The Topics Have Been Set for the First Presidential Debate & It’s Going To Be a Mess
The first presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump is scheduled for next Tuesday, September 29th, and I have trouble even imagining what that will look like. When I try, it’s just a blank void. The two will meet in person but presumably socially distanced at the shared campus of Case Western University and the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. I’m going to guess Biden will wear a mask and Trump will say something snarky about it. We know Trump is going to lie–a ton–and get indignant when he’s called on those lies. It would probably be worse if there weren’t any debates at all but honestly, it’s hard to see the point of this.
Making the whole concept of a debate even more pointless (for Biden and voters seeking an actual conversation on the issues, that is–Trump is doing just great) is the fact that the first debate will be hosted by the extremely partisan Fox News, with moderator Chris Wallace picking the topics.
The evening will be divided into six 15-minute segments, each dedicated to a single topic. And those (tentative) topics are:
–The Trump and Biden Records
–The Supreme Court
–Race and Violence in our Cities
–The Integrity of the Election
These topics are peak Fox News, especially “Race and Violence in our Cities.” That subject seems specifically designed to let Trump list off his favorite talking points: the dangers of “antifa,” the horrors of Democrat-led cities, and Joe Biden’s (not real) plan to let violent city-dwellers destroy the suburbs.
“Race and violence in our cities” as a topic is really leaning hard into the Trump narrative https://t.co/aAxJnAHOUz
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) September 22, 2020
So Race and Violence? Let’s talk about White Supremacist violence the number one domestic terror threat in America. https://t.co/Xl1zSW6WaV
— Wajahat “Wears a Mask Because of a Pandemic” Ali (@WajahatAli) September 22, 2020
“Race and violence” 🧐 https://t.co/mowWTeSWsf
— Laura Jarrett (@LauraAJarrett) September 22, 2020
Race and violence “in our cities” is code.
This is so disappointing. And dumb. https://t.co/jKKktnnfAp
— Nelba Márquez-Greene (@Nelba_MG) September 22, 2020
They went with “race and violence” because “Frightened Suburban Housewives” was too subtle. https://t.co/XK9XOr6Tf0
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) September 22, 2020
This is going to be a mess.
(image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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