The Final Interruption

Taking One Last Look At The Debate, Before The Election On Nov. 3


Patrick Deliz

The structure of the last presidential debate isolates interruptions.

Patrick Deliz, A&E Writer

Families all across the nation gathered around the television, as the Final Presidential Debate unfolded on Thursday night at the Curb Event Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Debate Performance

It can be said by anyone who watched the debate, that it was truly a legitimate debate. A civil argument between two politicians who express their plans and ideas on all the topics, any of which could sway the votes to either party’s favor.

Moderated by Kristen Welker of NBC News, who was able to rein in the presidential candidates when things almost got out of hand. To much surprise, there were very little interruptions– especially from President Trump. Both Former Vice-President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump addressed the issues head-on, although when faced with difficult topics President Trump tended to often deflect from the question. 

Fighting COVID-19

President Trump has repeatedly claimed that his administration’s response has been tremendous, and at rallies over the last several days, he has insisted that the country is “rounding the corner” even amid another surge of cases in many places. Despite President Trump’s diagnosis with the virus in early October– which inevitably sent him to the hospital for three days– fails to change his idea that his response toward the coronavirus from the beginning was acceptable. 

Since January– when the coronavirus first started to spread abroad, President Trump downplayed the threat from the virus and ignored advice from health officials, ultimately refusing to wear a mask and holding gatherings and rallies with large crowds. His influence among his supporters has also put a large number of Americans at risk, which could ultimately contribute to the deaths of fellow Americans. Trump even claimed that he was “immune” to the virus, as he called it a “miracle”.

Taking the opportunity to discuss President Trump’s and the Trump Administration’s mishandling of the pandemic, Former Vice-President Joe Biden has been eager to rest his case for why the nation would be better off if he were in charge. This has certainly been the central message of his campaign for many months, and he has been quick to address his plans for taking on the coronavirus crisis, which will include improved testing, expanded production of protective equipment, a safe vaccine development, and the safe reopening of schools. Biden has been very vocal on the importance of following science, and he has modeled responsible behavior during his campaign trail, wearing a mask and refraining from holding large and crowded rallies.

On Monday, President Trump attacked Dr. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, calling Fauci a “disaster.”The President’s attack on Fauci is surprising, especially in the past when Trump held Dr. Fauci in such high regard.

American Families

President Trump’s biggest claim during the debate on helping American families is the tax cut that he helped push through Congress back in 2017. President Trump bragged about doubling the child tax credit, though many low-income families did not receive the full benefit of the change because they make too little income to take advantage of the benefits.

One of Trump’s most constant and reappearing campaign messages is that his stance on trade has aided American families by raising tariffs on goods from other countries that compete with American-made products. Unfortunately, his attempt to bring back jobs seems to have had very little success, and his trade war with China has put salt in the wound for the United States more than it has helped.

Former VP Biden has a number of policy plans he can expand on that are intended to help families in America. Biden also points to proposals intended to help Americans of different ages. Young people, for example, he proposed making public colleges tuition-free for many students (imagine being able to college for free, essentially). For older people, he has a plan to strengthen social security, and he has accused President Trump of directly threatening the future of these plans.

Biden has even taken a vow to roll back on President Trump’s strict immigration policies. When Day One arrives, Biden says he will send legislation to Congress that will help provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

During the debate, President Trump disregarded his hand in the separation of over 500 children separated from their parents at the border, who have still yet to be reunited. Instead, Trump used this as a way to attack Former VP Biden, saying “He built the cages. It was his fault he let it happen.” Trump does not feel it is his place to take the blame, despite it being his administration who is at the root of this ongoing issue.

Race in America

President Trump has repeatedly claimed to have done more for the African-American community than any president, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln, which sounds absurd. To back up his statement, Trump pointed his finger to his support for long-term funding for historically Black colleges and universities, and his signing of the bipartisan First Step Act, which made modest reforms in federal sentencing laws.

Despite President Trump’s claims, from the earliest days of his presidency, Trump has poked racial divisions in the country. After clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia back in 2017, he said that there were “very fine people on both sides.” He has even gone to the point of using inappropriate language to demean African nations and said that Haitian immigrants “all have AIDS.” Trump has even been a part of a culture war when African-American football players were kneeling during the national anthem, instead of standing with a hand over their heart.

Recently, in the first debate, Trump refused to denounce the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, telling them to “stand back and stand by.” When asked about his position on white supremacy in America, he failed to condemn white supremacists and avoided addressing it.

Since the death of George Floyd in May, Joe Biden has emphasized the need to fight racial injustice in America, speaking about the issue in a strikingly different way than President Trump did. Biden went in-depth about how some Black parents have to sit with their children and talk about how to respond when they get pulled over by police, expressing his concern about the injustice in America.


President Trump has embraced this idea that the election is a reflection of his leadership, bragging that his leadership of the country during his first term has led to a stronger military, a more resilient and booming economy, a stronger border, and little involvement in foreign wars. He often states that under his leadership, the United States will not get shoved around by other nations.

He has impressively failed to bring the nation together in times of tragedy, most often breeding division instead of healing. Trump has even turned the other way from the idea that the President should set an example for the public, to the point of refusing to wear masks during the pandemic and dismissing suggestions that his attitude sets the wrong tone for the Oval Office.

From a global perspective, Trump seems to have abandoned a traditional American leadership– alienating many of the country’s allies,  embracing dictators and authoritarian figures around the world.

Former VP Joe Biden presents himself as a very different kind of leader: one who creates unity and someone who will not run from responsibility in the face of a national, and or global, crisis and who will be honest with the American people.

Biden’s campaign has worked to an extended condemnation of Trump’s leadership, both in words and responsibilities, from at home to the global platform.

Overall Thoughts

I have to say that this debate was truly something to watch, with both candidates addressing the issues at hand (despite a few deflections). This is the last chance both candidates will get to address the nation, and sway voters in either of their favors. We are almost a week away before the election, so we will see whose efforts made the cut.