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  • First debate: Tuesday, September 29
  • #68392

    The first presidential debate between Biden and Trump is tonight, Tuesday, September 29. If you are watching it, I would be very interested in your thoughts. Please feel free to post here. And remember, this OpenLab discussion board is open to past as well as present student in my American Government class. If you have access to this page, your contributions are welcome. (As always, please keep all disagreements with each other friendly.)


    It’s about to begin. Among other places, you can get it at


    Aaron Arroyo

    That was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while. Poor Chris.
    I feel like no “Winner” could be declared since it essentially amounted to scrabbling on both sides.

    Notable insults:
    “You’re a clown.” ~Biden
    “Shut up, Trump” ~Biden
    “Don’t talk to me about being smart, Biden.” ~Trump

    In the meantime, i was playing the unofficial first debate bingo. Here’s how I did:


    Shishir Humagain

    I felt like Trump was dominating the debate, Biden couldn’t come as strong as Trump while arguing or making points. Biden had so many points but felt like he couldn’t present it properly/strongly! Trump even delivered lies so confidently that Biden couldn’t stand against him. I used to see in News that Trump paid only $750 in federal income tax in 2016 and 2017 but in debate Trump said he paid millions in Income Tax in those years. Biden& Harris disclosed their 2019 tax returns but Trump hasn’t done it yet.So, not optimistic about it but looking forward to see his tax returns soon and see who is lying!


    Duane Facey

    I couldn’t watch it. The both of them lack substance, vision and a plan to help the American people. Quite frankly, closing down businesses will paralyze the economy and will lead to more devastating problems. Furthermore, “Law and order” is necessary, however, policies and procedures should be established to discontinue the use of force that leads to death to an unarmed citizen. Most politicians benefit from serving in offices whether domestic or foreign and quite frankly favours are done more frequently than we think. In conclusion both are millionaires and will continue to pay little or no tax and will find away to tax the working class.



    Well to start off I have to say that this was my first time ever watching a Presidential Debate, but it was one that I was really interested in. Now this may have been the wrong debate to be my first nevertheless I was STUNNED! The childish behavior that the current president was displaying was an embarrassment. Donald Trump couldn’t pull it together enough to allow Joe Biden to finish a sentence! And to be interrupting to spew lies, he just looked foolish. Taking shots at Joe Biden’s son was a low blow. I did pay attention to the answers that I could decipher and I did like the things that Joe was saying. I heavily agree that Americans and even people across the globe should be wearing masks and I agree with a few more of his points. However when talking about climate change I was a little confused so if any of you guys would like to explain for me that’s appreciated. I do not understand Joe’s plan and to me it sounds like it costs a lot of money even though he’s promising 700,000 new jobs. All in all it was an iconic first debate and I think that’s as nicely as I could put it.


    Okay, and now I’ll take a turn.

    Trump referred to Senator Elizabeth Warren as Pocahontas, said “Proud Boys: stand back and stand by,” made clear he won’t pledge to concede the election if he thinks Biden has won it by fraud, disparaged Biden’s intelligence and Biden’s son Hunter, and interrupted Biden constantly. Biden also interrupted Trump a few times, said “Will you shut up, man” at one point, referred to Trump as “this clown” at least once, and at least twice, when Wallace was saying to Trump “please let him finish,” Biden said “he doesn’t know how.”

    With that out of the way, the candidate I want to say a few words about is Biden. (You all know what I think of Trump.)

    I think Biden did a fairly good job–as good a job as could reasonably be expected with all the interruptions he got from Trump–but needs to do even better in the two remaining presidential debates. He needs to get a clearer message out about what his plan is for the economy. Again, it was hard for him to say anything with all the interrupting by Trump, but he does need to communicate that he has a positive vision and a clear plan.

    Biden also did a couple of things that made me cringe. One was when he referred to the current recession as Trump’s recession and accused Trump of having shut down the economy. It’s a time-honored tradition, of course, to blame the president for anything that goes wrong in the economy, but to review the basics here, the economy was shut down by the pandemic emergency, which would have been happening no matter who was the president, and it was state governors more than anybody at the national level who did the shutting down. Part of what makes this such an error for Biden to be saying is that in reality, Trump has been trying to get things reopened prematurely and unsafely. A few months ago, he announced that he wanted churches to reopen, adding, “The Democrats would like it if you never reopened.”

    The other thing that made me cringe, though just a little, was when Trump was describing the Democratic Party as dominated by the “radical left,” and Biden said “I am the Democratic Party.” Obviously, he isn’t; he’s just one member of it. If he’s in office, it’s not going to be automatic that the Democratic Party falls into line with him on everything. I don’t say this to give any support to Trump’s claims about the radical left, as I consider that to be pure hogwash, but I think Biden made an unfortunate choice of words when he said “I am the Democratic Party,” a choice that may come back to bite him.

    But given that some people don’t think Biden still has all his cognitive faculties, what was most important last night was for Biden not to look senile, to look coherent and mentally sharp, and I think he succeeded there. I also think he came off as more dignified as Trump, even if he did tell Trump to shut up. In the subsequent debates, if I were one of his advisers, I think I would suggest that he not tell Trump to shut up or call him a clown again. I would also advise Biden to deliver more flowing oratory about his vision for the country and show even more connectedness with working families. As Biden surely realizes, he does not have this election won yet.

    I write this post as just one member of this discussion community, and I want to emphasize again that all of you who have access to this board are invited to share your thoughts here.

    The vice-presidential debate, by the way, is next Wednesday night, October 7.

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