Viking Call

Upper Merion High's Student Newspaper


An Analysis of the Presidential Debates

With an upcoming presidential election in November, Americans are stuck with the tough choice of who to vote for. Having the presidential debates to assist in the decision, many were expecting an rigorous intellectual battle between which policies are superior and inferior to each other, but ended up with what resembled more of a fight between siblings than the debate between the two candidates for the most powerful position in the most powerful country in the history of the world.

The debate started relatively peacefully and contained. They began by discussing the Supreme Court. Trump’s position on when the justice should be recommended was claimed to be justified under the Constitution, and Biden’s under Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death wish. The unrest began with each side additionally claiming the other to be abusing their power. Although Biden had interrupted Trump plenty of times during the beginning of the debate, Trump had made up for his loss of time and overcompensated by interrupting Biden far more. They both broke the rules by interrupting, but Trump was justifying it by pointing out how Biden was lying during the debate. 

Going into the second half of the debate, a third candidate joined the ring: Trump was often seen arguing more with Chris Wallace about the rules of the debate than Biden with their policies, which made the debate seem more like siblings arguing than adults arguing. 

Wallace was composed and his questions seemed fair in the beginning, but began throwing Trump notably harder questions during the second half, and Biden was given sort of a break. This is likely because Wallace began showing visible annoyance to Trump’s interruptions. Knowing that a portion of Trump’s base was white supremacists and that a portion of Biden’s base is anarchists and looters, Wallace only asked Trump to condemn the violent ideology of white supremacy, but never asked Biden to condemn violence under the name of Antifa.

Closer to the end of the debate, fatigue was showing on Wallace’s and Biden’s faces, while Trump looked energized and ready. Both sides claimed victory, despite how unclear it was.

The Vice Presidential debates were far more contained, but each candidate was more defensive this time. Instead of interrupting, Pence and Harris just went over their time instead.

After the debates, third party candidates, most notably Jo Jorgensen for the Libertarian Party and Howie Hawkins for the Green Party, showed disappointment for the broken system behind the debate commission, wishing for each of themselves to be on stage too. Everyone on the commission is either a democrat or a republican, so it would be in their personal best interests to only have Trump and Biden debate. Statistics show that a majority of Americans wish for a third option. However, the biased debates commission seems to benefit by only covering the same two candidates, no matter how corrupt either is.

By most democrats, republicans, third parties, and Americans as a whole, the debates were widely seen as a complete disaster and a catastrophic loss for the country.


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