Debates Politics USA

What the Great Debate Tells us About Trump and Biden

Watching the media before and afterwards the 2nd Presidential debate has so frustrated me that I thought I would write my own report and score card.   Some of the reports and selected ‘highlights’ to me gave a false impression.  And it’s not just in the US – whose media is so partisan and dumbed down that it is a bigger threat to democracy than any of the candidates.  To a lesser degree that is also true of the media in other countries. For example, as I write I am watching ABC here in Australia and the bias is clear – for example talking about Trump’s tax but not Bidens family deals with Russia and China. Their ‘expert’ just spent time trashing Trump and building up Biden.

The debate itself was so much better than the last one (a low bar).  Although I thought the format was biased against Trump (it did not for example deal with the key issues for both sides of the Supreme Court, abortion and the culture wars), in some ways it suited him better.    There was actual debate and to some extent both candidates came across better.   Biden came across as less senile and more together than previously – Trump more presidential and less bullish.  The moderator was excellent, and I think her handling plus the threat of the mute button worked wonders.  Even the Sydney Morning Herald had to admit that Trump had learned from the previous debate.  So, who won?  And what did we learn. Let’s score it by subject.

Covid

 This should have been the strongest one for Biden.  It’s Trump’s Achilles heel.   Trump argued amongst other things –  “  We have a vaccine that’s ready….it’s not a guarantee but it will be by the end of the year.”  “we are learning to live with this – we can’t lock ourselves up like Joe does in a basement”“I take full responsibility.  It’s not my fault it came here..it’s Chinas.  Nor is it Joes fault.”“New York is a ghost town…its dying – plexi glass dividers in restaurants are not the answer..everyone is leaving New York”

 Biden’s response was strong but at some points ridiculous.  He argued that Trump was personally responsible for the 220,000 deaths and implied that if he was President then he would have prevented them.   Europe is the new growth spot for Covid, 200,000 per day just now.  Does Biden blame Macron and Merkel for every death in their countries?  He also went on to say that there would be another 200,000 deaths by the end of the year.

He stated  that 100,000 lives would be saved by wearing masks – masks seemed to be his answer to everything.  “I would make sure that everyone was encouraged to wear a mask all the time”.  All the time?!

The claims about Trump being responsible for every death were matched only by his claim that he would end Covid.  “I will take care of this.  I will end this.  I will make sure we have a plan.  “I’m going to shut down the virus not the country”.

There was one somewhat amusing faux pas…After stating :  “I don’t look at this in terms of blue states and red states the way he does, they are all the United States” , he immediately went on to contradict himself; “look at the states that are having such a spike, they are the red states.”  Of course, this clip appeared in none of the news reports!

So, somewhat surprisingly I give this round to Trump.  1:0

 2) National Security

 This was less about national security and more about each other’s corruption.   Firstly Trump “Joe got $3.5 million from Russia and it came through Putin…I never got any money from Russia…..You and your family were raking in money from Russia when you were vice-President.”  Biden countered by saying that Gulani was being used as a Russian pawn.  That he would make anyone who interfered with US elections pay (a report today said that the Iranians and the Russians were seeking to destabilise the US elections – the Iranians in favour of Biden – along with the Chinese- and the Russians in favour of Trump).

Biden made a strong attack on Trumps financial affairs – “I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever – but this President….He has not released his tax returns…Russia and China are paying you a lot.”

Trump responded “I will release my tax accounts…..I pre-paid tens of millions of dollars in terms of tax.  I have bank accounts all over the place…I closed my Chinese one before I ran for President”.  Before going on to again question Hunter Bidens deals with China and Russia. .

I think that Biden likes to portray himself as an honest ‘folksy’ person – of good character compared with the dishonest charlatan Trump.  But I don’t buy it.  He lied in this debate when he stated,  “My son did not make any money from China”. The book Hidden Hand details and evidences Biden’s lie.   In Dec 2013 Vice President Biden flew to China.  He took his son Hunter on Airforce two.  Two weeks later Hunter Biden’s firm was founded in June 2013, finalised a deal to open a fund, BHR partners, whose largest partner is the government run Bank of China  even though he had scant background in private equity.  This is reckoned to have benefited Hunter Biden by $20 million personally.   Biden’s son made millions from China – and Biden knew it.

