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Debate Fallout: Reflections on Trumpism and America’s Political Future

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

After watching Thursday night’s presidential debate, I took a walk down Michigan Avenue in Chicago to clear my head. The debate left me feeling uneasy, so I stopped at Walgreens to buy some Pepto Bismol for my upset stomach.

Passing by Trump Tower, I reflected on how the issues I had been warning about, particularly the rise of the MAGA movement and neofascism, were far from over. This debate was a stark reminder of the long and difficult fight against Trumpism and American neofascism.

I have often been labeled a doomsayer, but I see myself as a realist trying to prepare people for the prolonged struggle against these movements. Donald Trump embodies a professional wrestling villain, thriving on lies, cheating, and authoritarianism.

His attraction to violence and his egomaniacal tendencies, coupled with his mastery of propaganda, make him a formidable adversary. Trump seeks to become a dictator with the power to retaliate against anyone he deems an enemy.

Trump’s strength lies in adversarial settings like presidential debates, where he can operate unrestrained. During Thursday’s debate, President Biden’s performance was lackluster and overwhelmed, leading to what many consider one of the worst defeats in modern debate history.

Biden’s inability to counter Trump’s relentless attacks was evident, leaving viewers and undecided voters without a compelling reason to support him.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Trump’s team, now more skilled and serious than during his first campaign, expertly prepared him. Utilizing classic propaganda tactics, Trump flooded the debate with lies, making it difficult for Biden to respond effectively. Trump also deflected his own negative traits onto Biden, accusing him of crimes and negligence, which further complicated Biden’s attempts to present a coherent argument.

CNN’s moderators, Dana Bash and Jake Tapper, failed to control the debate or fact-check Trump’s numerous falsehoods, leading to journalistic malpractice. Their inability to challenge Trump’s lies and the subsequent media focus on Biden’s performance rather than fact-checking exacerbated the situation. The mainstream media’s outdated commitment to balance and fairness has only normalized Trump and his movement.

Despite Biden’s knowledge and preparation, his hoarse voice and weakened appearance overshadowed his points. In contrast, Trump’s brazen lies and aggressive demeanor dominated the debate. This performance underscored the need for the Democratic Party to reassess their strategies and make significant changes to combat Trump’s growing momentum and influence.

Post-debate reactions highlighted the stark contrast between Trump and Biden’s campaigns. Trump’s team celebrated their victory, while Biden’s response focused on the dishonesty and danger posed by Trump.

The debate’s aftermath has raised critical questions about Biden’s ability to defeat Trump in the upcoming election and whether the Democratic Party should consider a different nominee. This debate, much like significant historical events, will be remembered for its impact on the future of American democracy.

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