By: Danielle Rapsas
On Tuesday, September 29, 2020, the first presidential debate was held. There are three debates that take place at the end of September and in October every election cycle. The first debate was between current President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The second debate is the Vice Presidential Debate. Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence faced off against Biden’s nominee, Kamala Harris on October 7th. The aggressive discussion between Donald Trump and Joe Biden occurred at Case Western Reserve University: Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. There were six fifteen minute time segments dedicated to specific topics. Chris Wallace was the moderator. The debate occurred at 9:00 p.m Eastern Time without commercials, and it ran for 90 minutes.
The topics discussed were the controversial records of President Trump and Former Vice President Joe Biden. The Supreme Court was also a topic. After Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on September 18, 2020, Trump announced his nominee on September 25th. The nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a hot topic. It is being argued that a Supreme Court Justice should not be confirmed during a presidential election year. If the Senate agrees to Trump’s nominee, the conservatives will have a 6 to 3 advantage on the court.
The pandemic and COVID-19 were discussed as there have been over 200,000 deaths in the United States alone. The economy has been negatively impacted by the pandemic over the past few months and millions have lost their jobs. Another topic discussed was also about race and violence. The Black Lives Matter movement has gained a large following and made society aware of the struggles of people of color. Protests have taken place all across the country in varying cities. Several people of color have been killed during the past few months causing the movement to gain support.
Another topic discussed was the controversy over mail-in voting. Many Americans, including President Donald Trump, feel that mail-in voting can cause a discrepancy in the election. The integrity of the election was discussed during this debate as well.
Trump tested positive for the coronavirus on October 1st. Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Mike Pence have remained negative. Many in Trump’s close circle have tested positive including former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New Jersey native Kellyanne Conway. Melania, the First Lady of the United States, has tested positive. Barron and Ivanka, two of Trump’s children, have remained negative. As a direct result of Donald Trump testing positive, the third debate was postponed and made virtual, now scheduled for October 22nd. After the debate became virtual due to health concerns, Trump pulled out of the debate. Biden has since scheduled a town hall with ABC News. Instead of participating in the debate, Trump will be holding rallies in hopes to gain more voters for the upcoming election.
For the 2020 election, the Presidential Debates have been far from ordinary. The Vice Presidential Debate was abnormal. Many viewers diverted their focus to the fly that landed on Pence’s head. This became a meme for the people in favor of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. 2020 has been a wild year; it would only make sense for the Presidential Debates to follow and be out of the ordinary as well.