“I would make China pay by the international rules not like he has done.  They have to play by the rules. “.   Biden then went on to make another statement that if Trump had made would have resulted in widespread media ridicule. “We had a good relationship with Hitler before he invaded the rest of Europe”

Because of these kinds of statements and the failure to deal with the denials of his family profiting from Russia and China, Biden lost this round.

2:0

American Families and the Economy

 Trumps most effective counter on this (as on other subjects) was the retort“He was there for 47 years. Eight years as vice-President – and he didn’t do it…” – to which Biden’s response was we did something and anyway I wasn’t President – implicitly suggesting that he would be better than Obama.   Biden had some strong arguments here – for example – “Health care is not a privilege, it’s a right”.  This section was a surprise to me – I thought Trump would be stronger, but Biden won it clearly.

2:1

Immigration.

 Trump’s most effective argument was to point out that Biden had eight years to do what he said he would do and all he did was build cages.   Biden made the strong, and to my mind irrefutable point that it is criminal to separate children from their parents and he promised to give citizenship to 11 million illegal immigrants.  This was a closer round but still went to Biden.

 2:2

Race

 Trump made some strong points and some ridiculous ones – “No one has done more for the black community than Donald Trump with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln…Joe in 1994 called them ‘super predators.   “I ran because of you – you had eight years and you did nothing”  “I am the least racist person in the room…“All talk no action with these politicians…why didn’t you get it done..?”

Biden was weak on what should have been a strong point although I liked his “No one should go to jail because of drugs”.  He claimed the evidence of his son’s corruption was a Russian plant and accused Trump of pouring fuel on every racial issue.

Again, this round surprised me – after it I could see why there now is significant support for Trump in the African American and Latino communities.  Trump won.

3:2

Climate Change

Trump argued that the US has the cleanest air and environment standards.  That Biden’s plan would be an economic disaster and cost $100 trillion.  That the US was energy independent. He made a strong case to which Biden had a weak answer.

I didn’t appreciate the apocalyptic ‘we have only ten years’ to save the planet.   It won’t cost $100 trillion. And then this extraordinary statement – “I never said I oppose fracking – show the tape – put it on the website” . Trump responded to that challenge by posting this….https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1319466667676749824?s=20

But the big one was when Trump asked, “Would you close down the oil industry”.  To which Biden replied –  “I would have a transition from the oil industry…yes because the oil industry pollutes and needs to be replaced by renewals”.I suspect the promise to close down the oil industry is not going to go down well in Texas. This was Trump’s clearest win.

Conclusion:

Overall, I had Trump winning the debate 4:2 – but I suspect it will make little difference.  Biden has the money, the media,  and the madness of Covid hysteria on his side.  In terms of the money he has Wall Street, the Chinese and Big Tech on his side. In terms of the media he gets a free pass on every ridiculous statement and every accusation of corruption.  If Trump had argued that the US was good friends with Hitler, or that he was going to cure Covid or make China abide by the Paris agreement – he would be rightly pilloried by the commentariat – but when Biden makes these claims it is ignored.  It’s not just that the media class in the US (and to some extent in the rest of the Western world) has a bias against Trump – it’s that they have a visceral hatred for him. This hatred so colours their coverage that it has become a sick joke.

Summary:

I think that Donald Trump is a liar and a financial charlatan.  It is to me astounding that he was ever made President.  But as President he has largely kept his promises and done some good things.  If it were not for Covid he would almost certainly have been re-elected – and may yet still be.

Joe Biden is generally portrayed as a decent man who has been involved in public service for 47 years.  He will almost certainly be elected because of who he is not.  Biden made it clear he wanted this election to be about character – “You know who I am you know who he is….you know his character; you know my character….”

The trouble is that this debate proved to me that Biden is as much a liar and financial charlatan as Trump.  He lied about fracking.  He lied about his son not profiting from China and, if the e-mails found on his sons’ computer are real (and so far, this has not been denied) he lied about not knowing about his sons’ dealings with Russia and Ukraine.  For most of the media and commentariat such is their hatred of Trump,  this is not a major deal.  For me it is a deal breaker in that it puts him on the same moral character with Trump.  Combined with his mental and physical condition this means he will be a weak, even a puppet, President – who will do well to last the four years and certainly will not get a second term.  For the rest of the world  – the Middle East, those nations threatened by China, the UK and Australia, a Biden presidency will be a disaster.

