The recent presidential debates proved that personal attacks should have no place in a debate. Certain topics should be off limits, and we at The Alestle agree that these debates should be used strictly for discussing various policies in a direct manner.
President Trump and democratic candidate Joe Biden went head to head in the debate on Sept. 29, but their ideas and policies are still unclear to many.
Personal attacks detract from the intended purpose of a debate. They not only insult the other candidate, but also viewers who relate to that candidate or their situation. Trump used his time to attack Biden and his family during the debate by bringing up the fact that Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was discharged from the Navy in 2014 after failing a drug test. Trump attempted to humiliate Biden’s family, not thinking about the millions of people that would feel attacked by his comments along with them.
The Addiction Center says that almost 21 million Americans face drug or alcohol addiction in their lifetime, and only 10 percent of them seek treatment. Using this platform to tell the country that people with addictions, or people who use drugs, should be embarrassed or ashamed only inclines them to not seek out much-needed treatment.
Not only was Trump’s comment disheartening, but it was unprofessional and full of uneducated reasoning. This detail did not pertain to any question or concern brought up by moderator Chris Wallace, and did not contribute to Trump’s argument against Biden.
Both candidates shied away from answering the questions asked by Wallace, and the same is true for the vice presidential debate. Not only should the candidates make good use of their time, but they should also respect the time of the voters who tuned into the debate. If either candidate does not have an answer, we would prefer they admit to not knowing, instead of skating around in circles to avoid criticism.
Before the debate, both candidates agreed to follow certain rules, including letting each other speak during their allotted time. However, Trump managed to interrupt Biden at almost every chance possible. Even Wallace became fed up with Trump’s game and lack of regard to the rules.
According to The New York Times, Wallace said, “I’m just disappointed with the results. For me, but much more importantly, I’m disappointed for the country, because it could have been a much more useful evening than it turned out to be.”
We at The Alestle feel that these debates should be policy based, not rooted in personal hatred for the other side. We understand competition and feel that attacking the flaws in the opponents’ policies could be beneficial, but when it moves to personal attacks, the argument becomes useless. We also understand that the future of our country relies heavily on voters’ decisions. Voters cannot make educated decisions if the candidates cannot make educated arguments.