America has seen better stretches than the past 60 hours.
Photo by: Thomas Ashlock, Unsplash
By: Iracema Navarro, Politics Editor
Much of America probably woke up after Tuesday’s presidential debate hoping it was a bad dream. Today, we woke up to a waking nightmare: President Trump’s announcement at 12:54 a.m. Eastern Standard Time that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
Whatever one’s views on President Trump, it’s a serious situation for the country. The chief executive and commander-in-chief of the military is quarantined with a deadly disease, and his age and weight puts him in a high-risk category of getting very sick. This could affect everything from the markets and the ongoing presidential campaign to, depending on whether his choice to not wear a mask has exposed members of his senior leadership to the virus, America’s interests around the globe.
And here I thought that Tuesday night was as bad as things could get.
In a 90-minute debate that left more questions than answers, I endured the two grown men, one of whom will be chosen to lead the country for four years, constantly talk over and interrupt each other like two soccer fans arguing over whether Messi or Ronaldo is better. Except these were two men battling for a position whose toys include America’s nuclear codes.
Instead, both continually interrupted, Trump clearly the most aggressive, usually repeating some version of “that is a lie.” It was like two twin children trying to get attention by being louder than the other. .
But Biden wasn’t necessarily the face of decorum, as his “Will you shut up, man,” may have lit Twitter on fire, but it was still beneath him. I may have been silently screaming it at Trump, but it’s not something I want to hear from a presidential candidate. I wouldn’t want Biden to tell that to Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about a potential Green New Deal. I would like a President to have a respectful discussion with politicians who don’t agree with his ideas.
It seemed Trump’s strategy was to attack Biden’s 47-year career as an elected official, along with his family. Trump’s attacks against Biden’s children was what millenials call a low blow. Biden’s strategy seemed to be to connect to the viewers at home, looking straight into the camera whenever he had a moment to talk without Trump’s interference, including one of the more sobering moments of the night:
“How many of you got up this morning and had an empty chair at the kitchen table because someone died of covid?” Biden said.
(In what turns out to be an eerie case of irony, at one point, Trump taunted Biden about always wearing a mask).
.It was a difficult position for Fox News Sunday anchor and presidential debate moderator Chris Wallace, who struggled to maintain the candidates restating that both campaigns agreed to each candidate having two-minute responses without interruption.
Questions were dodged or skimmed briefly but one that was alarming was when Trump answered with a “sure” instead of a firm “yes,” when asked whether he would condemn white supremacy. As one of many who is witnessing this country being divided by the lack of empathy and extreme racism against people of color, President Trump’s message was saddening
I felt ashamed of a President having the opportunity to condemn white supremacy but chose instead to blame what he calls left-wing terrorists, like ANTIFA, even though his own FBI chief calls ANTIFA an ideology, not an organization.
(In fairness, before he announced his positive COVID-19 status last night, Trump did condemn “all white supremacists” in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity).
After a presidential debate, the conversation is usually about which candidate won or lost.
After this one, my question is who lost more?
“Proud Boys – stand back and stand by,” said Trump.
America lost the most.