My other problems with Biden’s character was his attempt to blame Trump for every single death of people with Covid.  He either knows that this is false, or he genuinely thinks that an American President has the power to prevent and control the virus.  Such dishonesty or stupidity is not desirable in a future President.

If you believe that Joe Biden will cure Covid, deal with China, solve climate change, heal race relations, deal with America’s health crisis,  and restore faith in US democracy,- or even go some of the way to doing these things –  then go ahead and vote for him.  But let’s not pretend that such a vote is somehow one based upon moral character.

If you believe that Trump will be a better President, and that, he will restore the economy, come through Covid, deal with China, get a new health deal, and deal with the culture wars – then go ahead and vote for him.  But let’s not pretend that such a vote is based upon Trump being some kind of Christian champion who should be defended at all costs.

I am more and more drawn to John Piper’s position exemplified in this article this week.  https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/policies-persons-and-paths-to-ruin

Whatever happens I cannot see any good solution to this situation.  I don’t know the answer – I’m thankful I don’t have a vote in the US election.  I don’t envy those who do.  We must all pray that God will have mercy upon the USA.  This beautiful hymn by John Whittier should be the prayer of all the Lord’s people.

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
forgive our foolish ways;
reclothe us in our rightful mind,
in purer lives thy service find,
in deeper reverence, praise.

2. In simple trust like theirs who heard,
beside the Syrian sea,
the gracious calling of the Lord,
let us, like them, without a word,
rise up and follow thee.

3. O sabbath rest by Galilee,
O calm of hills above,
where Jesus knelt to share with thee
the silence of eternity,
interpreted by love!

4. Drop thy still dews of quietness,
till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace.

5. Breathe through the heats of our desire
thy coolness and thy balm;
let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.

Quantum 117 – Babylon Bee; Covid; the Boss; Transhomomisogny; Pope and Chalke; China; Dreams; Euthanasia; Decapitation; Pam Ayers; Mary Whitehouse;  California;  Life; Eric Bibb

Is Donald Trump the Christian President?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19 comments

  1. ‘Biden then went on to make another statement that if Trump had made would have resulted in widespread media ridicule. “We had a good relationship with Hitler before he invaded the rest of Europe”’
    What was the context of Biden’s statement about Hitler, David?

    1. He was talking about a good relationship with China and North Korea…but the issue is that it was historical nonsense which he prefaced by saying ‘come on man’ as though everyone knew that America had a good relationship with Hitler. It was bizarre!

  2. The moral case for Trump may be simply that Trump enriched his family through a lifetime in business while Biden enriched his family through a lifetime in politics.

  3. Excellent evaluation of the debate dear brother. Your political comments are always very helpful and much appreciated.

    Personally, for me it’s a no-brainer. I’d thankfully vote for Trump if I was in the US.

    Trump – pro-life, pro-free speech, pro-freedom of religion, pro-two genders, capitalist, pro-secure border, pro-patriotism, pro standing up to China, pro-Israel, pro-police funding, pro-military funding and Climate and Covid-19 sensible!

    Biden – pro abortion up to birth (and maybe after birth!), authoritarian/progressive (anti-free speech & and anti-freedom of religion), pro-multiple genders, Marxist/socialist, globalist, pro-no secure border, pro-China, pro-Hamas (dressed up as pro-Palestine), pro-defunding police, pro-reducing military funding and he is Climate and Covid-19 cuckoo (like most progressives are)!

    Add to that the fact that Trump has a godly VP and godly advisors in Ben Carson etc whereas Biden has a rampantly progressive VP and very liberal advisors and there is a clear winner!

    Both Trump and Biden have history of corruption, sexual sins and telling lies and that is truly tragic, but to be fair apart from Angela Merkel I struggle to name a UK or European political leader that hasn’t publically committed one or all of these sins? Boris, Macron, Nicola etc? Are they really any better?

    So why are we so hard on Donald?

    Whilst we do not excuse or negate Donald’s sins, and we pray for his (and Joe’s) souls, I can’t help thinking we as Christians are looking a gift horse in the mouth?

