Presidential debate or real life SNL?

October 9, 2020

Last week’s presidential debate could have been a foreign comedic skit of the downfall of America. It was not professional, it was not substantive, it was not informative, and it certainly was not a good look. While there were many things to focus on and criticize—like the fact that Trump’s incessant interruption is a clear indication of this president’s belief that he is above the law—what’s even more alarming to me is how removed both candidates are from policies that address the marginalized or disenfranchised. Seeing two old white men cast next to each other on my screen desperately trying to get the vote of other white centrists was nothing more than a horror show. 

To start off, a vote not for Biden is a vote for Trump, and considering that this is Trump’s America, there’s little logical confusion as to who is the better pick. Trump’s consistency in lying, among anything else, solidifies that there is much more corruption to this entire administration than that has even met the public yet. We have not even begun to see the true foreign relations effect of having Trump in office, have only touched the tip of the detriments the coronavirus pandemic has had on our society and we are only now beginning to see the real future that Trump’s elected goons in office see fit for us. 

All in all, Trump is the ruining of the fabric of American democracy, and not simply because he himself embodies an authoritarian conservative dictator, but because his administration and today’s Republican Party has eroded trust and replaced constitutional integrity with polarization and faction loyalty. A vote for Trump in the 2020 election is an agreement with heightened disparity and widespread political chaos. 

But while Trump is an actual manifestation of a populist leader we definitely do not need, Biden represents a reversion of liberal thought and highlights just how hateful American politics have been allowed to become. It is likely that Biden is the candidate that a majority of ethnic and racial minorities in this country will vote for, and this is exactly what the Democrat Party holds so dearly in keeping the coastal populous states. 

Yet, at the same time, Biden made sure to announce that he alone is the face of the Democrat party, that he does not support the Green New Deal and that he will not defund the police. Essentially, he is not the candidate for us, he is the candidate to mediate and to appeal to those in this country that see the advancement of minorities as a threat to them. The fact that I am supposed to see that as any real representation or an option for me is exactly what is so alarming about the state of American politics and society. 

In a time where it is evident that in instances of emergency, disparities between the oppressed and oppressors are exacerbated, we are actively choosing to believe in a candidate that is straightforwardly promising to bypass reforms to a system that truly needs to be revolutionized. What this debate proved to me is not that Biden is our savior or that the Democrat party can fix the brokenness of the White House, but that this election is a joke and that mainstream belief to trust this joke is clear signal of America’s complacency in the racial, classist and heteronormative hierachies that are only getting further institutionalized. 

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