Leaders of free world mirror our ugly national discourse - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, October 25, 2020
HomeMust Read AmericaLeaders of free world mirror our ugly national discourse

Leaders of free world mirror our ugly national discourse

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If President Donald Trump and Joe Biden thought they were persuading the undecided voters on Tuesday night, they were mistaken.

Most viewers of the first presidential debate were done with it after the first 10 minutes of over-talking and insults, and the poor moderating by Chris Wallace.

It wouldn’t surprise this writer to learn that viewership was the highest in history during the first 10 minutes, but dropped dramatically after that. Yes, it was that difficult to watch.

In the end, neither men represented America well, but they did represent the pitiful level of discourse now heard across the land: Chaotic, harsh, and unyielding.

Biden told the president to “shut up.” He called him a liar. He called him a clown. He called Trump a racist. He told him to shush. He said Donald Trump is the worst president the nation has ever had.

Biden said Americans died because Trump didn’t close the country down fast enough. Trump said when he closed the incoming flights from China, Biden had called him xenophobic.

Trump also badgered and hounded Biden, telling him he had 47 years to make America better and that he had no plan. Trump spent much of his time defending his record.

Most of the debate, however, was either petty or unintelligible. The three men talked over one another and moderator Wallace repeatedly lectured the president to stand down so Biden could get a word in edgewise. Trump could not find it within him to dial it back a notch.

Biden blamed Trump for the social unrest, saying he drives racial division, while Trump said Biden was not for law and order. Moderator Wallace asked Trump to disavow white nationalism.

An example of the piling on of Wallace and Biden:

Wallace: “Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups…”

Trump: “Sure…”

Wallace: “And to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities as we saw in Kenosha, and as we’ve seen in Portland.”

Trump: “Sure, I’m prepared to do it, but I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing. I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace..”

Wallace: “Then do it, sir.”

Biden: “Do it, say it.”

Trump: “What do you want me to call them? Give me a name.”

Wallace: “White supremacicsts and right-wing militias.”

Biden: “Proud Boys.”

In this exchange, both Wallace and Biden twisted the historical fact that Antifa and Black Lives Matter are burning down America.

The debate reinforced the base for each of the candidates, but would not have persuaded the 11 percent of voters who are undecided. It was too loud, too belligerent, and too incoherent.

Now, the two campaigns and their surrogates will clip the debate up into video remnants, and post those pieces around the internet to prove that one side or the other won the debate, scored points, or looked unpresidential.

No one won Tuesday’s debate. It reflected our polarized political views in America.

But Trump was up against two opponents, and he held his own.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Oh please, Trump was lost and acted like a petulant child. Biden is not the most articulate with a speech impediment but he spoke the truth while Trump lied. And BLM and Antifa are not causing the issues, the FBI was investigated and found the property damage to be overwhelmingly the fault of white wing groups. Antifa saved the world in WWII and it is doing the same now with the fascist obese, impeached turd’s administration. Trump had no clue on masks, COVID, climate change, or that the current unrest is on his watch. Biden missed a golden opportunity to whack him about how the pathological liar launders money and cheats on taxes. Also, Trumpie is a draft dodger and none of his intellectually challenged spawn has served in the armed forces. Next time Biden will be better equipped to show how he and his sons have served the country in public service and the military. Trump knows he is history with his faux BS about ballots and especially mail-in ones that his whole spawn of reprobates use.

    • Rob
      There was a crooked man
      Who walked a crooked mile…

      • If that’s the way you reason – I can’t stop you being a dim buffoon. Write some more, it is entertaining to read crazy puerile screeds and try and visualize the malfunctioning hippocampus of the mentally disturbed.

    • Rob, what is a fascist? Some one who quills free speech perhaps? Did the brown shirts do that? Did they through force and mayhem intimidate? Well, that is what your antifa is doing.
      They are the fascist of today. I think you are deluded if you equate antifa to those who defeated fascist in WWII.

      • Your comment is total gibberish written by a white privilege buffoon who doesn’t grasp today’s politics.

    • Wow Rob! Not worth a reply. TDS is strong with you, like the smell coming from an Alaskan stream this time of year, you know what to expect.

    • Rob posts here all the time on his left wing jiberish. Although I think attacking his nutty misguided left wing radical ideas is definitely fair game, I don’t like hearing commenters make personal attacks on Rob. I think we ALL need to protect Rob from personal attacks. True Rob is an idiot, but he’s OUR idiot.

      • I am sure you don’t want or expect the comments here to be a total echo chamber of self-congratulating self-confirming bias. I never lose … I always prevail or learn something new. I’ve learned nothing from you!

    • Continually repeating Hillary’s lies is not going to convince anyone rob

      • I think you are far more likely to die from a serious brain ischemic aneurysm with all the blood flowing to your anũs to keep your mouth working!

  • Best analysis of the night. It was a junior high food fight, a mess. Wallace forgot his role instead of anticipated Biden.

  • Well stated and completely accurate. I turned the debate off before the ten minutes you mentioned when it became very obvious that this was going to be a gang-up against President Trump. Biden and Wallace were shameful. The whole thing was a debacle and unworthy of grown men. They all acted without dignity and Biden and Wallace showed themselves to be nothing if not bullies.

