Muted microphones equal mature running mates


Images by Alex Lee

Signs promoting President Trump or Vice President Biden can be seen all over the country. Seeing the signs hopefully encourage citizens to vote.

Leah Boone, Co Editor-in-Chief

On Thursday, Oct. 22, Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden mounted the stage in Nashville, TN for their final presidential debate. Considering the last one was genuinely painful to watch, I was pleasantly surprised watching this one. 

During the debate, there were multiple topics that were discussed, with each candidate receiving two minutes of uninterrupted time to answer the question followed by around ten minutes of the candidates debating. After the catastrophes of the last debate, during each candidate’s two minutes, the other’s microphone was muted. 

With the mics muted, there was no way for petty interruptions during the times the candidates spoke. I could clearly hear each point they made without it feeling like two four-year-olds screaming at each other.

After the second debate was cancelled because President Trump refused to debate virtually, I was fully expecting this one to be just as aggressive as the last, simply because I figured they both had pent up anger against each other. However, it was actually quite organized and felt like a real debate.

Even though it was much more professionally done, it still had its ups and downs. For instance, the thing I was most flabbergasted by, President Trump said he was the least racist person in the room. To an African American moderator. 

“I am the least racist person,” Trump said. “I can’t even see the audience, because it is so dark, but I don’t care who’s in the audience, I’m the least racist person in this room.”

Along those very same lines, he also said he had done more for the African American community than any other President, except for the “possible exception” of Abraham Lincoln. When he said that, I genuinely expected a live studio audience to laugh afterwards because I forgot it was not a sitcom. 

A large topic throughout the debate was COVID-19 and the current administration’s plan to get it under control, or lack thereof. The number of deaths in the United States had risen to over 222,000 people the night of the debate. President Trump’s response? “We are learning to live with it.”

“People are learning to die with it,” Biden retorted.

While Biden’s response shocked and angered many people, which I completely understand as it could definitely be taken as extremely insensitive, when he was asked how he would combat the virus if he wins the election, he responded with a detailed and logical plan. President Trump, however, blamed China, said spikes were under control, and talked about how he was cured very quickly.

“I had something that they gave me, a therapeutic they would call it,” Trump said. “Some would say it is a cure. I got better very fast, or I would not be here tonight.”

President Trump discussing his experience with the virus infuriated viewers, including me, because if everyone got the same astronomical level of care he received, the death rate would definitely not be as high. President Trump using his experience as a way to explain why the virus is not as big of an issue as people say just gave me all the more reason to believe it is. 

Now, as if the rest of the debate did not already make me angry, there was one instance in particular that truly infuriated me. When debating climate change, President Trump made multiple statements that absolutely enraged me as an extreme environmentalist. 

First, when discussing wind energy, he reiterated his opinion on it in a way that sounded like a teenager attempting to one up another.

“I know more about wind than you do,” Trump said. “It’s extremely expensive. Kills all the birds. It’s very intermittent. Got a lot of problems.”

After already claiming wind energy kills all the birds and multiple bird experts and scientists already denying it, I do not understand why he brought it up again while trying to sound like he knew more than Biden, who has a very well thought out plan to tackle climate change.

Secondly, when discussing carbon emissions, he mentioned multiple times carbon emissions were the best they had been in multiple years. I can handle him saying that, even if that was partially because we were locked down because of a pandemic his team failed to control.

However, in the midst of him discussing emissions, President Trump said, “If you believe in carbon emissions.” When he said this, my jaw dropped. I still cannot even fathom how anyone could say carbon emissions are a hoax, or that our President even implied that they are not real.

So, while I do applaud President Trump for keeping the interruptions to a minimum during this debate, as well as Vice President Biden, there were still many instances where I was extremely disappointed. It was much more professional on both ends, but I was still relieved when it was over.