The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



The First Presidential Debate Was A Disaster: SLOHS’ Takeaways


  Well. That was awful.

  People across the board at San Luis Obispo High School watched the first debate between Republican nominee and President Donald J. Trump and Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden.

  “[The first debate] was a dumpster fire and a disgrace,” said SLOHS Young Democrats Club President and senior Quinn Brussel.

  Unfortunately, most students agreed with the outcome of this debate. 

  “In my overall opinion, the debate was a mess. With the President showing little respect for his opponent and having the decency of a toddler, it was like watching a sixth grader try to argue. While Biden occasionally slipped with his temper, it was reasonable,” said freshman Alma Tinoco. 

  There were multiple attacks from both sides.

  Trump frequently went on offense and attacked Biden. Both interrupted each other, although Trump interrupted Biden more in the middle of his “uninterrupted” 2-minute statements.

Biden lost his temper every once in a while and memorably muttered “Will you shut up, man?” Eventually, Biden called Trump a “clown” after losing his temper.

  With Fox News anchor Chris Wallace moderating the debate, people have either defended or criticized his performance as moderator.

  “The moderator, Chris Wallace, was treated like a middle school substitute teacher, and the debate was full of ad hominem attacks, irrelevant personal digs, and an inability to behave like an adult,” said Brussel. 

  However, some hold the opinion not only Trump did badly during the debate. 

  “I think the debate went absolutely downhill. Being in a debate program growing up, that wasn’t even a debate. Neither side gave anyone a decent chance to finish their statements. It made it hard for the [moderator] to keep track and on pace for the questions being debated,” said sports editor and senior Alexis Haas. 

  The debate focused on 6 topics: COVID-19, the economy, race and violence in American cities, Biden and Trump’s records, the Supreme Court nominee, and the integrity of the election.

  “Biden’s actions spoke louder than words with Trump in the debate. The way Trump was talking over Biden and Wallace gave Biden all the power,” said news editor and senior Isabella Hoffmann. “My opinion of Trump has somehow changed, because I’m more disgusted and disappointed than I’ve ever been. The disrespect that Trump showed was absolutely unacceptable.”

One of the most memorable moments of the debate were unarguably were when Trump was asked to condemn white supremacy directly. He instead, told right-wing militia group The Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by”.

  The CNN post-debate instant poll gave a staggering statistic. Before the debate, 43% of people expected Trump to win. After the debate, that dropped to 20% thinking Trump won the debate. 60% think Biden won the debate.

  However, people attentively watching the debate argue over who won.

  “There’s no winner when both can’t play by the basic rules of debate and decency,” said English and journalism teacher Scott Nairne.

  The Commission on Presidential Debates will be “carefully considering the changes it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly,” in a statement they released the day after the first debate. 

  Despites calls to cancel the rest of the debates, the next presidential debate will be on October 15th, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific Time.


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