Nobody won the debate, unless you count Chris Wallace


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After many campaign ads, tweets and an endless array of memes, on Tuesday, Sept. 29, the time came for President Trump and democratic nominee Joe Biden to face off in one of the worst debates many news anchors say they had ever seen.  

Trump debated using the usual style we know him well for: ridiculing, lying and interrupting. Many news outlets released articles fact-checking several statements he made; he lied about having the Sheriff of Portland’s support, setting up the best economy America has ever seen and, again, the validity of mail-in voting.  

Biden stated a couple lies of his own, including an incorrect statistic about crime reduction during his vice-presidency. And while he stood his ground a few times while speaking directly to the audience about COVID-19 and taxes, he still couldn’t always articulate what he seemed to be thinking during his smile-chortle combo.  

This all left the moderator, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, to keep the two candidates in line much like a teacher putting two hectic students in time out. In fact, with talk about giving future moderators the power to mute Trump and Biden’s mics, there could actually be a time out scenario for either candidate soon. 

The possibility of a virtual debate also seems to be gaining traction, due to Trump’s recent infection with COVID-19, along with 11 people who organized the debate. This could possibly leaving even more power to the moderator.  

In a New York Times interview, Wallace expressed his disappointment with the debate’s outcome, saying he didn’t think it would turn out the way it did. In my view, the chaos was easily predictable, but our hopes that our fears wouldn’t ring true led to unwarranted surprise. 


Wallace stopped Trump’s interruptions several times. In one instance, he reminded Trump that he agreed to the rules of the debate, specifically letting Biden speak without interruption. Still, this didn’t stop Trump, not by a long shot.


How can we tell kids to behave themselves when the two people running for one of the most powerful positions in America can’t respect basic conversational manners? In a true academic setting, interruptions and incorrect facts would merit punishment, but Biden and Trump will face no such consequences.


We could all learn a lesson from Wallace: when people aren’t following the rules to which they agreed, call them out on it and be firm. No one, no matter the power they hold, especially those with such influence, should be above respect. 

Steven Scully of C-SPAN and Kristen Welker of NBC will moderate the second and third debates on Oct. 15 and Oct. 22, respectfully. Hopefully they follow in Wallace’s footsteps, or this country will continue going backwards in its political discussions.