    • Hmmm, pretty much the opposite of what happened. Trump barged into the segments that were supposed to be Biden’s and immediately started pummeling him with lies. Trump refused to follow directions from the moderator, continuing his rants no matter how hard Mr. Wallace tried to rein him in. It was a debacle, for sure, with two grown men trying to do something significant and one temper tantrum throwing two year old in old man’s clothing screaming ME ME ME.

  • Last night’s debate really was a disgusting event. Hard to believe that both of them could come out losers, but they did. What an utter embarasment.

  • President Trump won the debate. It wasn’t pretty. It was more like a mudslinging contest. But Trump scored huge on the law enforcement question that Biden side stepped, and also on stacking the supreme Court. When Biden we had to resort to name calling I knew that he was lost. Remember Biden was the one that once said he wanted to take Trump out back of the barn and kick his ass. The man has no candor. Trump’s scored with the booming economy. He scored with the covid-19 response getting everybody all the ventilators that they needed. in the end Biden couldn’t come up with a single thing that he’s done in 47 years other than try to slow up the transition team when him and Obama were sore losers because Hillary lost. The man brings nothing to the table. At times last night I saw that he was searching to put together a cohesive statement but it failed him. All our fears about Joe biden’s cognitive ability are true .

  • Listening to the Presidential debate on NPR radio reminded me of the “Jerry Springer” TV shows of the past with people yelling over each other with insults etc. I never watched that garbage on TV then and didn’t listen for long yesterday either. Is this what the U.S.A. has become? Two old rich guys arguing to get their way…enough of this! Where is the statesmanship and admiration we once admired and respected in our Presidents?

    • You’re delusional. That never ever happened.

      • What…Never happened?

        • Your last sentence. Statesman in this country have been arguing and throwing mud and in some cases pulling guns on the floor of the Senate. Having duels. Where you been?

        • From what I gather, G.F. is saying that you being delusional never ever happened. I take exception to him implying that statesmanship never ever happened in any of our Presidents. But Trump doesn’t seem to understand anything about the job of POTUS. How else would you rationalize the President saying he was “smart” by manipulating the tax code not to pay any taxes. Imagine what would happen if we all did that. He now sees the USA as the family business, to be run into the ground with all those depending upon it left trying to figure out how to put the ruins back together again. That’s the groundwork for anarchy.

          • Um, do you itemize? Use deductions other than the standard deduction? Then you manipulate the tax code. If he didn’t break any laws there is no problem. How much tax do you suppose he owes for not being paid to be president? He was rich before he became president and he’s rich now. You know what is suspect? All the politicians who became millionaires after being elected.

  • It was an embarrassment from the start. In a nation of almost 330,000,000 these two are the best we can do for the highest office in the land? It’s a sad day for America.

    • Welcome to the two party system.

  • The debate was great for me . I muted the TV and started Dark Side of The Moon.
    Sorry Rob someone needs to intervene and fact check you. Try watching or reading some different news sources to get some political balance.

    • Actually, Rob is pretty much spot on when he lists Trump’s chronic mishandling of his Constitutional duties as well his duties to run the country in a responsible manner. Trump’s lies and misleading statements have been documented and confirmed numerous times and to deny them is a clear indication that one is following wrong, truly fake news sources, if they can legitimately even be called that. MRAK stretches the story a bit in its effort to spin it, but for the most part it follows the main themes.
      Not so Trump. The first ten minutes demonstrated that he is a bully, he will not tolerate anyone having the stage when he is near it, he cannot or refuses to follow directions, he is willing to make up the most preposterous lies on the spot (I mean, millions of dollars in taxes? Really? Not to the United States. Foreign countries maybe.), that can easily be outed by fact checking, he twists the trajectory of a story to fit his fictitious plots, the list goes on and on…
      Trump has put on public display why he should not be Predsident. He cannot accept that not everyone will do his bidding. He demeans and attempts to destroy those who push back and is not above, or should I say below, any means whatsoever to do so.
      The fact that Wallace and Biden were able to stay with Trump’s dishonorable, dishonest, dispersal of opprobrium for ninety minutes shows tolerance beyond belief. I’m surprised one or both did not walk off the stage, not in defeat, but in disgust.

      • Greg,

        Rob and you wouldn’t be “married”, would you? If you are, which one is the “wife”? Same garbage from you two, whatever the case.

        • Sorry, not even acquaintances. But it’s good to get the voice of sanity in here from someone else once in a while. You might consider it sometime.

