President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden at the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday, September 29, 2020. (Morry Gash, Pool/Associated Press)

Only hyper-partisan supporters of Donald Trump or Joe Biden think that their candidate won the first presidential debate.

There were no winners, only losers, and America was the biggest loser of all. After watching last night’s debate, I wonder why we should have a second or a third. Do I hate myself that much to watch a second or third debate?

Chris Wallace lost control. It was as if there wasn’t a moderator during much of the debate (except for when he appeared to be debating Trump). I can’t really blame him for losing control. I blame the format. It was too free-flowing; it needed more structure. I blame whoever thought it was a good idea not to give Wallace the ability to turn mics on and off.

Most of all, I blame the candidates, mostly Trump, who interrupted at every turn. Biden mostly kept his cool, but it was utterly ineffectual when he didn’t.

“You don’t know the suburbs!” Biden argued.


“Can you just shut up man?” Biden asked.

Then you have the president’s *pithy* retorts.

“Don’t you talk about smart…. there’s nothing about you that’s smart,” Trump claimed.

It was like watching Jr. High boys debate.

Biden had the opportunity to deflate the Republican argument that he wants to pack the court; instead he refused to answer the question and told Trump to shut up.

Neither man had much to offer when discussing the pandemic; Trump has been all over the place. Biden criticizing Trump for the loss of jobs is nuts when it is due to an economic shutdown called for by the medical community and primarily led by the states. Biden then says you can’t repair the economy before dealing with the pandemic, which means what? A longer shutdown?

It’s hard to pick apart the debate on substance because it mostly lacked it. We know Biden wants to raise the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent. He also believes Antifa is an idea, not an organization. While they don’t have a top-down, centralized organizational structure to say they are just an idea is ludicrous. So, condemn the idea.

Trump has a winning argument on taxes, criminal justice reform, and the riots, but he short-circuited it with his constant interruptions. Also, the attacks on Hunter Biden were forced and, I think, fell flat. His comments about mail-in ballots sounded like information he received from Gateway Pundit or InfoWars.

Also, Trump had the opportunity to condemn white supremacy. It’s such a low bar, and he couldn’t do it.

When asked, “Will you tell your supporters to remain calm and wait for all the votes to be counted and the election to be independently certified?”

Trump should have said yes but didn’t do it. Wallace didn’t ask him if he would accept the results and not file a legal challenge. It was another missed opportunity.

Tonight’s debate was just noise, and we are worse off for having watched.

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