Opinion: First Generation Latina Watching The Final 2020 Presidential Debate

Opinion: First Generation Latina Watching The Final 2020 Presidential Debate

Nayeli Vargas, Opinion Editor

Biden calling Trump one of the most racist Presidents last night during the final presidential debate is only a small fraction of the shots fired last night.

In a much more orderly and organized way, President Trump and Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, made their final statements in order to win voters this Thursday night. The most impactful statement was made by Biden, calling Trump the most racist president in modern history. 

“Abraham Lincoln here, is one of the most racist Presidents we’ve had in modern history. He pours fuel on every single racist fire.”

The second and last debate of the 2020 election took place at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee where it ultimately got heated and candidates clashed with very different opinions. 

Fighting COVID-19, American families, national security, leadership, climate change, and race were the topics debated last night. There were fewer interruptions and stricter rules including  the muting of mics – which was heavily suggested.

As a viewer, I was not expecting much from this debate. The first debate was a circus and left me, as an American, embarrassed. Can either president bring us together as a country? 

This time around, Trump had to appeal to the other side of voters in order to win their vote. Trump had to articulate his vision for the next four years, and talk directly to Americans in which he has failed to do in the past. He had to prove he can be different from the last debate and show that he can act like a president. On the other hand, Biden had to be more clear and concise, and keep calm because, in the last debate, he sometimes lost his temper. Mainly, all Biden had to do was stay steady and do no harm. 

Overall, the debate seemed calm, however, it got heated 40 minutes in when Trump made unverified, misleading, and false claims about Biden’s foreign business affairs. There were multiple clashes on health care, child separation policies, minimum wage, and race. 

Throughout the 90 minutes, Trump’s only defense was “why didn’t you do it before?” referencing to the eight years that Biden was in office as Vice President. Did he do enough to win the vote of Americans? No. Americans were expecting for him to speak directly to them. Trump’s re-election bid largely revolved around attacking Biden’s ideas instead of showing his vision for the next four years. 

Biden put Trump on defense about his tax return, secret accounts in foreign countries, and other policies in which he had no argument besides, “yeah, but what did you do?” 

I’m not at ease, knowing Trump could get re-elected. How do we move forward, Mr. Trump? What’s next for us as a country? If his goal was to make Americans feel like we are safe, he failed to do so. 

One thing that caught my attention, was when Trump walked onto the stage at the beginning of the debate without a mask on. While Biden did. Makes sense because he claimed that he was now immune to COVID-19 because of a therapeutic drug he was given while infected with the virus. 

This moment was followed by a quote from Biden, “If you listen to anything I say tonight, take this with you. 200,000.  Any president who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain president.” 

This is the same guy who said confidently that this [COVID-19] would be over by Easter. The same guy who said it would be killed with the hot weather. 

Trump said during the debate that he wanted to reopen the country, while Biden just wanted to “shut the whole thing down.” I agree with Biden on his ideas of wanting to give people the capacity to do so with financial resources.

Schools need better funding so they can update their ventilation systems, create smaller classes, and hire more teachers. You can’t just open up the country and send students to school under the same circumstances as before. This is our new normal. We need to find resources to help. 

Another attention grabbing moment was when Trump stated he fixed the United States relationship with North Korea, claiming we now have a “good relationship with North Korea.” Biden responded with “We had a good relationship with Hitler before he invaded the rest of Europe” which left viewers with their mouths open, and Trump’s closed. 

Personally, I feel that Biden could’ve walked off the stage at that moment and won the debate. 

For me, I paid very close attention to when the candidates talked about immigration and the 525 children separated from their parents at the border. We also heard Biden talk about his plan for DACA or dreamers and how he wants to create a path for 11 million immigrants to get citizenship. Trump on the other hand, remained quiet and didn’t say anything to this matter. 

Trump stated that coyotes, cartels, and “bad people” bring those kids to the United States illegally, however this statement shows how uninformed Mr. Trump really is. These kids are brought to the U.S. with their parents and are separated from them- not with the people Trump described. Biden corrected him last night. 

Quickly, Trump came at his defense and repeatedly said “But who built the cages, Joe?” in regards to the cages being placed there under Obama’s administration. 

Biden replied and said,”You have 525 kids not knowing where in God’s sake their parent is.”

Trump, unsurprisingly, signalled the moderator, Kristen Welker, to move on to the next question with the words “go ahead.” 

I’m not surprised he wanted to change the subject because frankly, Trump doesn’t care. He has shown us time after time that he doesn’t care and my Mexican- American blood boils every time he chooses to ignore topics like this. I’ve noticed that he likes to change the subject or circle around the topic, but he never addresses it directly. 

“The fact of the matter is there is institutional racism. We have always said that we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men and women are created equal, we have been moving the needle further and further to inclusion not exclusion.”continually he said, “this is the first president to come along and say we’re not doing that anymore.”

Trump needs to take the time to learn about racial issues, solely saying “I gave money to black universities” is not enough. 

Trump, answered with “Nobody has gotten more for the black community than Donald Trump, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln.”

He sounds like one of those racist guys who claims he is not racist because he has a friend that is black. 

Again, Trump never spoke directly to Americans, he never said “hey America this is what I’m going to do” or “I’m not racist, I’m going to do x,y, and z to help out black communities and strive for equality.”  This was his chance to come out and help himself, but he did not. 

Instead, in the segment about the Black Lives Matter movement, he stated he was the least racist person in the room and literally said he didn’t know what to say. 

In which Biden sarcastically answered, “Abraham Lincoln here is one of the most racist presidents we have had in modern history, he pours fuel on every single racist fire.” 

Another moment he had to prove to Americans, the BLM movement, everyone wrong. Yet he decided it was better to stay quiet. 

When someone calls you racist, you don’t say “I am the least racist person in this room.” You defend yourself or try to clarify your actions, which he did not.

Welker’s final question to each candidate was simple: In your inaugural address, what would you say to Americans who didn’t vote for you?

“I am cutting taxes, and he wants to raise everybody’s taxes, and he wants to put new regulations on everything,” Trump said. “He will kill it. If he gets in, you will have a depression the likes of which you have never seen. Your 401(k)s will go to hell and it will be a very, very sad day for this country.”

The responses captured the most crucial difference between the two presidential campaigns, one that comes to how bad the country will be if the Democratic nominee wins and on the other hand, one who repeatedly states how the country would be different under his leadership. 

Biden’s response: “I am your president. I’m going to give you hope. Were going to move, were going to choose science over fiction. We’re going to choose hope over fear,” Biden said. “We’re going to move forward because we have enormous opportunities  to make things better.”

As Biden stated, what is on the ballot is the character of this country, treating people with dignity, making sure that everyone has an even chance.