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President Donald Trump, left, and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, right, participate in the first presidential debate, moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University, on Sept. 29 in Cleveland. 

Within the first 10 minutes of the presidential debate, former Vice President Joe Biden told President Donald Trump to “shut up, man."

Those three words alone quickly became what many wanted more than anything throughout the night. Trump did more yelling over Biden and the moderator Chris Wallace than anything else. Between the name calling and general disruption, the debate closely resembled a family dispute more than a formal debate.

While unconventional, muted microphones are a necessary step for the next debate. Debates are meant to learn about the candidates stances on certain issues and problems happening in our country right now and ask each other questions why the president didn’t do it this way or what Biden would have done if he was currently leading the country.

It’s meant to be like a high school debate where we all stand on two different sides and professionally go back and forth with each other.

Yet all we received were two grown men yelling back and forth. Biden was doing his best to address the American citizens and point out Trump's wrongdoings such as downplaying the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and letting more than 200,000 Americans die. It never had to be this bad.

The mere disrespect Trump showed by continuously talking over the moderator and Biden to make his argument sound stronger than he wanted it to be was pathetic. A toddler throwing a tantrum.

Is this the person we truly want to lead our country?

Then to not even condemn white supremacy and telling them to “stand by,urging his fans to intimidate voters at the poll and to use fear to stay in power is how a democracy can become an authoritarian country.

This election is more than just about us. We don’t have to like the candidates or agree with everything they do. But this election is about Black Lives Matter, healthcare, systemic racism and gender equality, climate change, LGBTQ+ rights, immigrants’ rights and about saving our democracy.

If the debate taught us anything, it is who can give the American people empathy and learn from others to move our democracy forward. If you do not want to vote for yourself, vote for someone whose livelihood is at stake.

GRACE KINNICUTT is News Editor for The Vidette. She can be contacted at gkinnic@ilstu.edu Follow Kinnicutt on Twitter at @GKinnicutt 


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