PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES: THE MORE THE MERRIER

As an American voter, I am eagerly looking forward to watching the presidential debates between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. I was thrilled to learn that President Trump wants to add a fourth debate. Unfortunately, at this time, a fourth debate does not seem likely. Regardless of party affiliation, we perhaps can all agree that the more number of debates, the better.

The 2016 election was perhaps the most important election in modern history. As we approach November, it seems that the 2020 presidential election would be equally significant, if not more.

The country has experienced record levels of success, across various economic indicators such an employment numbers and the stock market, over the last few years, under President Donald J. Trump. Unfortunately, the economy had to be brought to a screeching halt as the coronavirus started to spread. Americans are now ready to see the economy roar again, and move forward with full speed.

The partisan divide in the country continues. With various political and policy differences, Americans are ready to cast their ballots in the presidential election.

There are millions who already know who they would vote for – the incumbent president Donald Trump, or former vice president Joe Biden. But things may not be so certain for others. There obviously are many undecided voters who need to make up their minds. Presidential debates – that allow people to see two candidates face each other on stage, in person – play an important role in helping undecided voters decide who they would vote for.

But even for those voters who have made up their minds, watching their favorite candidate on stage, debating the rival, may help solidify their selection. The debates are also informative in helping Americans understand the issues, and learn where the candidates stand on pressing policy matters.

Most importantly, the presidental debates provide an opportunity for the candidates to not only recap and analyze the events of the past – issues that arose, actions that were taken, and the outcomes – but to also discuss their plans to address future challenges and convince the voters about their ability to steer the country in the direction of prosperity and safety. The presidential debates, therefore, are essential in the race.

President Donald Trump proposed that a fourth debate take place between him and Joe Biden. The fourth debate would be an addition to the three already planned. Unfortunately, the Commission on Presidential Debates rejected President Trump’s request for a fourth debate.

Not only did the commission reject the request for a fourth debate, they also would not grant a request from the Trump campaign to move up the calendar for the debates. The request to change the dates for the debates and to hold them earlier is due to the early voting schedules in many states. It makes sense to have the debates sooner in September, than later, so that voters can watch the two candidates face off prior to casting their ballots.

While President Donald Trump has been constantly making media appearances and answering questions from reporters, Joe Biden has spent a significant amount of time in his basement, largely making scripted television appearances. For the duration that he has spoken on camera, his interviews and conversations have been filled with gaffes, resulting in people questioning his cognitive abilities.

Joe Biden seems to be fighting back against calls for him to take a cognitive test. Just this week, the former vice president, when asked about the cognitive test and mental fitness for office, fought back and asked, “Why the hell would I take a test?”

Joe Biden is clearly resisting a cognitive test, while President Donald Trump has performed very well in the cognitive test that he took.

I think both candidates should participate in more than three debates, and also have the debates scheduled earlier than they are scheduled as of now.

The Biden campaign seems unwilling to move the debate schedule and also wants to avoid doing more than three debates. As a challenger who seems to believe that people should choose him in November 2020, one would guess that Joe Biden would want to have additional debates with President Trump and spend more time in front of the camera. But surprisingly, challenger Joe Biden seems to want to limit his time on camera, and take the safe route of mostly scripted appearances, perhaps to avoid adding to the list of gaffes.

The American people deserve to see the candidates go head-to-head on stage, debating various policy matters – pandemic response, national security threats, geopolitical negotiations, economic growth, international competitiveness, public safety, education, health care, housing, etc . Three debates are clearly not enough for millions of undecided voters to make up their minds.

I say – the more the merrier. In my opinion, the American people deserve to see more debate contests between the two presidential candidates, and because of the early voting schedule in states, the debates should be held sooner rather than later in the election season.

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