Opinion: Stop Laughing at Trump and Start Voting!


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Tuesday’s presidential debate has already been regarded by many as a representation of how our country becomes more and more of an international laughing stock every day. Amidst President Donald Trump’s personal attacks, interruptions, and egregious violations of debate rules, a much darker reality reared its ugly head. Towards the middle of the debate, moderator Chris Wallace and Democratic Nominee Joe Biden pressed the President to finally condemn white supremacists, to which he responded: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.” It must be made clear that “stand by” was not used accidentally. Many of Trump’s statements during the debate were fascist dog whistles encased in a shell of rhetoric and interruption. 

It should be apparent to the American people that Trump is not just a harmless idiot. His words are no longer stupid, funny, or moronic; they are insidious and abusive. The president has used lies to fabricate a straw-man enemy that he calls the “radical-left” to prey on voters’ fears. He has watered the seeds of QAnon conspiracies that pedal disinformation to American citizens. If these examples are not enough to convince voters that Trump is a dangerous and destructive president, then it’s hard to tell what will. His racist term for the coronavirus, The China Virus,” shows the growing nationalist sentiment he is using to brainwash his voters. Trump’s cult of supporters is feeding his desire to be a dictator, and our democracy might be just broken enough to let it happen. 

Social media’s reaction to the humor of the debate indicated that Americans see Trump’s behavior as nothing more than child-like immaturity. Biden’s giggles and smirks were enjoyable at times, but he should have addressed how serious Trump’s actions and words are. Although Trump’s comments were laughable, this country needs to remember that the lives of our neighbors are not a joking matter. Trump’s blatant lies about the coronavirus — however absurd they are — are not funny. His incompetence and inability to let Biden finish his sentences were outright infuriating, not funny. To see that he feels so above the rules of the debate is concerning. 

At this point, it would be counterproductive to hold another debate if Biden and Trump continue to act like fools caught with their pants down instead of presidential candidates. The despicable, mind-boggling ninety minute crossfire between two of the worst candidates in American history showed that Americans should be very fearful. One can only hope that this fear will drive motivation to vote for Joe Biden to try to build back what we have lost, and to improve and restructure a government destroyed by the Trump administration. Stop laughing at Trump and start voting.