By Edith Morgan
What I watched on TV – Tuesday night’s presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump – could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be called a debate. The rules, clearly enunciated by moderator Chris Wallace and agreed to by both debaters, were totally violated and ignored by Donald Trump. That was surely no surprise from Trump, an acolyte of the infamous Roy Cohn, the evil brains behind the late divisive US Senator Joe McCarthy. We saw, in full application, that technique being used on us at that show. Call it that! As that it was!!
Trump incites American hate groups to disrupt the November 3 election, intimidating ALL voters.
I recall the McCarthy era well – and recognize the technique, a set of experiences perfected by Hitler’s propaganda minister, Goebbels. Name-calling, lying, blaming everyone else, deflecting and out shouting your adversary. And never taking responsibility. Changing the subject whenever incontrovertible facts get in the way.
So how do I summarize this circus? Questioner Wallace did his best to ask the questions on six topics he had prepared, trying to give equal time to each speaker, and allowing for comments and /or rebuttals. Trump interrupted incessantly, so it was really difficult to hear what Joe Biden had to say on any subject, despite constant attempts by Wallace to re-enforce the rules.
The audience, sparse due to the threat of the novel coronavirus/COVID 19, obeyed the rule that they were to abstain from clapping, commenting, etc. They did observe absolute silence all through the show. Some were wearing masks (Notably, the First Lady was masked, though not most of the Trump side.)
Trump – indecent. He slammed Beau, the dead son of Joe Biden – and he called Hunter Biden a drug addict. Hunter is in recovery.
The event took place on the campus of Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio. Had the rules been followed, the program was to be divided into six 15-minute segments with a topic for each segment. Neither candidate had seen the questions ahead of time. Among subjects of questions were the major issues facing our country: the Supreme Court, COVID 19, our economy, race in America, “law and order” and climate change.
There had been a lot of discussion on media as to how each candidate was preparing for the debate. Clearly, Trump had no need to prepare, as he failed to adhere to the format, did not answer with any but invented facts, and simply veered to personal attacks. Trump described a U.S. economy that is so great I hardly recognized that he might have been talking about America – unless you think that the greed-ridden Dow Jones is the real picture.
After decades of attempts to kill the Affordable Care Act, Trump still had no plan in place – after almost FOUR years in office! He continued to blame the huge California fires on “poor forest management,” ignoring the fact that the Federal Government owns most of the forests that are on fire! Hence, they were under Trump’s control!! Whose “poor forest management” was that?! That was only one example, but you get the drift. Fact checkers will have a field day with all the other Trump lies and distortions.
❤ historian Jon Meacham – who’s voted for Dems and Republicans.
I am concerned that this fiasco will have been widely viewed overseas, with obvious repercussions for America’s reputation, so badly damaged already by the Trump administration. But I believe that the good, common sense of much of the American public, will, after watching three of these “debate” spectacles, will finally reel and turn from Donald Trump in disgust and clean house. Those of us who are teachers know that you have to hear something three times before it takes.
In the famous words of U.S. Army lawyer Welch (our own Massachusetts-ian): Have you no shame, sir?”
Of course the answer was, and is, NO.