a hair, although the press and pundits will likely give the laurel of victory to Biden, a “fact” they (including Wallace) decided before the debate even occurred.