    A Trump Presidency is bad but a Biden Presidency would be much, much worse!

    1. Well said David: Agreeing with most of your comments. I’ve had some falling outs on social media with some of my Scottish acquaintances who believe everything they see on CNN and BBC is true.

      I don’t think for a minute that President Trump is a righteous person but then neither am I. He’s done some bad things in his life as have I. Thankfully mine weren’t publicized to the extent his were, I like to think I’ve changed for the better and possibly he does as well.

      He’s not a politician and that’s a plus to me, no one owns him. He gave up a good life to do this, most get into politics to make a “good” life, the Bidens for example and many others of both parties. That’s another good thing many leading Republicans don’t like him either. I’m not voting for a Pastor, (you’d get my vote there) I’m voting for a President.

      The bottom line for me, abortion! President Trump is appointing judges who have stated positions against the murder of the unborn. If he does nothing else that would make him a great President in my eyes. I can’t stand the hypocrisy of Biden and most Democrats who say they are Catholic but believe the killing of babies is OK.

      I’m a believer and have worshipped at St. Peter’s many times, even before you and we attend the Free Church in St. Andrews when we are allowed to visit our kids. Looking forward to doing that again soon.

      Appreciate your thoughtful analysis.

  4. As for the two Biden wins, I lost my job at age 62 and my wife and I went on Obamacare. By the time I was 65 and finally got onto Medicare, my savings were gone. We are living “give us this day our daily bread” even though I was able to get some contract work for a short time. It is an insult to say it is “affordable.” Many Americans opted to go uninsured and pay the tax penalty. Trump challenged Congress to replace it with something that is affordable, but since they are well protected with free insurance, and rich, they have lost contact with what “affordable” means.

    And as for the immigration, my wife is an immigrant. She grew up in El Paso, TX, where there were two sets of rules: American rules and rules for the illegal Mexican aliens crossing the border. She and I are all for immigration – done the right way. When in the Army, I was stationed in West Germany, and we still have friends there. They state that the German economy is tanked due to the flood of refugees into the country, one stating that the country is now filthy. With Biden’s oil shutdown and taxing the large companies and rich (leading to additional lay-offs – since the rich will not lose money), the USA would suffer greatly with a few million illegal immigrants to take care of in addition to those losing work.

    So, I do not buy Biden winning on any count – in the debate. As for the election, I am praying for America, whoever wins.

  5. I agree with you for the most part, but I don’t think that President Trump is a charlatan. I know that the Trump family is rich, but the President inherited wealth and grew it. Biden, on the other hand, enriched himself while he was serving as an elected member of the Senate and then Vice President. There is no choice for me but to vote for President Trump since he supports pro-life and is much more conservative fiscally than the spend liberally and socialistically idealist Biden. His statements blaming American deaths on the President were ridiculous. It is the CHINA virus and I’m not convinced that China did not release the virus purposely in order to derail the Trump presidency. Sad to think that is a possibility, but I truly believe it. After all, China was not winning the trade war and it is a Communist country that wants to replace the U.S. as a super power. If Biden wins, I fear that China wins, too.

  6. Agree completely with your lists regarding Trump and Biden – what I find impossible to understand is why anyone would therefore think a Trump presidency would be bad and Biden presidency worse? Of course a Biden presidency would be worse but why would a Trump presidency be bad? What for a Christian is there to take issue with if Trump is elected – particularly with reference to religious freedom, surely one of the biggest issues for any Christian? I cannot therefore go along with the ‘no good choices’ narrative when you look at the broad spread of policies each candidate represents. It ought to be a no brainer.

    The character of candidates is an important factor but there stated policies are far more important and Trump has a track record of honestly keeping his word – an incredibly rare quality for any politician.

    There is a further reason why every Christian should vote for Trump and that is peace. If Biden wins I can almost guarantee that China will invade Taiwan as they will think he and the Democrats will do nothing – the Chinese will be correct but it will be appeasing an evil regime all over again and we know where that leads.

  7. Thank you for the pointer to John Piper: an unusually temperate and Biblically literate post.
    Like you, I’m thankful it’s not a choice I have to make – may God be with those who do.

