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Culture Shock

Let's Reflect on the First Presidential Debate of the 2020 Election

Written by Nolan Lantin

The long-awaited event of 2020 had finally taken place. Republican nominee President Trump and Democrat nominee former Vice President Joe Biden took the debate stage the night of Tuesday, Sept. 29.

Millions of viewers tuned in on either YouTube live streaming or national television to this highly anticipated debate to see the two candidates from opposing parties have at each other. Many viewers felt Trump won the stage that night, others felt Biden was the top contender, and others simply thought that the debate was a joke and that there was no clear winner for the event.

If you are curious and you happened to miss the debate because you were working late, out partying, or it was past your bedtime, no worries! WIUX compiled the highlights of the debate so get ready for a joyride!


Biden: “The American people have a right to have a say…”

Wallace asked Trump about his pick for the Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. Trump responded with his two-minute time slot by saying that his pick was “respected by all” and that she would do a phenomenal job as Supreme Court Justice.

Biden’s input on the matter began with saying that “the American people have a right to have a say” when it comes to picking the nominee and that say comes through voting. He believes that nominating a Supreme Court Justice should wait until after the election.

The segment quickly turned to the two candidates sparring over the nominee’s record on healthcare and women’s rights, which then initiated Wallace to ask about Trump and Biden’s stances on healthcare. The sparring continued on and Wallace repeatedly asked both Trump and Biden to not talk over each other, although it was apparent that he was more focused on Trump to maintain order.


Trump’s V-shaped recovery and Biden’s K-shaped recovery

Wallace mentions that Trump believes America is in a V-shaped economic recovery, while Biden believes the country is in a K-shaped recovery. What do both of these mean?

In short, a V-shaped recovery means the economy falls drastically but bounces back up at the same time. A K-shaped recovery happens when some parts of the economy bounce back up from a drastic fall but other areas keep tumbling down.

Trump says the fall of the economy occurred when America closed down due to COVID-19, “which was very hard, psychologically, to do. He [Biden] didn’t think we should close it down.”

“...Billionaires and millionaires, like him [Trump], in the middle of the COVID crisis, have done well!” said Biden beginning his 2-minutes. Biden then focused on the middle and lower-income classes and comments on how they might not be doing so well because of the billionaires. This is where the supposed K-shape comes from, according to the former Vice President.

Later on, Biden highlighted the significant job creation he experienced as Vice President under the Obama administration, while Trump mentioned his tax cuts and stock market gains.

“We handed him a booming economy. He blew it,” said Biden commenting on Trump’s economic handling.


Trump attacks Biden’s adult son, Hunter Biden

Trump instantly attacks Biden on an unfounded claim about his son, Hunter. “Why is it, just out of curiosity, the mayor of Moscow’s wife gave your son 3 and a half million dollars? What did he do to deserve it?”

Biden simply dismisses the question, saying none of what he asked was true.

“My son did nothing wrong,” said Biden. “I think he did,” said Trump, continuously attacking his opponent on the matter.

Biden, later on in the segment, said “This is not about my family, it’s about the American people.”


Trump: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.”

President Trump was asked by Wallace if he would condemn white supremacists and white militia groups who were playing big roles in the racial violence in America.

“Sure, I’m willing to do that… I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not the right-wing,” answered Trump.

Wallace demanded a form of condemnation from the President, to which he responded with “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s gotta do something about Antifa and the left!”

The Proud Boys is a far-right, male-only organization with ties to many white supremacists.


Trump and Biden on election integrity

Nearing the end of the event, Wallace asked both candidates about how confident should the American people be that the 2020 election will be fair.

Biden pushes citizens to vote however they want, whether it be through mail-in or in-person. He also references Trump’s FBI and Homeland Security director assuring that there is no evidence of mail-in voting being manipulated or cheated.

Trump, on the other hand, worries that the immense amount of mail-in ballots due to the pandemic will result in a massive fraud for the 2020 election. The president ended his two-minutes by saying that, “it’s a rigged election,” the exact same thing he said for the 2016 election.

“Show up and vote, you will determine the outcome of the election,” said Biden responding to Trump’s scare tactics.

Trump continues to doubt the outcome of the election and warns that, “this is not going to end well . . . this is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen."


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