The First US Presidential Debate: What it Showed and What to Expect


The first US presidential debate took place on September 29 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. It was certainly a hard to follow event, where both candidates constantly interrupted each other and disrespected their time limits. In order to have a clearer grasp of what the election could look like, we should see how this debate developed. It is no surprise that this event caused uncertainty and divergence in the public opinion of the country. Both candidates, Donald J Trump for the Republican party and Joe Biden for the Democratic party discussed, with many bumps along the way, key points for the near and long-term future of the US.

The background of the debate was built weeks before it even happened. Both Biden’s and Trump’s campaign were set on diminishing the personal and party’s image of the contender. The tension and pressure were tangible. The speakers were constantly interrupted and the debate turned more into a brawl.  For example, at times, both candidates adopted an attacking position, which Trump tended to lead, interrupting Biden more often than Biden interrupted Trump. Even the debate’s moderator, Chris Wallace, tried to calm both candidates and continue with the discussion. He had to intervene many times to make sure things were done correctly, even telling Trump once that he had been “doing more interrupting”. A study showed that “Trump interrupted moderator Chris Wallace and Biden 128 times during the debate”. 

The importance COVID-19 had in the last year was constantly mentioned. Therefore, it was also a really important topic in the first debate for the United States presidency. There was a whole segment covering personal opinions of both candidates. This segment covered the virus repercussions in present day United States, and their plans for the following years, while attempting to discuss the pandemic and economic crisis. In this case, Biden constantly questioned Trump, who criticized the way he managed the health crisis whilst also focusing on the economic one. 

Another important topic referred to race-based events, such as George Floyd’s murder and the re-emergence of the Black Lives Matter group. It was at this segment, in which one specific intervention made a huge statement. Joe Biden asked Donald Trump if he would condemn white supremacist groups. Donald Trump didn’t condemn them, which created an environment of tension and anger. 

The first presidential debate was far from normal and expected. It was a constant hate-fueled argument, where the points that were made were not completely clear. Both candidates dedicated more time to diminish each other’s work, rather than objectively give plans to Americans. The people can make their own conclusions to figure out their vote and elect their best candidate. At the time being, the second debate has been canceled, and given the outcome of the first debate, the public is left wondering if the final debate will be more conclusive, or will leave Americans confused once again.

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