The first general election presidential debate occurred earlier this week, showcasing a contentious back-and-forth between Republican President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. The Deseret News has received a number of letters from readers with thoughts on the debate, sharing their impressions and key takeaways from the evening. Read what they have to say below.
Trump’s valid arguments are drowned out by his interrupting
I am quite disappointed with how Trump has conducted himself during the presidential debate. Yes, Trump does make maybe one or two valid points against his opponent Joe Biden, but none of those points will make any difference if Trump keeps constantly interrupting those who are talking, especially at times when it’s not even his turn. More than just unpresidential, this is not even professional. I expected more from him than this.
Trump’s refusal to denounce white supremacy is against Utah values
I was very disappointed by President Trump’s refusal to denounce white supremacy during the debate. I do not believe that this cowardice and prejudice represent the values of Utah.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has condemned white supremacist attitudes in the past, calling them “morally wrong and sinful.” I would like to believe that the church’s members, including Utah’s elected officials, would agree with this sentiment.
I encourage all Utahns to stand up against hatred and speak out in defense of real Utah values, both with their voices and with their votes.
Since both candidates were uncivil, I’m going with the one with a good record
The recent presidential debate was extremely heated, with both sides hurling jabs at each other. Donald Trump has constantly been accused of being uncivil and calling people names. Well, Joe Biden did exactly the same thing during the debate. Therefore, I am going to vote for the candidate that has helped the American people the most. Trump has protected our country from the inside and outside, i.e., protecting us from the coronavirus and standing strong against our enemies. He has kept the economy strong and looks out for minorities. He has never done anything illegal in office. Trump cannot override the governors and mayors. If they choose to let riots continue in their states and cities, Trump can offer help, but in reality his hands are tied.
Let’s hope that the next debate will be more civil and there won’t be any name-calling. Perhaps the microphone should be turned off when it is not the candidate’s turn to speak. This will help us listen to an entire comment, instead of interruptions all the time. Chris Wallace could also do a better job of telling the candidates to “knock it off.” America, we can do better than this.
There’s no equivalency between Trump and Biden on who’s to blame
In its editorial on the embarrassing presidential debate (“In our opinion: The disastrous presidential debate is America’s problem,” Sept. 30), the Deseret News tries to cast blame on everyone: President Trump, Vice President Biden and moderator Chris Wallace. But only one person can really be held responsible for the debacle, and that’s Donald Trump, who began and ended with total disrespect for everyone around him and lied and bullied his way through the debate. Joe Biden, in reaction to this, occasionally snapped and referred to the president as a “clown,” and at one point, unable to finish his sentence without the president interrupting, told Trump to “shut up.”
Trump, meanwhile, refused to condemn white nationalism and told malicious lies about Biden’s family. Yet somehow the Deseret News pretends there’s a moral equivalency between the two men. False equivalencies between the two candidates are both intellectually dishonest and disrespectful to the American people.
Salt Lake City
This debate was a disgrace to America. Cancel the rest of them
With a crescendo from word-smithing, to innuendo, to accusations, to half truths, and to lies, the first presidential debate was embarrassing for our country and a dismal loss for its citizens.
First, I hope no school children or youths had assignments to watch the “debate.” Second, regardless of better rules, we don’t need to hear the misinformation, half-truths and accusations to each other in another debate. Cancel those debates — have the vice-presidential debate and move forward. Third, the lack of civility, knowledge, truth and respect due the office of the president of the United States of America demonstrated by both presidential candidates says to me they have lost the right to the office — and indeed have disqualified themselves.
But this is what we get when both parties and their leaders spew half-truths and constantly demonstrate “cancel culture” tactics by blocking any and everything that is not to their personal or/and political advantage.
Many times over: America can do and has done better.
Trump would’ve been kicked out of a high school debate
When I turned on my television to listen to the first presidential debate, I expected to get an idea about what the next four years might look like in our country. I am sad to say that I was very disappointed that the few positive things that came up during the debate were pushed out of my mind by the way our president, Donald Trump, acted. Right from the beginning, he didn’t seem to have the control to quietly listen for 120 seconds or 60 seconds or even 30. He always needed to interrupt and frequently showed disrespect for his opponent.
If this had been a high school debate, he would have been expelled during the first five minutes and barred from any further participation.
Salt Lake City
It’s now up to us, not our leaders, to be good
If there was any question about the trouble our nation is in, we all got our answer last night. I could not believe that these were two grown men that have both had success in their lives. I was always taught to look for the good in every president, and I could always find some good that I could teach to my children — and yet last night, they both acted like 12-year-old bullies on the playground.
For all my life, it has been an honor to look to our government. Even if I did not vote for their party, I could look for the good in our leaders and find it. Last night was such a disappointment to me. It made me really see that any teaching and any example I follow will come from my home, from my religion, and from my own family. We are in a very horrible situation; I am afraid that no matter who wins this election, this country is going to suffer. We are all aware of what bullying does to kids in school; I have now learned that it is up to you, to each one of us as individuals, how we are going to treat people. There will always be differences, but differences do not justify hatred.
North Salt Lake