The wait is finally over!

The most crucial Presidential Debate in recent history is in less than 24 hours

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In less than 24 hours the second Presidential Debate will take place and it’s projected to have a great impact on the election, which is in less than 3 weeks from now. What should we expect this time?

The previous shouting-match between the two candidates on the 30th of September, despite being entertaining and disturbing at the same time, didn’t have a great impact in the opinion of the American people. In fact, people’s opinions before and after the debate changed minimally, which either means that they were all extremely right with their predictions or that they were all ‘stuck in their ways’ and wouldn’t admit the real winner of the debate. Let’s face it. A right wing conservative would never admit the victory of Biden in such a crucial debate and vice-versa.

From the respondents in the questions before and after the debate in a survey by the Ipsos’s KnowledgePanel, 69% of Americans believed that Trump’s performance was poor and 57% believed that his policies were ineffective or poorly presented. In the meantime, Biden had 59% of respondents supporting his performance and 56% arguing that his policies were effective. Nevertheless, the 2016 election showed us that predicting numbers can be easily false or inaccurate.

Through an objective point of view, no candidate stood out in the first debate, simply due to the fact that there was no polite dialogue between the two speakers. On the one hand, Donald Trump had some good points but he was busy interrupting Biden and urging white supremacists to “stand by”. On the other hand, Biden managed to speak to the American people and state some of the issues of the Trump administration, but his paradox of being polite but also participating in the shouting-match helped him get away without presenting his policy, which as we saw from the Vice Presidential Debate has many problems.

The debate should have been different in many ways and ultimately, should be a tool for American people to vote based on their needs. Biden should have pointed out the problems with the Trump administration and in the meantime his plan of solving them. On the other side of the table, Trump should have provided a justification for the problems, underlining the effective policies he has implemented the last four years and repeating the ‘flaws’ of the Democratic agenda. This was impossible, nonetheless, since the candidates started shouting after 10 minutes in the debate and maybe, just a simple objective conversation is impossible, since we are talking about the fight for the 46th President of the United States.

For today’s debate, I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump came prepared in the way Mike Pence came in the Vice Presidential Debate. Pence dismantled Harris on the debate and that’s because he didn’t interrupt her, managed to point out the ‘flaws’ of the democratic agenda, avoided many critical questions and presented the points of the Democratic nominee in a false narrative. For example, the response of Pence when Harris stated that “if Trump proposed a vaccine, she wouldn’t take it” was “Stop playing politics with people’s lives”. He was so calm and his arguments were so cohesive comparing to Kamala Harris, that he even managed to get away by saying that President Trump handled effectively Covid-19. His transition was smooth, his responses saved him from being put in the ‘hot seat’ and frankly, Kamala Harris had no answer in the debate. If Donald Trump wants to get closer to Biden in the polls, he will have to rely more on his agenda, the problems with the liberal policy and in the meantime, stop personally attacking and interrupting the other speaker. Is Trump capable of being polite in such a crucial debate? Probably not.

Joe Biden, on the other hand, follows the lead of Hillary Clinton before such crucial debates and has stopped campaigning for the last days. Donald Trump should be ready to see Biden more prepared than the last time, since the latter is completely aware of what Trump tries to do in the stage. The Republicans have already started criticising the ex-Vice President for taking some time off but it’s obvious that this is a dumb argument; making fun of someone for getting ready to go to ‘war’. Hopefully, Joe Biden will expose Donald Trump at this issue as Hillary Clinton did in the first Presidential Debate of the 2016 Election.

After the latest regulation for the microphones of one speaker being muted when the opposing candidate is speaking, people have mixed feelings, and rightfully so. The mute for the microphones will only be implemented at the first answer of each candidate in every topic, which enables the speakers to engage in a ‘shouting’ dialogue after the both have made their position clear on the issue discussed. Nonetheless, this will either be positive or negative for the candidates, since they will have 2 minutes and at the same way in which they will be able to present their argument and position, they will also have a difficult time of being saved by engaging in a dialogue and not answering the question.

The stance of the moderator is a whole other issue. Chris Wallace not only proved incompetent to impose any order but he also had a difficult time being objective. Despite of the despicable and disrespectful character of Donald Trump, this is a Presidential Debate and people want to hear about the policies of the nominees. The best example to depict Wallace’s bias is when he urges Donald Trump to condemn the ‘Proud Boys’ organisation. It’s obviously irritating for any human with a sense of reasoning that the latter responds by saying “Stand back and stand by”. Nevertheless, do we know that the response of Biden would be, if he was urged to condemn ‘Antifa’? Not the BLM activists that support African-Americans. Not the liberals that advocate human rights. The Antifa members who see peaceful protests as an opportunity of looting and destroying buildings of crucial enterprises and corporations. No one knows what his response would be and that’s because he wasn’t put in the same position as Donald Trump.

The Presidential Debate is more crucial for Donald Trump than for Joe Biden. He needs to win this debate if he wants to get even closer to the ex-Vice President. Biden is now 9.9% ahead of Trump, hours before one of the most important debates in recent history. Remember, Trump was 6.1% behind Clinton in 2016, 2 weeks prior to election day, but by small victories in ‘swing’ states, he managed to pull off a mindblowing comeback and become the 45th President of the United States.

If Biden underperforms in today’s debate, everything is possible. And by underperforming, I mean that he does what Trump wants him to do; engage in an insulting and shouting match. Donald Trump’s age and personality make him undefeated in such a field. If Biden takes his time, presents his policy, points out any personal attack without insulting the President as a response and has as a ‘weapon’ everything that took place in 2020, he won’t be affected by any of Trump’s propagandistic incentives and attacks. On the other hand, if Donald Trump wants to win the debate he will have to become, for once someone else. He will have to rely on the positive points of his policy and the negative effects of the Democratic agenda, while he respectfully embraces the dialogue with Biden. Will he achieve that, knowing from the first debate that the insults won’t get him anywhere, or is his ego and his urge of impoliteness an obstacle to him increasing his odds of four more years in office?

It can be argued that this debate will become the most significant factor for the 2020 Presidential election. Tomorrow, either Trump will be closer to a 2016-type of miracle or Biden’s chances of becoming the 46th President of the United States will have skyrocketed.

Written by

An 18-year old future Political Science student, fascinated by the world of Global Politics, International Economics and Human Development.

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