This Week in 2020: Final Debate Edition

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Week of October 18th-October 25th

Well, we’re nearing the final stretch of possibly the most nerve-wracking, anxiety-driven, and uncertain election cycle in our lifetimes, and the history of the country. This week, the final Presidential Debate lit up the television screens of around 63 million people. To everyone who actually took the time to watch the atrocity that was the debate, especially those who watched it sober, I would like to apologize because no one should ever have to go through that. Seriously, it felt like actual torture to watch. I was ready to start admitting to crimes I didn’t commit just so it would stop.

Before we get into the meat and potatoes of the debate, as always, we’re going to bring out the honorable mentions and, for a change, we’re going a little more in depth with them this week:

  • A man by the name James Dale Reed was arrested earlier this week after plots to kidnap and assassinate Vice President Biden and Senator Kamala Harris. Reed planned to execute the democratic Presidential nominee and his running mate on national television. Reed’s plans and identity were revealed when he left a note on the doorstep of a Maryland resident who had several Biden/Harris signs on their lawn. The resident’s doorbell camera caught the likeness of Reed.
  • Two days removed from the arrest of James Dale Reed, a 19-year-old male by the name of Alexander Hillel Treisman was arrested in North Carolina. It was revealed that Treisman was arrested for also plotting to assassinate Vice President Joe Biden. According to government testimony, Treisman had looked up the Vice President’s address, as well as state gun laws, rifle parts, and night vision. Treisman is said to have bought an AR-15 assault rifle in New Hampshire and then traveled to a Wendy’s within four miles of the Vice President’s home. Triesman has admitted to being fascinated with terror incidents and mass shootings.

Moving on, it’s time for the main event of this week.

In the red corner, from New York City, New York! The most appalling human being to ever walk this earth, but you know him as the President of the United States: President Donald J. Trump.

In the blue corner, we have the challenger from Scranton, Pennsylvania, the former Vice President of the United States: Joseph R. Biden.

This week’s debate was moderated by Kristen Welker, a White House correspondent for NBC News and the co-anchor for the “Weekend Today.” It was made clear to both candidates at the beginning of the debate that it was to be a clean fight; each person had their allotted to time to speak and that time would be uninterrupted. A rule that the incumbent quickly found a way around.

Round One began with a series of questions regarding the novel Coronavirus. Welker opened with a question about how the candidates plan to lead the country during this next stage of the pandemic.

The President was first to respond. Trump began his answer with a series of false and misleading claims about the pandemic such as stating that 2.2 million people were projected to die, and we’ve only reached 200,000 deaths. What the President was referring to was an early estimation given to the White House in April that estimated around 2 million deaths from the virus if no precautions were taken. With such precautions, it was expected that around 130,000-240,000 deaths would arise. A recent study at Columbia University showed that 130,000-210,000 of the deaths in the U.S. could’ve been avoided and that we’re expected to surpass 240,000 deaths which is way off from what the President is trying to pass off as a victory.

He then stated that there is a vaccine in the works, and that it’s ready. Also a false claim. Scientists such as Robert Redfield, head of the CDC, have repeatedly stated that a vaccine being released soon is an unlikely timetable. Redfield even stated that he’s “guardedly optimistic” that a vaccine could be released by the end of the year and has recently testified to congress that a vaccine that will restore normal life is probably unlikely until possibly the third quarter of next year. Trump then ended his turn by gloating about being “possibly immune” to the virus and promising that it will “just go away.

Biden then began his turn by stating that 220,000 Americans have died from Covid-19, and Trump has yet to take responsibility for it, which is true. Biden then stated that anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not continue to be President. He went on to say that the President still has no plan to combat the virus. Given the Presidents own answer to the question, this can also be claimed as true. Biden began to lay out his own plan for the combating the virus, which involves implementing a mask mandate nationwide, investing in rapid testing and implementing national standards so we can open up schools and businesses in a safe matter.

With Donald Trump spouting false information into the microphone and avoiding answering questions, it makes it seem like he has no idea what he’s doing with the pandemic. Trump failed to give us a full plan on how to deal with the virus. Biden on the other hand gave us a look into what his plan would be like. Given the details, round one goes to Biden.

Round Two consisted on questions on National Security. Welkins asked a question about election interference with the recent findings of Russian and Iranian involvement. Biden began this time and his answer consisted of him saying that he’s made it clear that anyone trying interfere with the election will pay a price for doing so. He went on to mention that Trump has done nothing when it comes to Russia’s interreference or the bounty Russia put on U.S. soldiers, nor has he said anything to Iran for trying to interfere in the election.

