Students dissect presidential debate Kristina Chaney '23

“Circus,” “joke,” “hot mess,” “disgrace,” “Un-American,” “tantrum,” "viciously classless," “the biggest debate mess in presidential campaign history.” The United States presidential debate on Sept. 29 can be described in many ways, but the general consensus was not positive. Right off the bat, the debate was far from usual when the presidential candidates did not shake hands due to COVID-19. The debate contained immature behavior, interruptions and back-and-forth insults from both parties.

Graphic by Kristina Chaney '23

Many were dissatisfied with the unprofessional behavior of the two presidential candidates, as it limited the amount of productive and informative argument. Two Staples students of opposing political views presented their opinions.

Graphic Kristina Chaney '23

Camille Kolek ’23 has been interested in politics since the 2016 presidential election and likes to debate strangers about political topics online.

Kolek, a self-identified left-wing Democrat, believes that Joe Biden won the presidential debate because he focused on his policies.

“In my mind, Biden won, because he did better [in the polls] afterwards; his vote increased; his approval rates went up,” Kolek said.

Kolek believes that both candidates could have done better, as the debate wasn’t the best showcase of their policies and opinions.

However, she firmly disapproves of President Trump’s actions and policies on all fronts.

“I thought [the debate] was extremely unprofessional and immature. We’re looking to these men to be the political figurehead of our country, and one of them in particular acted a lot like a child,” Kolek said.

Graphic by Kristina Chaney '23

Alvin Balidemaj ’23 has a significant interest in United States politics. He created a podcast, Young Republican Minds, where he debates political issues with people of opposing viewpoints.

Balidemaj, a self-identified moderate conservative, was also unimpressed with the debate but believes that President Trump won.

“He really grabbed my attention,” Balidemaj said. “... [But] It was pretty sloppy from both sides. Even though I do think [Trump] won the debate, it wasn’t like he dominated it.”

Although he supports President Trump, Balidemaj doesn't believe that his performance was completely foolproof.

“[Trump’s] weakest point of the debate was the constant interrupting; I think if he let Joe Biden speak for the full two minutes, [Biden] would’ve stumbled over himself,” Balidemaj said.

Graphic by Kristina Chaney '23

The presidential debate scheduled to take place on Oct. 15 was canceled due to concerns about President Trump’s health since he contracted COVID-19. The debate scheduled for Oct. 22 is still being considered.


Graphics by Kristina Chaney '23