Courtesy of Joe Biden via Flickr under BY-NC-SA 2.0

With the recent news that President Trump contracted the coronavirus, speculation of whether or not a second debate would take place flooded the media. It soon became clear that both parties were a far cry from compromise, considering the Trump administration’s stubborn mindset to keep campaigning and debating in person with minimal social distancing. This ordeal has made one thing explicit: Donald Trump will continue to bully the left and mislead the population if he is continuously given a platform to do so. 

To truly understand everything, Trump’s base needs to be brought into question. President Trump has no real stance and will just pick what his fan base is amenable to. His followers have shown that they do not care about anything except for what Trump thinks is best. Consider, for example, that Trump’s miraculous recovery was the result of fetal tissue, and none of his supporters batted an eye despite the staunch pro-life stance many of them tout. Furthermore, it is hard to trust the politics behind the administration’s doctor’s notes because they could very well be downplaying the reports of his recovery, just as he has downplayed the virus in the past. There is also no transparency on when Trump first tested positive, so it is hard to trust the validity of his recovery.

Although President Trump claims that he has recovered, it was shown that he was coughing during phone interviews and looked sickly. This, in addition to his gross mishandling of the virus, will definitely sway voting away from Trump due to his premature rallies and irresponsible campaigning that failed to adhere to CDC guidelines. The way he makes light of a life-threatening virus while receiving the best medical care that citizens suffering from the virus cannot afford shows a lack of empathy and class. People should not be giving President Trump a platform to speak on a subject that he has no real experience of dealing with, considering the top care he has been given. The American people need to wake up and realize the flaws in how Trump has been handling and perceiving the virus.

The Trump administration has a knack for making the virus seem like no big deal and could very well use sympathy as a tool to mobilize supporters. It is not outside the realm of possibilities that the Trump administration could use right-wing media outlets to demonize the left and make them look insensitive toward the president’s condition. This is why it is so important that the left ends their silence. In today’s political climate, the saying “when they go low, we go high” is not substantial anymore. It is time that the left becomes more mobilized towards taking down such a hateful administration. The Trump campaign and other right-wing conservatives have never been ones to play nice, and it is time the left stands up to their bully-like tactics. 

When it comes to the debates, whether or not they happen in a traditional way, they have proven to lack effectiveness. Debates are all theatrics and have no real civility or substance. They are not informative because fact-checking only occurs after the fact, so there is no one stopping either party from spewing random facts that may not even be true. After the first presidential debate between Biden and Trump, the lack in decorum was obvious. Additionally, most people already have their minds made up on who they will vote for far before the debates take place. With this in mind, it is obvious that Trump voters will not be swayed. This is exactly why the left needs to be more unified and step up. If the left has a strong enough determination as Trump voters, the outcome of the election would not be a mystery. The left needs to mobilize its voters just as well as the right does, and the results would be overwhelmingly different, especially considering the left holds the majority of young, new voters

The left is not harsh enough in holding the president accountable for repeated offenses of blatant hate and bigotry. Countless times, the left has been weakened by the highly enthusiastic right, yet the left is always told to be the bigger person and turn the other cheek. By doing this, the left is only shooting themselves in the foot. If the roles were reversed and Biden were to refuse the debate, he would be met with endless animosity from conservatives about how weak he is, but when Trump denies a debate for selfish reasons, the left appears to not be equally as critical. 

In hindsight, there does not seem to be a solution that could be made in time to accommodate a COVID-19 free debate. No matter what accommodation is made, Trump will always believe that it is against him and berate the media for censorship. Unfortunately there does not seem to be a way for both parties to come to any sort of agreement. An online debate would go against Trump’s narrative, and he would not be able to dominate the conversation like he always does. The only way decorum would be brought back to the debates is if there was an unbiased moderator who can fact check on the spot and mute mics, but that seems highly unlikely to happen.

The time has come for real change instead of lip service. Not only has the continuous platform given to the Trump administration gone on for far too long, it is also a danger to everything America has the potential to be. This administration has unraveled any progress the United States has made as a nation and is trying to push the country back into the 20th century. This cannot go unnoticed, and the American people need to put a stop to it.


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    The Highlander editorials reflect the majority view of the Highlander Editorial Board. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Associated Students of UCR or the University of California system.