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A preview of the final Presidential debate on Thursday evening

Jack Margaros

The final presidential debate is set to take place on Thursday, Oct. 22 at the Curb Event Center in Nashville, Tenn. It will come nearly a month after President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden squared off for the first time at the end of September in the first debate. 

After President Trump tested positive for COVID-19, a virtual format was voted on by the debate commission for the second debate. Mr. Trump said he was not going to waste his time with a debate that was not in person. Each candidate decided to hold a town hall instead and answer voter’s questions — the main thing the second debate was supposed to accomplish.

Reactions that followed the first debate were overwhelmingly bad

“As someone who has watched for 40 years, that was the worst presidential debate I have ever seen,” said ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

“That was a hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, inside a train wreck,” commented CNN’s Jake Tapper.

“If hearing that this debate is over was music to your ears, you may not be alone … I’m at a bit of a loss for words here to describe what we’ve just witnessed,” said NBC’s Lester Holt.

Point is, both candidates did nothing to improve their campaign as President of the United States. 

They have one final chance to do so on Thursday. 

The topics of the debate were released by the debate commission last week. They include “Fighting COVID-19,” “American Families,” “Race in America,” “Climate Change,” “National Security” and “Leadership.” 

Several of these topics were brought about in the first debate. Biden was adamant in criticizing Trump and his administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. President Trump kept pointing out Biden’s failed leadership in his 49 years holding political office. 

Race was a major topic of discussion, mainly when Trump did not condemn white supremacy. He backtracked a couple days later, however, denouncing “all white supremacists” in a report by NPR News

Similar to the first debate, these topics will be discussed in segments, with each candidate allotted time to speak uninterrupted followed by open discussion. To ensure each candidate gets his time to speak, mics will be muted, contrary to the first election — where interruptions were constant to a maddening point. 

The commission acknowledged that both campaigns were not satisfied with this new rule, but also said “additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues,” in a statement after the first debate.

Speaking to reporters, President Trump said, “I’ll participate, I just think it is very unfair…I will participate, but it’s very unfair that they changed the topics and it is very unfair that again we have an anchor who is totally biased.”

It’s safe to say that the American people are, at the very least, hoping for a discussion that better represents a real debate on Thursday, rather than a feisty shouting match. Each candidate would greatly benefit from an opportunity to truly communicate their platform and stances with just under two weeks before Election Day. 

Photo: AS English

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