One step forward, one step back

Katherine Mesarch, Staff Writer

This past Thursday, October 22nd, America witnessed the second and final Presidential debate of the 2020 election. It was quite different from the first debate, but there is still much to be said.
As always there were many incorrect facts, bickering more than debating, and pandering to the voters.
First things first, compared to the first Presidential debate on September 29th this one was much more controlled. It has been reported that this time around the moderator could mute the mics of the Presidential candidates if need be; I personally believe this is one of the sole reasons this debate was not a carbon copy of the last one. In the previous debate, President Trump kept talking over former Vice President Biden, and I can personally barely call it a debate. It was more bickering than debating through and through. To put into perspective how bad it was, not even my government teacher wanted to review it.
This time though it was much more civil and controlled. Former Vice President Biden could finally get some talking in, and while Biden would be my personal choice for President, I cannot deny that I did notice his very apparent pandering to the voters although that is basically the point of these debates in a way.
An example of this is around Biden’s talking block at the 38:00 minute mark in the debate where he’s responding about China paying 28 million dollars that allegedly went to the farmers of America to President Trump. Biden also had some false claims such as claiming Trump made the China deficit go up, not down, this is false as it depends on how you calculate it whether the numbers go up or down.
His other false claim is that only Red states are having Spikes in COVID-19 Cases, which is exaggerated, while not false he fails to mention that blue states such as Virginia, New Mexico, and Rhode Island are also having spikes. Biden also started to get a little less composed by the end of the debate, which was disappointing as he had a very strong start. Besides that, I think Biden did much better this time around in the debate.
President Trump, on the other hand, was more of the same. He still interrupted Biden, even if on a smaller scale due to the mic muting, and he had a lot of incorrect statements. First, he stated he could not release his highly controversial tax returns- it was leaked he only paid $750 in income tax in 2016 and 2017- because he was under audit by the IRS. This is false, as the IRS has stated now and even back in 2016 that “nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information.” So there is nothing stopping Trump from releasing his tax returns as many other Presidents, who have also been under audit, have done before and even his Presidential opponent Joe Biden has done.
Secondly, Trump stated he was, “the least racist person.” Whether he is claiming to be the least racist President since Abraham Lincoln or the least racist person in the room, I for one cannot tell if a human is racist at heart, I cannot tell what goes on in their brain, but, the President’s actions can speak volumes. Here is a provided link to an article that has a general overview of every racist controversy Trump has been the center of since the 1970’s leading all the way to the current year of 2020 ( link ).
Third, Trump claimed Biden used the term “super predator” referring to POC criminals in the debate over the 1994 crime bill, Biden never used the term although first lady, Hillary Clinton, did.
And finally, Trump claimed Biden wanted to raise everybody’s taxes, which is false, Biden has repeatedly and consistently stated he will only raise taxes on high-income individuals, specifically those who make over $400,000 a year. So all the 18-year olds worried about him taxing their McDonald’s paycheck can settle down.
Overall, the final Presidential debate was way more civilized than the last one although it was still flooded with misinformation. I can only hope voters do their research and fact check the candidates and choose from that instead of just because they “belong” to a party. If you are old enough, go vote, and if you can’t I encourage you to help educate others about the candidates and urge them to go vote.