The first official presidential debate 2023 kicked off on 29th September as the world witnessed chaotic scenes on live Television.
Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden turned the entire stage into an all-out verbal wrestling match with the moderator helplessly trying to downplay the tense atmosphere.
While some believe that Trump’s aggressive stance was a mere political tactic to unsettle Biden, others are of the opinion that it is simply a sign of panic as Biden seems to be gaining more support.
Both parties have however proven to be strong contenders with their serious efforts so far in the preparation for the November 3 election, evident in the abundance of campaign items like t-shirts and baseball caps available in different online stores including dhgate.
Usually, t-shirts and hats are used as a part of a promotion campaign and both Democrats and Republicans are using such tactics. Moreover, people make these as well, and although they are unofficial, you can still show support by wearing any of these. This is a simple way to promote your candidate and show that you will vote.
Considering his coronavirus status, it is uncertain whether the debate will be the last before the 2023 elections as Trump has declared that he will not indulge in a virtual debate, describing it as, “a waste of time”.
He made this known on Thursday after the Independent Commission announced that the Presidential Debate initially scheduled for 15th October, will now be virtual.
If the Presidential debate is anything to go by, here are matters arising from the debate that may threaten Trump’s re-election:
Failing to Provide His Tax Returns
One of the most interesting aspects of the debate revolved around the discussion of the president’s tax returns that have not been made public. Joe Biden seized the opportunity to accuse Donald Trump of having to pay little to no taxes for the last couple of years. With no available proof to counter the claim, Trump replied that his tax returns were being audited by federal institutions and that the media (The New York Times) had played a very negative role by maliciously publicizing false reports.
Biden was quick to react after Trump’s justifications on the declaration of his assets by asking “When, inshAllah?” The term “inshAllah” is derived from Arabic and originally means “if God wills”. However, in this context Biden implied that Trump would never declare his assets.
It would be recalled that New York Times first published the startling revelation about Trump’s decades of tax avoidance on Sunday, September 27th.
“Donald J. Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750.
He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.” The report says.
Aside his tax avoidance, revelations about his financial indebtedness and $72.9 million decade long audit woes with the Internal Revenue Service has raised questions about his business acumen which some consider his top selling point in all his campaigns.
With the Election Day drawing nearer, the questions on the lips of many is, “Will Trump’s tax returns affect his Presidential bid?” While predictions made by many may not be out of place based on glaring signs in the past week, only the result of the election will conveniently determine if the President’s tax avoidance will have anything to do with his re-election or not.
Trump’s Ambiguous Response on Handling COVID-19
Critics of Trump’s administration have frequently pointed out Trump’s nonchalance with covid-19 pandemic which has so far resulted in the deaths of over 200,000 United States citizens. His public speeches downplaying coronavirus and frequent discouragement about the use of face masks did not go unnoticed as well.
During the debate, the president refused to talk about his earlier contradictive statements where he claimed that the virus itself was a hoax and that its treatment could be produced from inducing sanitizing chemicals.
The President’s Self-glorification
Donald Trump has consequently lost a number of his supporters in these past four years, mainly due to his perceived inability in fulfilling most of his promises. However, it appeared that the president was as confident as ever in terms of solving problems for the American people. Trump spoke about his government’s achievements by confidently declaring how the United States was firmly heading towards progression.”In 47 months, I’ve done more than you’ve done in 47 years,” Trump pointedly asserted.
Despite the rise in inflation, Trump boasted about how his government had produced thousands of jobs that helped in advancing the economy.
Biden blamed Trump for his continued support of white-supremacists which he believed has given rise to racial crimes that disunited blacks and whites in the past four years.
Personal Attacks In Place of Achievements
Rather than having to talk about his Presidential achievements, Donald Trump spent most of his time tackling Joe Biden on a personal level. Apart from personal insults and degradation, Trump took a jibe at Biden by interrupting his speech and calling him out for his son’s past cocaine addiction. Biden shot back by talking about his family’s sacrifices; particularly mentioning his late son Beau’s military service and how he died fighting for his country. However, before Biden could proceed onwards, Trump interrupted the presidential candidate by purposely pointing towards his other son’s cocaine problem condescendingly.
Throughout the debate, Trump tried to capitalize on any and every opportunity to unsettle his rival. The heated interruptions by Donald Trump made Biden visibly frustrated; after being interrupted several times, finally snapped and compared Trump to a clown. “Will you shut up man?” he demanded.
Compared to the 2016 Presidential Debate with Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump appeared to be far more aggressive towards Biden by mocking him and interrupting him throughout the debate.
While the controversy from the Presidential debate may have little or no impact on who becomes the next United States President, salient issues against the backdrop of the debate may in fact have great impact on voters’ choice of a President.
Overall, the first presidential debate of the 2023 elections turned out to be a personal spat between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
Meanwhile recent results have shown that Joe Biden is in the lead over Trump at the election polls.