• Taylor Fischbeck

Are presidential debates beneficial?

Updated: Oct 2, 2020

On September 29th, 2020, the United States had its first 2020 Trump-Biden presidential debate; a debate that did not go as smoothly as one would have hoped. The debate consisted of either one or both candidates interrupting each other with little respect, causing many people to be disappointed by the outcomes. It begs the question of whether or not the debates are beneficial or if they simply lead to more controversy?


Debating is not a new concept; it is something that has been done since 1960 (aprx). Never before has the U.S. experienced a debate with so much hostility and disrespect such as Trump disrespecting Biden’s sons and telling his opponent to shut up repeatedly.


Debates are supposed to be used as a way to communicate a candidate’s outlook on a national problem such as white supremacy. These debates are supposed to inform not attack. Unfortunately, the debate on Tuesday did more of the latter. “Many critics said afterward that it was the worst debate in modern American history,” said Brian Stelter, a reporter for CNN.


Despite this debate being viewed as the ‘worst in American history’, it should be noted that debates can help sway the audience to the better candidate. Approximately 73 million people watched Tuesday’s debate and all of those people saw how the candidates reacted to the situation they were put in.


With all those people watching, the candidates want to prove that you are capable of leading the country. After all, the candidate that wins now has to lead the country for the next four years and they should want to be the best they possibly can.


The impression a candidate makes on someone impacts their thoughts and their judgment of the candidate. If a candidate does not debate but simply argues, that can convince their supporters to move to the other side therefore making them lose more votes. No matter if it’s politics or high school, impressions matter.


Debates offer viewers the perfect opportunity to see if the person they were planning on voting for is truly capable of leading a country like the United States. There’s always a risk in politics because you don’t know if the person you vote for will do the things they promised but if the said candidate can prove that they can approach a challenging situation with a level head and approach it the way it needs to be approached, it is more likely that the country will be led into greatness. Interrupting your opponent and discrediting what they say is not the way to show the US that you are capable of leading the country.


It’s also possible that debates can open a person’s eyes and show them all of the things that they were ignorant of before. Debates are beneficial to elections because the best-case scenario can lead more people to vote for the right person instead of the unqualified one.