5 ways Donald Trump messed up on debate night

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President Donald Trump acted in a childish manner during his first presidential debate with former Vice President Joe Biden.

Carol Rodriguez, Website Editor

On Sept. 29, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden participated in their first of three scheduled debates. Election day is nearing, which means that the two candidates are losing time to convince any potential supporters to cast their votes for them.

Debates are when two sides lay out their ideas and rebut their opposing side in order to persuade an audience. However, Trump and Biden’s interaction last Tuesday was different. To cut it short, what the American people witnessed was not a debate; it was a clown circus.

Here are five things Trump did wrong on debate night.

  1. Interrupt – Can one even count the number of times Chris Wallace, the moderator at the debate, had to tell Trump to stop interrupting? Surprisingly, it is possible. It turns out that Wallace had to interrupt Trump’s disruption 76 times. Every time Wallace said “Gentlemen” in exhaustion, I was reminded that there were in fact two men standing on the debate stage and not three-year-olds having a tantrum. It was even difficult to understand their policies when all one could hear was jumbled words. Perhaps if Trump let Biden talk, I would have an understanding of what went down that night. After watching the debate, I felt like I had learned nothing more than what I already knew, which increased my anxieties over the election. 
  2. Disrespected Biden’s son – Leave it to Donald Trump to attack his opponent’s family as a way to make himself look noble. The two candidates were there to talk about their future plans of America, or at least that’s what Americans were hoping for. In a discussion about the economy, Biden mentioned his son Beau and defended him after Trump called veterans “losers and suckers.” Trump then made the disrespectful decision of going after Biden’s son, Hunter. Trump ridiculing Hunter for his drug abuse was uncalled for, and it shows a new low for him. Debates should never be personal. America tunes in to hear about their policies, not about their family life. 
  3. Made fun of Biden for wearing a mask — It’s ironic that the same man who laughed at Biden for always wearing a mask ended up being the same man who contracted the Coronavirus. The President, who has a big influence on the nation, should not make the wearing of masks a joke, especially when cases in the country are going up and people are dying from the disease. In a leaked tape recording, Trump even called the Coronavirus “deadly stuff.” If that’s the case, which it so scarily is, then why is he laughing at someone for taking correct safety precautions? However, this interaction occurred before he found out about getting COVID-19, so hopefully, the president has learned his lesson. 
  4. Failed to criticize white supremacists — It is appalling that our nation’s president could not even condemn white supremacists. However, it isn’t surprising. The tragic and violent Charlottesville rally that occurred in 2019 revealed Trump’s stance on white supremacists. Trump said that there were “very fine people on both sides” in regards to the white supremacists and the opposition. He couldn’t condemn them then, and he can’t do it now. Since white supremacy can result in hate crime, it would be reassuring if we had a president who could actually say that they’re bad people. It’s appalling and terrifying that our president is scared to lose the white supremacist vote.
  5. Increased fear regarding the voting process — The last thing that American citizens need right now is to be discouraged from voting. This upcoming election might be the most important and dire one yet, yet we have the president on the debate stage scaring off voters. There needs to be a higher turnout this year, and that can’t happen if we have Trump calling the election “unfair.” Some citizens are already discouraged from the confusing voting process, and it would be a trainwreck if they were to choose to not vote just because they heard Trump say that it would be rigged. 

So far, all of Trump’s strategies have been executed poorly and it’s hard to expect anything more from him. He was childish, rude and confusing, which is exactly what America doesn’t need for four more years.

Although the first debate made many people laugh due to the ridiculousness, it is truly not a humorous matter. The president has instilled fear inside many citizens, especially minority groups, and this year’s election is America’s way out towards a better future. Hopefully, everyone listened carefully to last Tuesday’s debate, which could have been a struggle, and has realized who’s needed to lead this country and who’s not. Trump has definitely made a huge mistake in how he acted on debate night, and we’ll have to see how he acts during the next debate if he’s able to attend.