Today in My History
Lost in Beverly Hills
Cast (updated 7/16)
September 30, 2020
The President of the United States refused, at last night's debate, to condemn White supremacists, saying that they should "stand back and stand by." The Proud Boys, a self-described "Western chauvinist" organization, is considered a violent, nationalistic, Islamophobic, transphobic and misogynistic hate group, according to the Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit organization that tracks extremist groups.
By the end of the debate, they had created a poster for their social media page and appeared to take the statement as marching orders.
"Standing down and standing by, sir," the account wrote. The account then posted two videos of the answer, including one with the caption "God. Family. Brotherhood," in which a man howled at the TV in response to Trump's response.
For a man so obsessive about crowds and viewers, the president did all he could to make sure people would not watch the debate.
After the first 10 or 15 minutes or so, I checked Facebook and every entry I read was from people saying they tried to watch the debate but couldn't take it and were turning it off. Jeri called this morning and said she tried to watch it but it gave her a headache, so she turned it off as well.
Trump never shut up. According to the "rules" (which were not followed), he gave the answer to the first question and spoke for 2 minutes while Biden listened. Then Biden was asked the same question and Trump talked over him the whole time. He did that through just about everything Biden said. Moderator Chris Wallace did not seem to be able to shut the president up.
He finally started stopping him and telling him to let Biden give his answer.
Among the rules that were agreed to by both sides in the debate, there were no fact checkers for this. I think if there had been, it would have driven whoever was trying to check facts crazy. Trump just spewed out whatever he thought sounded good. In talking about the Affordable Care Act, when Biden mentioned that Trump had been trying to get rid of it for three plus years but hadn't come up with a replacement, Trump bragged that they had a great medical plan worked out. Have you ever heard word one about his medical plan?
According to the AP, President Donald Trump unleashed a torrent of fabrications and fear-mongering in a belligerent debate with Joe Biden, at one point claiming the U.S. death toll would have been 10 times higher under the Democrat because he wanted open borders in the pandemic. Biden preached no such thing.
Trump asserted that the U.S. armed forces will be delivering hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses to the public as soon as a vaccine is available. The Pentagon says there is no such plan for national vaccine distribution by military personnel.
Trump claimed that the sheriff of Portland said he supported Trump's candidacy. The sheriff, Mike Reese, tweeted, “As the Multnomah County Sheriff I have never supported Donald Trump and will never support him.”
And on and on and on. Lies after lies after lies. Yet, if everybody was turning the debate off because he would not let Biden get a word in edgewise, maybe that doesn't matter. At one point Biden finally said "Will you shut up, man!"
Biden was at his best when he turned away from Trump and addressed the people at home asking things about their lives. He looked concerned, interested, and when discussing those who had died of COVID, sympathetic. Trump was only interested in proving how wonderful he was.
This was a difficult debate to watch, but I stuck with it because I wanted to know what the men were saying. I strongly suspect this would have little effect on voters who have already decided who they are going to vote for and I don't know about voters who haven't made up their minds yet. But the one thing I think it showed is what a very different country this would be if Biden were to become president and people need to look at both men and decide which man, which kind of government, they want to live under.
“Horrific.” “A total mess.” “An embarrassment.” “A national humiliation.” “An epic moment of national shame.” “Off the rails.” “A pure trainwreck.” “A hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a trainwreck.” “A stressful, chaotic trash fire.” “A shitshow.” “The great American shitshow.” “A low point in American political discourse.” “A disgusting night for democracy.” “It was not a presidential debate. It was mud-wrestling.” “It wasn’t even a debate. It was a disgrace.” “I can’t go to you, Chuck, with my normal, Give me some political analysis question, because I think we need to just pause for a moment and say, That was crazy. What was that?” “I basically am paid to watch it and it was a struggle for me to get through ninety minutes of it. That was some tough television. Whew.” “As somebody who has watched presidential debates for forty years, as somebody who has moderated presidential debates, as someone who has prepared candidates for presidential debates, as someone who’s covered presidential debates, that was the worst presidential debate I have ever seen in my life.” “Perhaps we could also debate by mail.” —though it feels unfair to drag Biden, the city of Cleveland, and the word “debate” into that analysis.
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