Senior Slugfest II: The Silent Generation Strikes Back



In the world of politics, nothing is more exciting than a good olde debate.  The brilliant exchange of ideas that can truly come from an exciting back and forth between two intellectual heavyweights who dominate in their areas of policy expertise is something to behold.

Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen this presidential election.  Joe Biden announced that he desperately wants to debate Donald Trump.  Everyone knows he’s only doing this because he’s down in every poll that matters, and some that don’t.  He’s down in the swing states, he’s down in the national popular vote, he’s even down in some purple districts in blue states (which will affect down ballot voting.) Joe Biden is the least popular president at this point in his presidency this century.  The Real Clear Politics polling average has Biden at 40.2% job approval.  Compare that to Bush’s 44.8%, Obama’s 48.9% and Trump’s 45.6%.  (And Trump was in the middle of a pandemic at this point.)

Biden’s unpopularity is completely explainable to anyone who has seen his talk or walk lately; two activities that his handlers are desperately trying to prevent the country from seeing.  His waddle to the Marine One helicopter recently became a group activity, with aids surrounding him to ensure that cameras don’t get a good look.  His reading of the stage directions off the teleprompter is becoming a weekly occurrence instead of a monthly one.  When he sits in the background, he looks like he just wants a warm bath and a bowl of oatmeal.  When he’s at the microphone, he either trails off, not knowing what he was talking about, or shouts insane claims, like he was Vice President during the pandemic. 

Compare that to Trump.  Trump, despite being only a few years younger than Biden, seems like he’s a different generation.  The media’s attempts to make Trump look as feeble as Biden failed spectacularly, especially when he goes on an impromptu comedy routine at every rally.  The extra nap time that Trump is taking during the sham show trial in New York is giving him the extra boost of energy when he’s campaigning.

This stark difference is precisely why Trump announced at a campaign even that he would demand a drug test for Biden.  “I don’t want him coming in like the State of the Union. He was high as a kite,” Trump said. If this offends anyone because it’s not the “normal” procedure for debates, just wait until you hear what Biden’s demands are.

Since 1988, Presidential debates are conducted after both sides make it known that they are willing to debate, and then the Commission on Presidential Debates acts as an arbiter between the two sides and works out the details.  Biden has broken this tradition with his list of unreasonable and ridiculous demands.

First, there must be no audience; the debates should occur in a television studio with just the candidates and the moderator present. Biden is too afraid that Trump’s natural charisma will win over the audience, and thus ensuring laugh lines and viral clips for social media.  

Second, the debates must be one-on-one, excluding third-party candidates like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. This is also ridiculous.  Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has been consistently polling around 10% when paired up against Biden and Trump.  In any other presidential debate with a third-party candidate, like 1992 and 1996 with Ross Perot, that would yield the candidate a spot on the stage.  Biden will have enough trouble contending with one adversary, he doesn’t want a second.  

Biden also limited the networks that can host the debates to CNN, ABC, CBS or Telemundo, claiming that these are “impartial” because these are the networks that hosted both 2016 Republican and 2020 Democratic Party debates.  In reality, each of those networks are partisan to the Left, like nearly all mainstream media.  You will not find one open Trump supporter at any of those networks.  When the Trump team pushed for a third debate hosted by Fox News, the Biden team scrambled from cover. 

Lastly, and most ridiculously, the candidates’ microphones must be muted once their allotted speaking time expires.  Biden is literally too scared to allow Trump to have an audience and a microphone.  

Despite all of these demands, Trump quickly accepted.  He knows that Biden can’t beat him fair and square, but for some reason Trump hasn’t learned that entering a rigged game isn’t going to help him.  For Trump to win this debate, he needs to let Biden tire himself out.  Biden has no record to run on.  He’s just going to accuse Trump of being too pro-life and too Trumpy.  Trump can hit Biden on the wars around the world, the economy, crime, the border, or anything else.  It’s questionable if Biden stays awake the entire time.  

These debates won’t be at the intellectual level of Lincoln-Douglas, but hopefully they’ll be entertaining.  

Moshe Hill is a political analyst and columnist. His work can be found at  and on X at @HillWithView.

Facebook Twitter  Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *