By Richard Mejia and Francesca Guidote
Several students of CSUSB are still discussing their opinions on the first 2020 presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden that took place last week on September 29.
Many students found the presidential debate unusual, in comparison to the previous debates. Jenevieve Loera, a fourth-year mathematics major stated, “I could not tell if it was a debate or if it was a yelling contest. I can not really remember what the questions even were.”
Denise Cerda, a fourth year biology major, commented on the interaction between the two candidates. “They were literally at each other’s throats. This was a very different debate and I would not be surprised if the rest of the debates were more of the same,” Cerda noted.
The debate was not well-received by some students. Marrian Angeles, a first year economics major, said, “To be honest with you, I was not happy about the first presidential debate. This debate had plenty of people talking over one another, some accusations, and a moderator that dealt with the situation as best as he could.”
For others, this 2020 debate is the first presidential debate they have ever witnessed. Victor Gutierrez, a fourth year business major, stated, “For my first debate, I was expecting more debating and not yelling at each other and stepping on each other’s toes. I could tell that neither side respected one another.”
Loera recalled, “I feel like Biden tried to let Trump speak, but I can’t say the same for Trump.”
The students further expressed what stood out to them during the debate. Loera noted how she pitied the moderator, Chris Wallace. “His job was to try and keep those two in check, but we see how poorly that went. Trump would not let Biden complete his two minutes of talking without being interrupted,” said Loera.
However, there was some positive feedback given to how the candidates acted. Cerda pointed out, “What I do think that Biden did well in is how he would ignore Trump’s interjections and talked directly to the American people. Trump was his usual self. If I could say one thing about Trump, it’s that he is very consistent. I mean he is literally the same guy that he was four years ago.”
Angeles felt that while there were issues being discussed, “there wasn’t enough reassurance from either side that they could get things done as the next president.”
At the end, the students shared how they remain baffled by the debate instead of gaining clarification. Gutierrez stated, “I really couldn’t tell you who actually won the debate. I hope in the next debate something will actually be said.”
As the next presidential debate is anticipated by many, some students also expressed larger national concerns beyond the topics discussed during the first 2020 presidential debate.
Angeles stated, “For the next presidential debate, I hope to hear some more information in terms of COVID and what they will do to help the country through this pandemic. I would also like to see some debate on what the country could do for homelessness and how they can help people gain employment and work skills.”