What the Presidential Debate Showed Voters
By Manasvi Mital
The last Presidential debate of 2020 reinforced many ideas that voters had about the candidates, however, it might have changed their opinions on them as well. This debate was much more civilized and more effective in providing voters some insight and giving them a better idea of who they should vote for. The muted microphone helped greatly in making sure that each candidate was able to get a fair amount of time to speak. President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden displayed to voters who they truly are and what their idea of America’s next four years looks like.
When it comes to the Coronavirus, the candidates have very different strategies on how to contain it while still keeping the economy going. Donald Trump said, “This is a massive country with a massive economy. People are losing their jobs, they're committing suicide. There's depression, alcohol, drugs at a level nobody's ever seen before.” He thinks that the economy must open back up and that the public is learning to live with the virus. Trump had also mentioned that the vaccine is coming soon and that it will be distributed by the military. Joe Biden countered by saying, “[Trump] says we are learning to live with it. We are learning to die with it.” Biden assured the public that he would make sure that schools, restaurants and businesses would get the funding they needed to open up, but still properly follow the safety regulations that the CDC recommends. He also said he would mandate masks, which Trump refuses to do. These plans for dealing with the virus contrast each other and show voters how seriously the candidates treat this deadly virus. Trump is focusing on the distant future when it comes to public health and Biden is focusing on the present. Trump is relying on the vaccine to cure the virus but does not care about how it is affecting people right now. Joe Biden cares about how people are affected now and wants to help those who are struggling. He cares about saving lives and ensuring everyone has enough to survive while still maintaining the economy and not letting it crash.
Another topic for the debate was foreign policy and how the two candidates would respond to interference by other countries in the election. When Donald Trump was asked this question, he started off by saying his opponent received $3.5 million from Russia, then said that he was told that the Russia and Iran interferences are to hurt him and help Joe Biden. He then started to defend himself saying “no one has been tougher on Russia through the sanctions.” Joe Biden, when asked this question, stated that he did not care what country it was that interfered, if they had, then they will pay no matter what, “as they’re affecting our sovereignty.” Joe Biden had also mentioned Trump’s secret bank account and tax payments, as they affect how he conducts business with them. They prove that his policies could be created just to help himself. This debate topic was crucial as there are so many threats to America’s safety and the public needed to know what their leaders were going to do to protect their nation against foreign threats. Donald Trump did not say much about how he is going to reprimand countries responsible for interfering with the election and instead, he spoke more about Hunter Biden and his corruption which has not been proven to be true. He showed voters that he does not have a solid idea of what he is going to do to protect the country. Joe Biden, however, said loud and clear that he will not tolerate other countries hurting America and that he knows that these countries will fear him should he become the President of the United States.
Coronavirus and foreign threats are two major issues that are affecting the United States and voters need to know where their leaders stand on the issues. During the debate, their true personhoods were displayed. Donald Trump would argue that the issue has been handled and there is nothing to worry about, and Joe Biden would argue that these issues are serious and they must be handled now. Now it is up to the voters to decide whose policies they agree with the most and to cast their ballot for the next President of the United States.
C-SPAN, “Second 2020 Presidential Debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.” Youtube, 22
Oct. 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPiofmZGb8o.