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The presidential debate lacked substance, but it clarified a serious question | Comments

The presidential debate lacked substance, but it clarified a serious question | Comments

The last time I watched a presidential debate was in 1956, when surrogates represented Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson, who was challenging incumbent Republican President Dwight Eisenhower. Since then, I have relied on press/media reports and analysis of what was said or how the candidates acted.

But I changed my strategy when President Joe Biden “debate” former President Donald Trump this year. Why? Well, for the same reason I watch a car race and wait for the inevitable crash.

Although it wasn’t long before the first crash of the evening occurred, I watched until the end, hoping for something substantial, but I was denied any insight into what these two guys would do about the multitude of problems that exist in our country and around the world today.

Although the CNN moderators had previously been highly critical of former President Trump, they remained unbiased throughout the 90-minute talk-fest. When the two candidates strayed from the original question, they tried – almost always unsuccessfully – to bring them back on track.

This is not an isolated case in political debates. Each candidate has an agenda and arguments to convince voters to vote for them, and they will not let the debate moderators stop them from selling their ideas. In this case, the agenda of either of them, if they had one, seemed to be just to talk for 90 minutes.

What voters care about most is the candidate’s precise stance on important issues. For example, simply saying you’re going to fix the economy, massive illegal migration, the fentanyl crisis, or anything else doesn’t provide any insight into how the problem will be solved. In government, things don’t get “fixed” quickly, and often the solution turns out to only make the original problem worse; one example is the homelessness problems facing many cities, and another was the COVID-19 crisis.

Over the course of the evening, each of them made up unsubstantiated claims, used false facts and figures to make their point, and otherwise tried to whitewash their own record to impress voters. After the debate, however, only former President Trump was “fact-checked” in many media outlets, while President Biden’s many gaffes went unreported.

In their defense, however, the current president was difficult for fact-checkers and viewers to follow as he appeared unfocused and confused, sometimes “freezing” mid-sentence when attempting to respond to a question. His halting speech, lack of concentration, rapid subject changes during answers, and obvious frailty were distracting and sad to watch. Why his advisers agreed to subject him to this kind of public exposure is a mystery.

After the debate, things got even worse; now we learn that President Biden is only available for six hours a day! One of the most important functions of the President of the United States is the role of Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. The person in this position, like firefighters and EMTs, must be able to make life-changing decisions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for the entirety of their term in office.

But unlike emergency responders, the president’s decisions can have global implications, and only the president can deploy military forces against our enemies.

As I watched our current President that evening, I was not sure he was up to the task. This should be a concern for all Americans because this is not a partisan issue, but a matter of public safety and protecting all citizens from harm. And as for setting public policy, who is in charge if the person who is supposed to do it cannot clearly articulate their position?

Although I rarely watch political debates, this debate brought to light a serious issue. There has long been a rumor in the press and electronic media that President Biden has cognitive problems. His advisers and the media sympathetic to him have vehemently denied this in recent months, but the debate left no doubt about it.

President Joe Biden has problems with speech, memory and thinking, and this fact puts the United States in a dangerous position. The leader of the free world must be able to think clearly at all times and react promptly in serious situations, and he does not seem up to the task.

Ron Fink writes to the Sun from Lompoc. Send a response for publication to (email protected).