The American Argument

The 2020 Presidential Debate


Parker Johnson

Parker Johnson, Unsplash. This year more voters turned out than ever before. Making many of the American people proud for people standing up for what they believe in. At the first presidential debate both candidates urged people to go out and vote, and clearly they did. Former President Barack Obama stated at his rally for the Biden Harris campaign, “We have to vote like never before.”

Anne King, Journalist

With many referring to the first presidential debate as “unprofessional” and “a mess.” It was filled with interruptions, personal attacks, and constant bickering, it was almost impossible to decipher what was actually discussed. They did discuss a variety of topics ranging from health care to the integrity of the election.

“The first presidential debate of 2020 did not reflect well on either candidate.” Tom R. Kovach, USA Today, said.

According to ABC News, before the debate, Joe Biden currently had a 78% chance of winning the election. Back in 2016, before the first debate, it looked as though Hillary Clinton was going to win, and while Clinton did win the popular vote, Trump won the Electoral vote. One of the main sources of controversy is that mail-in voting is going to be heavily involved in this election. 

 “As far as ballots are concerned it’s a disaster,” President Donald Trump said. “If I see tens of thousands of ballots manipulated I can’t go along with that.”

With mail-in voting, there is a high possibility of the people not knowing who won the election for days or even weeks after November 3rd. The moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News, even asked if the candidates would pledge that they would not declare victory until all ballots are counted.

 “Once the winner is declared, after all the ballots are counted,” Democratic Candidate Joe Biden said, “that’ll be the end of it.”


The mail-in ballots are being used this year primarily because of COVID-19, but the polls for in-person voting will still be open. The candidates both have differing philosophies on how they would approach the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Tiffany Tertipes, Unsplash

Joe Biden stated that the President has been “totally irresponsible” in handling the virus, while the president stated that “People like this would rather make it political than save lives.”

Along with the COVID-19 outbreak, the economy has suffered a tremendous amount as well. Joe Biden stated that President Trump “blew it.” In response to this remark moderator, Chris Wallace asked. “Is it fair to say that he blew it when he had the lowest unemployment before COVID-19?” 

“You can’t fix the economy,” Biden said, “until you fix the COVID crisis.”

Along with the damaged economy, there has been a huge movement for racial justice, by using the first amendment right to protest.

“We have to have a system where people are held accountable,” Biden said.

There has also been a calling for defunding of the police and for the justice system to be rehabilitated so that racial profiling does not happen.

Joe Biden also stated, “I’m totally opposed to defunding the police officers.”

When the debate turned to talking about climate change and the candidates’ plans on how to take care of the planet. Joe Biden proposed the “Biden Plan” and stated that he was against the “Green New Deal.”

“More carbon is absorbed in that rainforest than every bit of carbon that is absorbed in the states.” Biden said. “Here 20 billion dollars, stop tearing down the forest.”

Both candidates have different opinions on what this deal will do to the economy. Trump believes that since Biden’s plan is so expensive it will tank our already fragile economy and he also stated that if the Green New Deal is used it will cost around 100 trillion dollars. 

Joe Biden believes that his plan will create jobs because they will be building eco-friendly buildings and that will supply the economy with more jobs.

At the end of the night, each candidate gave their final words to voters.

“Under this president, we become weaker, sicker, poorer, more divided, and more violent,” Biden said. 

President Trump said: “I have done more in 47 months than you have done in 47 years, Joe.”