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A Presidential Headache

Updated: Jul 7

The presidential debate was above all else, headache-inducing. The fruit of democracy has gone rotten. Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy are relics of bygone eras that seem as distant from us now as those of Pericles and Cicero.


An unusually tempered former President Donald Trump began the debate by directly answering questions and refraining from his traditional belligerence. For about 30 minutes, Trump was temporarily statesmanlike in an unexpected display of competent and concise answers directed to his voter base. 

That did not last. Eventually, he began ignoring questions to expand on his retorts to President Joe Biden and his exaggerated simplifications for the national decline. Overall, it was a disappointing and childlike display of unfocused energy.       


A few meters away stood Biden. He showed an elementary ability to listen to the moderators' questions and his opponent's answers but not much else. One could not help but feel deep concern for him when witnessing his lost and empty gaze. 

For the duration of the debate, Biden rambled with slurred and stuttered speech in a soft geriatric voice. His only diversions from this pattern came when the debate sank to name-calling and golf proficiency; the most pressing matters indeed.

Final thoughts

Trump seemed more tempered than in 2019, yet more impatient. His answers showed a clear understanding of his platform and desire for the nation. At his best, he answered all facets of the question clearly and to the point. At his worst, he totally avoided questions, not out of cunning but out of fixated bullishness. 

Biden was clearly giving his best effort. However, this performance would be worrying even in a convalescent home. He is seemingly incapable of doing the world's hardest job. It is now uncertain if Biden will even be the Democratic nominee, as even left-wing media is now covering his obvious cognitive decline. 

Neither one of these men exudes leadership. Neither one has novel or dynamic ideas. The debate made these things clear if they were not already. American democracy has yielded a choice between two people who are more concerned with golf than national prosperity.     

Acknowledgment: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual author.

1 Comment

Hi Ryan,

I agree with your assessment, and it is moments like these where I wonder if the two-party system is simply failing us as Americans. What would have happened if a third-party candidate was allowed on the debate stage? What would happen if they were given a fighting chance? Obviously, these questions can't be answered at this point, but it is food for thought. I think we can both agree that the debate was a disaster on all fronts.

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