By: Mitchell Steinberg
With the 2020 Presidential Election nearing each day, the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates play a pivotal role in winning over voters who may be on the fence. What events throughout the debates could prove to be the most detrimental or beneficial to either campaign?
After a fiery first debate between the two Presidential candidates, Donald Trump, the current President and Republican nominee, and former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee. Current Vice President Mike Pence of the Republican party and Senator Kamala Harris of the Democratic party, set a better example of what a debate should look like as there were fewer interruptions, but the attacks on the opposition were not much less hostile. With the final Presidential debate this Thursday, October 22, both candidates kept their cool and showed like their counterparts that they could keep their cool. With surrounding controversies for both campaigns both Presidential and Vice Presidential debates had large significance in this election. What did each campaign capitalize on and what did they disregard and attempt to slide under the rug?
The first Presidential debate really grabbed the attention of the public as the Republican candidate, Donald Trump was extremely aggressive and antagonistic. Even if Trump’s intention was to jump on Biden’s slip-ups and false claims it instead came off as demeaning and rude. One student from Glenelg said, “As someone who is pretty straight down the middle in politics, to see someone be so aggressive and outright rude in a Presidential debate was unsettling. I could not decide whether it was good that Trump showed that aggression and he would not fold if it came down to talks with foreign nations, or if that toxic hostility could be detrimental for someone running our country.” Trump needed to calm down instead of being on the constant attack. As a presidential candidate, there needed to be an emphasis on policy and invalidating the information that the opposition presented.
On the other side, for the majority of the first Presidential debate Democratic candidate, Joe Biden was able to keep it together and kept slip-ups to a minimum while not backing down to the intrusions that were constantly occurring. Biden had good feedback from the polls following this debate as the policies and actions for the Biden campaign were well discussed and the public was able to digest it, where there was a struggle to digest some of what Trump discussed. An anonymous student from Glenelg questioned, “If a politician who has been in the business for nearly fifty years can understand how to get out their ideas and allow the public to decide. Why can our current president and a businessman not understand that the public must know what you are thinking in order to decide if they can align with you.” Biden was able to stand tall and keep composure even while under heavy attack from Trump, and for many voters in the rough, it was a good sign to see the veteran politician remain calm in the thick of the storm.
Just like Biden, Senator Kamala Harris was defensive in the Vice Presidential debate, but the Senator found ways to launch some criticism towards the current Vice President, Mike Pence. The Senator aligned with Joe Biden in the denial of the Biden campaign's plans to end fracking and cut Trump Tax plans as the first action of the office. While Pence was able to keep cool and show the Trump campaign could also keep its composure, “Senator Harris was very demeaning and rude to Vice President Pence who even during a debate was trying to remain strictly political and talk policies and not drag each other's name through the mud,” said an unnamed student at Glenelg. While both Vice President candidates had high and lows for this debate, according to the New York Post, Pence was stated by most as the winner, after leaving the final Presidential debate as a bigger event than it already was.
After all, the final Presidential debate this past Thursday was an improvement for both Presidential candidates, both were able to remain calm for the majority of the debate and there was an extreme change in the dynamic. Policies for both candidates had a greater emphasis and the moderator, Susan Page, was able to keep the aggressiveness shown in the first debate under control. With both Presidential candidates at a fairly old age, many questions surround both of them, but during the debate, “Biden seemed out of it times and seemed like a space cadet, Biden is not like Trump where he is constantly looking to jump on a mistake, but there was a time where he tried to make Trump look bad and it was not a great look for him,” said an anonymous student from Glenelg after the final debate. Biden attempted to twist a comment where Trump compared his actions to Abraham Lincoln, to the relationship of the United States with North Korea to the relationship with Hitler before the invasion of Europe. In the end, the final Presidential debate answered some questions while bringing more for the public to now decide in the coming weeks of the election.
With these three debates many voters were swayed, and many voters were left more undecided than before with the ups and downs of information revealed in the debates. Can the United States push through the pandemic and put politics aside no matter the outcome of the election? How will the outcome of this election affect Glenelg High School families and everyone in Howard County? 2020 has been a historical year and with the election can the country finally find its way to come together as one, and put politics aside so the United States can grow to where all the protests can pay off and there is real change. Will the election bring the country together or push the people farther apart? Only time will tell as the election is now the biggest event for the country, as this year the Presidential Election of 2020 will have lasting effects that will alter the future of the United States of America.