  • I didn’t watch. Thought about it – noticed the overwhelming hipe, emotional investments and grandiose predictions, upon which I made a conscientious decision to skip it.
    What doesn’t fail to disappoint (though always discouraging) is listening to the responses about the outcome.
    It appears that the debate was analogous to a car wreck equipped with sideline gawkers and armchair quarterbacks willing to pick apart the carrion and serve up a heapin’ helpin’ of shoulda woulda coulda’s before the mess has had time to be cleaned up.
    But such is life on such a planet. (ps I still know who I am voting for, this changes nothing)

  • The problem I see is Trump finally lost his cool, after nearly 4 years of obstruction, personal attacks, attacks on his family, lies about his policy, ignoring accomplishments like the mideast peace deal and the North Korea reduction in hostilities and the new USMCA deal and myriad other accomplishments. Heaped on top of all this, you have Joe Biden, the biggest loser to be paid to screw over the American people, right behind Obama, ever, telling LIES about the president at every turn and Wallace helping him do it. I hope the president will use the next debate to outline the failures 47 years of Biden and the successes of 45 months of Trump.

    • Yeah. He fights back and fools on here call him a bully.

    • It was bound to happen, Trump has been so stalwart during his first term, putting up with the constant undermining by the deep state, and the dishonest and biased media! I’m amazed by his durability, energy and his dedication to the American cause!

  • Jo Jorgensen no doubt picked up some votes after that dumpster fire. Including mine.

    • x2

    • x2

  • I read once when Andrew Jackson was on his death bed someone asked if he had any regrets. According to the story he replied, “only two, I should have hung Henry Clay and shot John C. Calhoun”. Jackson was an outsider, a “populist” perhaps, he was opposed by the establishment in power in Washington, Trump is much like a modern Jackson. Trump like Jackson is not a pretty political leader, both men were, are fighters who will not back down. In Jackson’s era it was on the dueling fields, in Trump’s era it’s through litigation. These are not unprecedented times, the issues are just a bit different. Slavery is akin to abortion today. What has changed is that much of America has some silly notion that politics should be genteel and unemotional, and that the parties involved should reach some sort of compromise, or “reach across the aisle. ” Trouble is, there are some issues like slavery where compromise is not attainable. I am not bothered by loud and ugly debate, it is the product of imperfect men fighting for their beliefs. What is troubling is the corruption that hides behind the phony civil discourse presented to the public.

  • I agree that this was frustrating and ridiculous. I think the Trump camp thought if he came in hot and put Biden on the defensively on his toes that he would fumble, bumble and have that lost look which happened for brief moments but overall this was not effective. Did you see the polling results from telemundo viewers? If you are Trump’s base you may have felt like Trump is still tenaciously fighting for you and your principles. I think undecided voters are still undecided after this but if they had to vote for the more passionate and energetic candidate tomorrow then they vote for Trump. Biden never had a plan for anything even though Trump didn’t have the best responses to Biden’s criticisms on certain issues like health care reform or climate change. I thought Trump missed a key opportunity to condemn not “white supremacists” but all purveyors of hate and could have turned the question on Biden and say but those people are not burning down and rioting in our cities – your voters are, will you condemn antifa and left wing extremists? Then reiterate that Biden condemn them publicly because he would not. When this came to a question in a less than direct way, Biden only offered that he was not the President or in elected office but then again he did say that he was “the democratic party”. I think the lack of civility was very concerning for most viewers and it only fueled the polarization on both sides and the middle is left with more uncertainty. There are 2 more rounds so will be interesting to see the candor and strategy in the next 2.

  • Good advice ! Listen to “ Dark Side Of The Moon.”

  • The first presidential debate I have clear memories of was Reagan/Mondale. Neither of these 2 clowns could hold a candle to their respective party’s candidates then, and the country is worse off for it.

    • Yeah I remember those. Reagan kicked his a–. I also liked when Bush the younger looked up and saw Al Gore encroaching on his face and nodded to him as if to say back off or I’ll gun you.

  • Suzanne’s description is accurate. No winners. But it became clear in the first 20 minutes that this debate was 2 against 1.

  • My anxiety level began to increase just minutes into the debate. I didn’t last 10 minutes and had to remove myself from the room. It was awful on all sides and so predictable. The moderator lost any and all control. The VP debate I’d predict, will be more civilized. I don’t think Pence could say the word sh*t if he had a mouth full of it and if Biden pulls this election off, it’s Kamala that will be running the show anyways. I’m a Trumplican but very disappointed that these men did what they did. I’m also very surprised they could prop Joe up that long and keep him quasi coherent. Maybe they need to market whatever that drug is he’s taking. Good stuff!

  • America did win because Trump won.
    This is what fighting and push back looks like and Trump is doing it.

    • This is what anarchy looks like, and Trump is doing it.

  • These socialist Democrats haven’t been playing Fair since before the election. Actually they weren’t playing Fair all during the last administration when they thought they could and did get away with murder. All we’re doing is fighting back and that’s not a bad thing. We will take this country back come hell or high water.

  • I dont believe I’ve ever seen a real debate except in some primaries. In 2008 in the Democratic debates Mike Gravel did a great job. They left him out of the next one even though he was gaining money and support. This was the guy who released the Pentagon Papers exposing the Vietnam War as a sham. In the 3rd they ignored him. Republican primary that year saw foreign policy enter the narrative for the first time. Ron Paul did a great service. Years later nothing has changed and blowback continues to be a real threat yet again. Terrorism in the new Mccarthyism it seems. The only way your going to see a real debate is by including a 3rd choice. Wont happen but whose fault is that? Ours.

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