2020 Final Presidential Debate

Robert Zabbia & The Final Presidential Debate 2020

My first takeaway from the final Presidential Debate before the election is that this should be the final Presidential Debate run by the commission.  Debates are about the candidates and them questioning each other and answering agreed-upon questions by the moderator. I do believe that Kristen Welker did an adequate job, she wasn’t a fully neutral moderator who was there to keep the debate on focus and not become the scream fest the first debate was.  The issue is in all three debates, there were three people featured, and it became as much about the moderator as it did about the candidates. 

I think that both candidates handled themselves well in this debate.  There weren’t any major gaffs by either candidate, they both respected the moderator when their time was up, and there wasn’t the name-calling of the first debate.  I think there was a clear definition of how these two candidates have very different visions for our country, and they both solidified their bases. I’m sure there are some undecided voters out there, so they do now have clear contrasts between the candidates to help make up their final decision.   

Here are where I think the major differences come down to.  When it comes to the economy, Trump wants to continue his deregulation and lower taxes to get the country back to the rapid growth and low unemployment of the pre-COVID era. People can argue whether it was the greatest economy in our history, as he claims, but they can’t argue that statistics show that wages were climbing, wage inequality was closing, and there was record low unemployment to every demographic. Trump wants to open up the economy and get people back to work as he claims the COVID is going to go away. 

Biden is looking to increase taxes on businesses and high-income wage earners, increase corporate taxes, and have the government increase stimulus to get money to lower-income families. Biden wants to “transition” from oil and fracking and invest more into green energy to get more employed while reducing carbon emissions. This all sounds great, but do we want to go back to the slow growth, low participation economy of the Obama-Biden years?  Some would gladly say yes, we did come out of the worst recessions since the depression. But why did the country reject this idea and elect Trump in the first place?

COVID handling was also a widely different view.  Trump claims that his administration did everything to shut down the virus from coming here by closing off people coming from China, got the manufacturing base of our country to build the equipment needed, and put in place stimulus to keep Americans afloat during the shutdown.  Trump pointed to the difference in the economies of the cities and states that opened up slowly over the summer, and how the unemployment is much lower in those areas than the cities and states that are still shut down or severely limiting their economies. Trump also pointed to the fact that the House is holding up another round of stimulus going out to help the American people.

Biden went after Trump for the 220,000 Americans who died from COVID, and the millions who have been infected.  The point that I think may hurt Biden was his affirmation that he would shut down the economy again, mimicking the states that haven’t opened across the country to stop the spread of the virus.  Biden stated that we need to be prepared for a “dark winter” and if the country needs to shut down, it will help the economy in the long run. 

The part of the debate that will make or break each side was the attacks from Trump on Biden and his son’s business dealings.  Trump claims that there is evidence that Hunter Biden was on the payroll of Chinese and Ukrainian Companies based on a NY Post news report. Trump accused Biden of being a “typical politician” avoiding the questions of this report. Trump also claimed that Biden is corrupt and was benefitting from these business deals based on emails from a laptop that is alleged to be Hunter Biden’s.  Right before the debate, a supposed “whistle-blower” claimed to have dealt directly with Joe Biden in the dealings with a Chinese company, and the Biden Family. None of this has been verified outside of the NY Post article, so this can go one of two ways. 

People will see this either as a concern for corruption, and a reason not to vote for Joe Biden. These allegations are serious, and if any of it is true, it could lead to criminal charges according to some experts. Many voters will see these claims as nothing but a political attack, and just dirty politics. I’m not sure how the undecided voters will come out on this one, especially since reporters aren’t asking Joe Biden any questions about it, and he hasn’t denied the allegations. The way he is distancing himself from the allegations can make some believe that it is true, and he isn’t flat out denying that the emails aren’t real, and the laptop doesn’t belong to Hunter. 

The biggest question going into November 3rd is how long will it take to find out who won. There are record numbers of early voters out there, the most Googled term right now is how do I change my vote, and with COVID there will be a record number of mail-in ballots.  There are court cases going on right now to determine when the mail-in votes need to be counted. Many states have clear cut laws, but voting rights advocates are suing to get those dates extended past the statutory deadlines.

Whatever the outcome, this country can’t continue the path we are heading. Families aren’t speaking to each other, friendships have been broken, and even marriages have split over this election.  This didn’t all start this year, this has been going on since the Bush vs. Gore and the hanging chads mess in Florida. We really can’t go through that again, so I hope that a clear cut winner comes out on Election Night. 

Of course, now we know that there is no clear cut winner and the election is going to be another example of the manipulations of our system through votes, some very questionable votes, and quite possibly laws being compromised.  For the sake of our country, I hope we have a clear majority winner and that our process and the freedom that we all still have does not suffer because of the manipulation that can and most likely is taking place in our voting process.  

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