Debates must be morally sound

Presidential debates should not be a platform for disgusting jabs and personal attacks.

The 2020 election season has been some of the most tense couple of months in many Americans’ lifetimes. President Donald Trump has been one of the most polarizing and deeply unqualified holders of office, and a deadly pandemic means voters were forced to either send in their ballot through a sabotaged postal system, or risk infection by voting in person. To top it all off, the presidential debates have been a complete and utter disaster. A tradition that is typically used to gather genuine information about political candidates has turned into a televised catfight.

One of the most stomach-curling moments of the first presidential debate occurred when Trump baselessly attacked former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. “Hunter got thrown out of the military… he was dishonorably discharged,” Trump said, without evidence, “for cocaine use.” Biden quickly denied the unbacked claim. “My son, like a lot of people you know at home, had a drug problem,” he said. “He’s overtaken it. He’s fixed it. He’s worked on it, and I’m proud of him. I’m proud of my son.”

Hunter Biden is no less worthy of a human being because of his past struggles with drug addiction. Thousands of families have been fraught with addiction, and it is not something to joke about, ever. If anything, Hunter Biden should be embraced for overcoming his addiction. Candidates should, if bringing up the subject of addiction, make clear that asking for help is never a sign of weakness, nor is struggling with it in the first place. Donald Trump’s sense of empathy, or rather lack thereof, has minimized to a disgusting degree. This is a sign that Trump has no plan for the country. A man, if you can even call him that, that has to attack his opponent’s family in order to get through a debate, is a man that is not suitable to be in office.

Presidential debates should be a stage for discussing candidates viewpoints on important issues facing the country. Racism, healthcare, climate and COVID-19 could have been much more thoroughly debated, had it not been taken over by Trump’s angry and incoherent interruptions. Muting candidates microphones, leaving more time for answers, and regulating irrelevant discussion is critical to informing Americans more effectively.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.