Debate disaster, round one

Election debates give us the chance to check out our candidate, to compare and contrast their policies. They’re a chance for issues to be highlighted–sometimes with one-liners that make headlines–but always within the bounds of “presidential behavior.”

No more.

President Trump attacked, bullied and ignored the rules–even as he claimed to be the “law and order” president. Vice President Biden bit on more than a few of the attacks, calling Trump a “liar” and a “clown.”

If you are a viewer that likes tension and drama, it was your night. For the rest of us, it was an embarrassment or, worse, another pressure point in a country stretched nearly to its limits.

where we’re at

Biden is ahead in the polls and needed only to show up and not change the race too much.  Trump is trailing, notably in the election-defining swing states, and needed to convince undecided voters to join him. Election day is November 3. Two more debates are scheduled.

two terrifying debate moments

1. Trump refuses to denounce violence from far-right

President Trump was asked to condemn white nationalists like Proud Boys, a violent far-right group associated with riotous behavior at recent Black Lives Matter protests.

He refused.

2. Accusations of voter fraud could lead to polling violence

President Trump argued, without evidence, that mail-in ballots are often fraudulent and the election therefore could be invalid. He also urged his supporters to go to polls to watch for cheating.

Note: There is NO EVIDENCE of widespread voter fraud through mail-in voting. Geek out on a study here.

two messages could come together in one election

Violent supporters receive tacit support from the President while at the same time he encourages his supporters to go to the polls to watch what he suggests will be a fraudulent election.

Will Election 2020 be a dangerous intersection of these two messages and result in violent social upheaval?

Is mail-in voting a bad idea? Check out the debate here.

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