    1. I would like to read the email that you spoke about but the link does not load. I ,personally disagree wholeheartedly with Piper! He is nothing more than an opinionated, mean spirited, self righteous, judge mental Baptist! Is Donald Trump a perfect man? No… neither was King David! How dare Piper say that Trump was unrepentant…Can he look into Trump*s spirit and see Truth?….NO! We will know them by their fruit! The President is working hard everyday putting up with the haters because he knows that our Freedoms are at stake! He is not even taking his paycheck…he is donating it! He is unashamed to stand and fight for the unborn and those that survive abortion, He is honoring Israel while not asking them to give up the land given to them…Trump is a warrior and a patriot ! He humbles himself daily as people near and far lift him up before Almighty God! He is not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Sadly, Piper is the one deceived and doing harm to the Kingdom! Try on some humility yourself

  8. The result is important for what is known as the “free world”.
    While principles and policies they are increasingly not separated from personality on the one hand; on the other for many years there has been a compartmentalism, where public life has been separated from private life so that lack of integrity in private makes little or no difference to the manner in which public life is discharge.
    One key element in public service in England and Wales, was that a private profit could not be made from a public sector position. The putting into effect that policy caused a parliamentary expenses scandal, not to many years ago.
    What weight does integrity play in the election?
    I suppose if there was one overall category which Piper’s piece would fit, it could be integrity.
    David, above, has highlighted some areas in which the voters could test integrity in the debates, the policies and candidates.
    For what it is worth, Trump was first and foremost a businessman, not a career politician. He seems to have carried that through into his Presidency.
    Maybe, I’m wrong, but he seems to be a conviction President, not a politician President. That is obviously a too simplistic drilling down of the issues.
    As for England and Wales, seeing Scotland wants to go it alone, what do both candidates see as beneficial trade deals with us and what influence would both seek to have over us through economic measures within those deals.

    1. “… seeing Scotland wants to go it alone, …”

      With respect, it is the SNP that wants Scotland to “go it alone” – except, of course, when Mrs. Murrell demands yet more cash from the UK exchequer! – not “Scotland”. The referendum of 2014 made that abundantly clear. The current Covid-19 situation has surely made clear that, certainly under an SNP administration, Scotland needs the unity of the UK.

  9. Sometimes in my comments ( thank you, David ) I have mentioned Christianity unsympathetically, while not forgetting or regretting a Scottish Presbyterian past for which many blog readers doubtless feel an increasingly hopeless nostalgia.

  10. Trump or Biden? God and Trump ?or Biden and China ?
    Money or Freedom ?
    FREEDOM !!!! In the film ,Braveheart ,acted by Mel Gibson .A screaming William Wallace ….FREEDOM!!! …and then they charge …and we all watch wondering what is going to be the end …
    Fortunately God has not left his throne .Wallace was betrayed …but this article isn’t about Scotland’s separation from UK ,it’s about an appointment for a President to govern and lift the human discouraged heart of good decision making and separation from wrong doing. This means God has to be involved ,included ,invested …It means self has to take a seat .
    God already knows the outcome for today and the days to come with America and China and the world .
    I think ,John Piper’ s heart is writing about an ending in the spiritual realms of Heaven which will come when are our hearts are embracing Love for ‘ Our King ‘ in heaven with Surrendered Self in Love with Him.No Luke warm hearts.Currently on planet earth we need this too !!!
    Two men stand before us and God ,one is barking! ,Biden Barks! ,and one is
    trumping ! Trump Trumps !in their own self interest .
    And we the audience are the same barking our opinions and trumping our
    remarks ! Thank goodness as Piper writes our ending is spiritual not earthly !
    With this in mind and hopefully in heart : God will make a way ,either way, for his Work to be done .However ,when ‘ Jesus ‘ was dying for us all on the Cross of Calvary there were two men with him also on crosses ,and one asked for forgiveness .A Freedom pass was given by grace .
    Wallace died for ‘ Freedom’ but which one ? Maybe ‘ Both’ .
    God Loves Trump and Biden but if like the man on the cross beside , Jesus, acknowledged who he was ,I believe the man closer in his heart to God will do Gods work and the other man on the cross ….there was no mention what happened to him ? But he did die .America will have a President either way bringing life or death with his decision making which in turn will Kill of America or bring Life back into America .
    I hope it’s the latter …..

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