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Opinion: The Worst Presidential Debate Ever!

By Heebah Kashif

A hot mess. A dumpster fire. A national humiliation.

Whatever you call it, on Tuesday, September 29th, millions of people around the world were subjected to watching 90 minutes of 2 old white men mindlessly yelling and insulting each other. Yes, we're talking about Tuesday night when Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden attended their first presidential debate and created history for setting the tone for the worst debate in American history. The world watched American democracy decline that night; people are even calling this night the most “shameful interaction between two leaders ever". I mean are we really surprised? If there was one thing these 2 men did in a 90- minute debate it was develop a fear for Americans about their future. Let's look at some highlights from that night.

One of the most iconic moments from the debate was when Joe Biden told Donald Trump “will you shut up man.” He replied with this after Trump continued to interrupt him when discussing the Supreme Court. Biden said, "This is so unpresidential" and later told Trump, "Keep yapping, man”, followed by telling him to shut up. Biden spoke for all of us during that moment. Biden also referred to Trump as a “clown” and laughed at him throughout the whole debate.

On the other hand, Donald Trump was asked to “condemn white supremacists and militia groups”, a topic viewers had all been waiting for. Trump instead sidestepped the question and replied saying it was violence from the “leftwing”. This was the biggest disappointment of the night, as once again the President refused to condemn white supremacy. Let's look back in February 2016, when Trump refused to condemn the prominent white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Sounds familiar right?

“He shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen!” With the COVID-19 situation, Trump is responsible for more than 200,000 deaths, millions of lost jobs, and America's crashing economy. The pandemic was one of the main topics of the debate and when asked about masks he replied with “I think masks are OK,” and the most ironic thing he said that night was “I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.” And guess what? Donald Trump contracted COVID-19 on October 3rd. Ironic right?

These are just a few fun highlights from the chaotic debate on September 29th and overall it was a heck of an experience. With the next Presidential debate happening tonight at 9pm, it will be interesting to see what each candidate brings to the table this time. Did you know there will be a mute button this time around? What did you think of the September 29th debate?


Jones , Tom. “The Worst Presidential Debate Ever: What Went Wrong?” Poynter, 30 Sept. 2020, www.poynter.org/newsletters/2020/the-worst-presidential-debate-ever-what-went-wrong/.

Reuters, Any. “'Will You Shut up, Man?', 'Nothing Smart about You': Insults Fly in First Trump-Biden Debate.” National Post, National Post, 30 Sept. 2020, nationalpost.com/news/world/will-you-shut-up-man-nothing-smart-about-you-insults-fly-in-first-trump-biden-debate.

Lee, Carl. “Presidential Debate: How the World's Media Reacted.” BBC News, BBC, 30 Sept. 2020, www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54354405.


Australia, SBS. “The ‘Worst Presidential Debate Ever.’” SBS Your Language, 1 Oct. 2020, www.sbs.com.au/language/english/audio/the-worst-presidential-debate-ever.

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