Trump then gave his response, which consisted of him playing his favorite game: lie and deflect. Trump began going on and on about the supposed allegation that Biden and his son Hunter received money from China and Ukraine. A claim that has been debunked and disproven as there has been no evidence to support anything Trump’s administration has said. Trump then went on to say that the reason Russia and Iran are trying to interfere is because they want him to lose because “no one has been tougher on Russia” than he has. Another false claim, while the U.S. has sanctioned Russia for things like espionage on the U.S. and attacks on Russian dissidents oversees, and these sanctions were made with Trump’s approval, he objected to such sanctions and even took President Putin’s word over U.S. intelligence when it came to intereference in the election.

Trump spent most of round two spewing conspiracies about Biden and bragging about having good relationships with communist countries like North Korea like it’s a good thing. Meanwhile Biden came out with facts about Trump doing shady business with China, denouncing the claims that he’s ever received money from foreign countries, and is actually looking to impose sanctions on countries who interfere in the election. Round two, no question, also goes to Biden.

Round Three was about healthcare. Healthcare was a topic in the last debate as well, and, surprise, nothing really changed on either side. Trump went on about Biden wanting to take people’s healthcare away, and Biden debunked that claim and gave out actual plans for healthcare. With no actual plan from Trump, round Three, goes to Biden.

Round four: immigration. It went as well as you could expect. Welker asked a question about the 500 children that are currently at the border living in cages and whose parents cannot be located. Trump went on about how cartels and coyotes (coyotes are men or women who help immigrants cross the border) use children to come here illegally. He then accused President Obama and Vice President Biden for building the cages, stating “they built them, I changed the policy.” The issue here is just that. Yes, Obama built the cages, Trump got that part right, and yes, Trump changed the policy, and that’s the issue. Obama built these cages with a limit of 72 hours while the U.S. determined if these children came in with their actual parents. After it was confirmed, they were either allowed to enter or sent back.

While I don’t agree with this Obama era policy, Trump’s new policy is inherently worse. Trump introduced his “Zero Tolerance” policy back in 2018, in which any migrant that crosses the border, whether they are crossing illegally or seeking asylum, would be detained and criminally prosecuted. This resulted in the separating of parents from their children as children aren’t allowed in detention centers. Not only is this policy cruel, but it also conflicts with the U.S. International Obligations and Policy which states that “contracting States shall not impose penalties, on account of their illegal entry or presence, on refugees who, coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened…enter or are present in their territory without authorization, provided they present themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their illegal entry or presence.”

Biden began his answer by denouncing the notion that these kids didn’t come with their parents, because they did. He went on to say that this policy has made the U.S. the laughingstock of the world and it violates everything the U.S. stands for. He stated again that 500 children are stuck at the border and no one can find their parents and said this is “criminal”.

Trump then responded by saying that these kids have been well taken care of, which they haven’t been. Reports have showed that many of these kids have been taken advantage of by ICE officials. He then began reiterating that Biden built the cages, which he didn’t, Obama did. Biden then went on to give his plan for immigration reform and how he plans to build a pathway of citizenship for the over 11 million immigrants currently living in the U.S.

With Trump making false claims, denying the horrors of his actions, and instead blaming Obama, and Biden coming back with plans for immigration reform and calling Trump out for his unspeakable horrors, round four goes to Biden.

Activists, some wearing face coverings or face masks as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, hold placards as they attend a Black Lives Matter march from Hyde Park, central London on June 20, 2020. – British activists continue protests sparked by the death in police custody of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in the United States. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Rounds five and six were also talked about in the previous debate.

Racial Equality and Climate change.

Trump spent the majority of this round claiming that he has been the best president for black Americans possibly since President Lincoln, which is very false considering JFK came up with the Civil Rights Act and LBJ signed it. He also claimed that he is the least racist person in the room, also false and kind of implies that he IS racist, and spouted false conspiracies about the climate. Biden gave his take on current racial issues and his plans to fix them and fix the climate.

The final two rounds solidified where the two candidates stand on these major issues. No shocker here, Donald Trump is still a racist white supremacist and doesn’t have much of a plan to fix the climate. Joe Biden actually wants to work towards a better America and fix these taxing issues.

The final two rounds go to Biden.

By unanimous decision, the winner of this debate was Vice President Joseph R. Biden. Without question, Biden was more coherent in his answers and actually gave answers to the questions. Trump spent the majority of this debate deflecting, lying, and giving the same spiel that he’s been giving since 2016.

The only difference between 2016 and now is that now we know what a Trump Presidency looks like. We know what he’s capable of and what he isn’t capable of.

In the end, it comes down to us, the voters of America, to decide where we want to go next. Do we want another four years of corruption, scandals, and possible fascism, or do we want to work towards bettering the country, moving forward instead of backwards, and save our democracy?

We have one week until the election and it’s up to us to decide where we will be four years from now.

 

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