Perhaps the nicest thing that could be said about the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden was that it was a mess.
This takeaway from the debate misses the bigger point that Republicans and conservatives need to see: the Democrats are following a script and it’s completely at odds with reality. The existence and endless perpetuation of this script is why Trump was so aggressive, why Wallace was so defensive, and why Biden was mostly irrelevant. Overturning this script will be the key to winning this election and saving the country.
Each segment of the debate acted as a part of the script, starting with the first segment that was supposed to be about appointing a new U.S. Supreme Court justice. The Democrat script frames this constitutional and normal act as undemocratic and wrong. Biden said that Americans should vote this November and that next year’s senators and president should appoint a new justice.
Trump immediately pointed out that a vote already happened four years prior and that this was his responsibility to those constituents. He added that his appointee, Amy Coney Barrett, is truly beyond reproach. This issue isn’t inherently controversial, except that Democrats insist on making it so. Then Biden refused to answer whether he would pack the court or not, indicating he probably would. Ignoring this and shushing Trump, Wallace moved on.
Concerning the economy, Chris Wallace stepped up to debate Trump and deliver the lines of the Democrat script, which casts Trump as the lucky beneficiary of a booming economy from Obama.
Wallace let Biden repeat the lie that Trump wrecked a perfectly good economy which he had helped create as vice president. He neglected to mention that Covid-19 shutdowns—some of which are still enforced—were the sole cause of this. Trump tried to make this point but was called out for interrupting.
On the issue of Covid-19, Biden recited the lines of the script that attributes each and every death to Trump. If Trump had only taken the virus more seriously—whatever that means—he could have saved all those people. Wallace conveniently never asked for details on this. It is simply accepted as obvious that Democrats would have listened to experts and made all the right moves, unlike Trump.
Trump was clear about the many things he did and the precautions he took, but this will never be enough. There should have been more mask mandates, more panic, and more shutdowns.
Concerning law and order, Democrats believe that the riots and looting that are happening in cities are due to violent extremists on both the right and left. Furthermore, they believe that crime has been rising in all cities, not just Democrat-controlled cities.
Before Trump could even respond to this, Wallace asked him to make yet another official denunciation against white supremacists (while Biden was let off the hook for not calling out Antifa). Some conservatives insist Trump should have obliged, but this would have only validated faulty premises. White supremacists are not behind the rioting and looting, and the rise in crime is directly caused by the Democrats’ antipathy to law enforcement.
On the related point of defunding the police Wallace again interjected, claiming that police won’t be defunded; rather, they will be supported by counselors who will deescalate potentially violent encounters. Biden nodded along with this, ignoring the understandable resentment of all law enforcement. When Trump mentioned Biden’s lack of support from the police associations, Wallace shushed him again and moved on.
This brought up race relations. According to Democrats, systemic racism is real and Critical Race Theory is just the tool to alleviate this problem. Also, they think Donald Trump is a racist.
Perhaps Trump could have been more eloquent in his response, but he is right to insist that these trainings are anti-American and racist in themselves. To this, Wallace—again, not Biden—nonetheless stubbornly maintained that this was just “racial sensitivity” training.
Somewhere towards the end of the debate, the issue of wildfires and climate change came up. Democrats truly believe that climate change, not poor forest management, is the cause of wildfires. If only the U.S. had stayed with the Paris Climate Accords and never burned coal, these fires wouldn’t be happening.
For his part, Trump believed in an “immaculate” environment, but corrected the idea that climate change caused the forest fires. It was a lack of proper forest management, plain and simple. This didn’t stop Wallace from asking him to solemnly swear to acknowledge climate change.
Somewhere in this part of the script there was mention of the Green New Deal, which reflects the Democrats’ collective wisdom on climate change. Trump mentioned this in some detail, but little did he know that Wallace and Biden edited out the more extreme elements. It’s unclear what the Biden plan is for the environment, but he assured Americans that it will create jobs and be relatively inexpensive.
Finally, the debate ended with the segment on election integrity and the candidates’ willingness to concede. For Democrats, there seems to be little doubt that the ballots will be submitted and counted faithfully and that Trump will refuse to leave if he loses. There is no evidence for either claim, but this is the script, and they will keep repeating it until it’s true.
Trump again had to remind everyone that ballot fraud is real, unsolicited mail-in ballots don’t work, and that getting the results for this election will be complete chaos. Unfortunately, Wallace downplayed it, and Biden was about to fall asleep at this point.
Upon review, it is evident that this debate was meant to perpetuate the Democrat script. This is why Wallace intervened, why Trump interrupted, and why Biden never bothered to explain himself. Any time the debate drifted away from the script, Wallace quickly brought it back. Democrats must continue believing that Trump singlehandedly causes all forms of strife in the world, that Democrats are mostly honest, and that climate change and racism are America’s greatest problems.
Trump did his best to confront the script. The debate was probably the first time most Democrat voters even heard that voter fraud is an issue, that forest fires result from poor forest management, that Critical Race Theory is racist and anti-American, that leftist violence is real, that Russian collusion and the impeachment were unfounded hoaxes, that Hunter Biden repeatedly cashed in on his father’s name and called members of military “stupid bastards,” or that Obama was not a very good president.
Conservatives, most of whom knew about these things and had been following them already, need to help the president and share these uncomfortable truths with Democrat voters, particularly Catholics, and help them realize what they are supporting. Most of them are never allowed to know. But Trump is only one person and can only do so much. So long as each party keeps to its own echo chambers and no one questions a script that threatens American Christians and conservatives, these debates will continue to frustrate everyone and perpetuate immoral and false narratives.
[Photo credit: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images]