I’d just like to begin this piece with this.
I’m. So. Tired.
Every time I see President Donald Trump, in a tweet, in some YouTube ad or on the debate stage, I don’t even feel angry anymore.
I’m just tired.
It seems that I, like many other Americans, are just burnt out from every new controversy coming from the White House, all of which seem to occur every 15 minutes. I felt that same burnout when watching the debate tonight.
For the most part, it was incredibly predictable.
Going into this debate a brand new ground rule was set: mics would be muted when other candidates were speaking. This would give each person a fair share of time to speak as well as give them clean responses without much interruption. You could tell both President Trump and former Vice President Joseph Biden were also trying to remain civil.
Of course, that didn’t mean the usual clownery didn’t occur.
Out of every quotable line, President Trump’s most "Trump" moment was when asked about racial issues in America he said, “I’m the least racist person.”
This, of course, was said not ten minutes after he insinuated that the Latinx immigrants living within the United States had low IQs.
The President also outright claimed that children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border were being treated very well. In light of the images of life inside those god-awful detainment centers, I have to wonder how on earth he’s able to say that.
Something that did surprise me tonight was Biden’s moments of clarity. He clearly practiced beforehand, having a series of strong answers on several key questions. Ranging from health care to racial injustice, Biden managed to deliver when it mattered most.
However, those moments were brief and far between, and Biden often stepped into one too many traps laid out for him by the President, leaving him his usual, rambling self.
I honestly wish there was more to comment on from tonight’s affair. I’ll admit I had some hope that things would be different. More substantive. More couth.
It was the same old, same old, just more coherent thanks to the mic-muting. Neither candidate presented anything groundbreaking, and though he did improve from the last debate Biden lacked the gravitas of many previous debaters — among the likes of Barack Obama and Theodore Roosevelt.
There is one key takeaway worth mentioning.
During the debate, President Trump made the bold claim that Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, is more left-wing than Bernie Sanders. This has been a consistent trend with modern conservatives, painting liberals and left-leaning moderates as “socialists” and “radicals.”
This whole thing is a product of the fact that the Overton Window has shifted so far right, that rightwing radicalism is accepted as, “conservative,” and leftwing moderacy is considered, “radical.”
The fact that our nation has swung so far to one extreme in a single political direction should scare people. Because if normalcy is now unacceptable, it may take a very, very long time to find peace as a nation — to find common ground and not adversaries in every person you disagree with politically.
All-in-all, the second and final 2020 presidential debate was a tiring, unsurprising affair. If anything, it reinforced my desire to vote this monumental dingdong we call a president out of office so I can go to bed at night not having to worry about whether or not our democracy is going to collapse in the middle of the night.
Maybe then I’ll start feeling less tired by politics.