So if you’re anything like me, you probably were disappointed by Trump’s performance in the first Presidential debate. While I do believe that Trump had won on substance, the substance is usually secondary to optics. That’s just the nature of politics.
The debate was a disaster on all fronts. Trump came off as rude and abrasive (even more than usual!), and Biden said nothing of substance. It didn’t help that sometimes it felt like the moderator, Chris Wallace, was debating Trump instead of Biden.
I don’t think that debate swayed anyone. People who support Trump will still vote for Trump, and the absence of stories about Biden’s hairy legs gave enough of an inch for Biden supporters to claim a win. The status quo remains unchanged. The sun still rises in the east, sets in the west, and Sloto Cash online casino continues entertaining players. It was a poor showing on all sides.
The Vice Presidential debate, on the other hand, was a whole different ballgame and was probably the most substantive debate I’ve listened to in a long time.
To be honest, I’ve never really thought much of Vice President Mike Pence until this point, but this debate has proved that Mike Pence can hold his own in a debate, and even throw some punches. So let me break down what I found to be the most important aspects of the VP debate.
The debate was between current Vice President Mike Pence and Vice President Candidate Kamala Harris, for the length of ninety minutes, broken up into sections of ten minutes for debate on any particular subject.
It was relieving to see that Harris and Pence were far more civil than Trump and Biden had been. They kept the interjections to a minimum, and my only complaint is that Pence tended to go over his time quite a lot. His delivery could have been a little more concise, but the candidates were otherwise cordial with one another.
Now let’s get to the meat of the debate. Kamala Harris said nothing. She was very evasive around every topic, and she outright refused to answer anything definitive on certain very important points. She would play for time and talk about everything under the sun except for what she was being directly asked, and the moderator just let her do it.
Okay, so, I’m obviously biased (A conservative writer writing for a conservative site- who’d have thunk?). However, I really do think that Pence smashed this debate. Every answer he gave was based on the policies that have been enacted under the Trump administration. He cited results, rather than bleat empty promises and vague ideals. He hit Harris and Biden out where it hurt.
Allow me to get specific:
One of the most important political events to happen in the past couple of weeks was the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Since Justices are lifetime appointments (and the temporary Justice appointments during Senate Recesses are basically irrelevant), everyone and their grandma has a vested interest in whoever gets appointed to next to the court. It’s basically going to change the dynamics of the supreme court for possible the next fifty or more years.
Now, since the Republicans control both the Executive Branch and the Senate, they can essentially put whomever they want onto the court. It doesn’t hurt that the Democrats enacted a “nuclear option” back in 2013 which makes certain types of votes only require 50%+ majority, rather than two-thirds and that in 2017 this got extended to supreme court nominations.
So since it seems likely that Trump’s pick, Amy Coney Barret, is going to be put onto the court, left-leaning media pundits have floated the idea of “packing the court”. Rather than waiting to replace a current justice with someone more favorable, they could instead simply add more justices to the court, and basically stack the court in their favor. In other words, they could cheat the system.
The problem is that Biden and Harris have been suspiciously quiet on the issue. Biden refused to answer definitively during his debate with Trump, and when Pence demanded an answer from Harris, she pivoted not once, not twice, but three times when asked directly about the subject. And I think her silence says more than any of her words. Keep in mind that the moderator never pressed her on the issue, never asked about it, and it was Pence who demanded an answer.
The Green New Deal: Yay or Nay?
The second most telling part of the debate was Harris’ inconsistent stance about the Green New Deal. In case you’re not familiar with it, the Green New Deal is a five-page long manifesto that demands nearly every aspect of your life to be turned over to the government in the name of Environmentalism.
It’s hardly even a matter of caring for the environment. The deal is awful. Estimates of the cost run up into the trillions of dollars. It would require the US to stop using Coal, Oil, and Nuclear- which is ironic because nuclear is easily the cleanest and most viable alternative to fossil fuels. It would ban clean, safe, and cheaper fracking. It would annihilate the airline industry (the safest form of travel, might I add!). It would kill the economy, and by extension, it could very well result in literal human deaths (studies have shown that bad economies result in higher suicide rates, increased winter deaths, and other such indirect ramifications).
In other words, it’s very important to know where Biden and Harris stand on the policy. The problem is that they’re both liars.
Harris in the debate said that they will NOT enact the Green New Deal. Their campaign website, however, says otherwise. Biden and Harris have both individually said, on camera, that they will ban fracking and enact the Green New Deal. In the debates, however, they both are now saying the complete opposite. They were either lying before or are lying now, and Pence rightfully called her out for this on stage.
I think it was very interesting to hear how Pence and Harris handled the last question of the debate. Unlike the other questions, which had been written by the moderator, the last question was sent in by the Utah Debate Commission as a student assignment.
The question went like this, “When I watch the news, all I see is arguing between Democrats and Republicans. When I watch the news, all I see is citizens fighting against citizens. When I watch the news, all I see are two candidates from opposing parties trying to tear each other down. If our leaders can’t get along, how are our citizens supposed to get along?”
I found Pence’s answer to be very apolitical, “…in America, we believe in a free and open exchange of debate. We celebrate that. It’s how we’ve created the freest and most prosperous nation in the history of the world. I would tell you, don’t assume that what you’re seeing on your local news network is synonymous with the American people.”
He then goes on to provide the example of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s friendship with the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Despite being opposites on the political spectrum, they were still friends. I found his words to be very optimistic and uplifting, and applicable to everyone, not just his own voter base.
“We love a good debate. We love a good argument,” He finished, “But we always come together, and we are always there for one another.”
Harris’s answer was more about Joe Biden’s character than anything else, “…one of the reasons that Joe decided to run for president, is after Charlottesville… it so troubled him and upset him like it did all of us. That there was that kind of hate and division… Joe Biden has a history of lifting people up and fighting for their dignity. You have to know Joe Biden to know that he has known pain, he has known suffering, and he has known love… and I do believe the future is bright.”
A very positive message… which kind of rings hollow when you remember that she called Biden a racist and a rapist back in the primaries. Hmm.