Takeaways from the Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates/by Marquisha Mathis

The presidential and vice presidential debates took place beginning on Sept. 30, 2020, with President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden demonstrating their policy views and campaign goals. Their vice presidents debated, too, with Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris sounding off their views as well.

I was really excited for the presidential debate and eager to hear some really great answers from both parties. The debate consisted of several questions dealing with the Supreme Court, economy, pandemic, and more. 

During this debate, the moderator, Chris Wallace, stated that each opponent would have two minutes to make their argument, and they needed to respect the other party while they did it. However, what happened next took the entire nation on a roller coaster, leaving everyone to think about the responses the candidates gave.

Takeaways from the Presidential Debate:

Supreme Court– Donald Trump said that being president of the United States right now, he has the right to choose the next Supreme Court Justice. However, Joe Biden believed that people have a right in choosing who is on the Supreme Court. What will happen in the end remains to be seen.

The Economy– Joe Biden asked Trump if he only paid $750 in taxes. Biden kept pressing him on the matter, and Trump’s response was, “I spent millions.” This began trending on Twitter as people from around the world really wanted an answer to that question. Everyone had their predictions. I was just sitting there listening to the back and forth wondering if we were ever going to specifically discuss the economy.

Race Issues Surrounding Systematic Racism– Biden blamed Trump for racial divides involving protests. They were asked if they believed there is unequal justice among Black people. I’m not certain if they really answered it with all the bickering. However, the question remains: What will they do to make change?

Unnecessary Mayhem– One of the important takeaways I got out of this debate was how both Trump and Biden talked about one another. Using the words “clown,” “liar,” and talking about each other’s families was awful to watch.

After this debate was over, I just couldn’t understand why they had to do all that. It was far from civil, and there was no respect involved. I patiently waited for the vice presidential debate between Harris and Pence which I hoped would help Americans determine their vote.

The vice presidential debate took place on Oct. 7, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Takeaways from the Vice Presidential Debate:

The Coronavirus– Harris believed that Trump’s handling of the virus “was the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of the country.” She saw this as a way that the president couldn’t control the disease at hand. Pence said that Trump took this seriously, and the way Harris and Biden went about it was already done; he called it plagiarism. They both were defending their party even if that meant having a talk about how the other candidate has let the American people down. According to Kamala Harris, one in five businesses closed, 210,000 had the virus, and millions of people filed for unemployment with no plan. Pence said that “Trump put the health of America first.” Clearly each candidate had a strong defense. However, some things should have been made clearer because there are so many things being said online about COVID.

There was a debate, but also interruption– Moderator Susan Page from USA Today was in charge of making sure things were civil between the candidates, and that each one had two minutes to answer their question without any interruptions. However, there were moments when Harris would say something, and then Pence would respond, but she wanted to set the record straight, so she would tell the moderator, “I need to answer this.” This was a reaction when Pence would step on her answer, or take away from her time.
The fly on Pence’s head was the greatest remembrance of all– The debate was better among both the presidents and vice presidents. However, what was trending all over Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram was the fly on Pence’s head. As I was watching the debate, I thought it looked like one, but couldn’t be sure. All across social media, people made jokes and assumptions. Many wondered from where the insect came. It was difficult to ignore.

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