I’m not going to say who I thought won or lost today’s presidential debate. That’s because I’m a former debater from Brookside High School in Sheffield, Ohio, and realize that presidential debates are not debates at all. They are forums (or “fora” if you’re a perfectionist.) They cannot be scored by rules of the National Forensic Speech Association. Those debates are scored according to points by either destructing an opponent’s case or making a case your opponent does not destruct.

My first debate topic, on which I drew “pro”, was Resolved: The United States Should Have Socialized Medicine.”  That was in the early 50s and I won. I barely knew what socialized medicine was. I just did better research with a one-hour time limit.

The real winner tonight was Kristin Welker of NBC News, the moderator. She kept it all on track  with very low key moderation and great questions. No zingers like we heard in Debate #1. And Donald Trump pretty much did shut up when his time was up.

He lied a lot. Sorry, but every news agency except Breitbart News is reporting that. He predicted Republicans would re-take the House, which is rated an impossibility.

Biden didn’t make any of those boo-boos he’s been famous for.

Obamacare didn’t get settled. Trump wants it gone and says the GOP will come up with a better plan later. Biden has divorced himself from Sanders and AOC and promises Obamacare plus your right to purchase private insurance if that’s what you want.

Trump said Biden was getting money from Russia, which I didn’t understand. I’ve never heard that before. Biden said Trump had a banking account in China, but in fact he closed that before he ran for the presidency.

I do wish Trump would release his tax records. Maybe he did pay many millions in estimated tax and was left only $750 short at the end of the tax year. But we need to see that for ourselves.

I do wish Biden were younger. He’s headed, by the polls, into a very stressful job for a 77 year old.

I didn’t learn anything new about either candidate today. One’s very right and one’s center-left. Biden seems to bring more dignity to the job. Trump appeals to the less-educated whites, and there are a lot of those in  our country who feel neglected.

I sense that Democrats, nationally and here, need a total makeover. They’re becoming Whigs. They’ve drifted elitist. They’ve ignored blue collar workers and their families. Sometime between the 1860s and 1936, the Democratic party of small government became the party of big government, and the Republican party of big government became committed to curbing federal power.

The polls seem to say we’re headed for the party of big government.


Published by Bob Jones

Journalist since age 19. St. Petersburg Times, Noticias y Viajes in Madrid, Overseas Weekly in Frankfurt and Paris, the Louisville Courier- Journal, the Honolulu Advertiser, KGMB-TV, NBC News foreign correspondent in Africa and Southeast Asia, and MidWeek columnist. LL.B LaSalle University Law. 3 years in the U.S. Air Force. Covered: Biafran War in Nigeria (1968) Vietnam War (1969-73), Iraq in 1991. George Foster Peabody Award for distinguished journalism for reporting in China. 2 Emmys for documentaries. Married to journalist Denby Fawcett; one daughter. Brett Jones, foreign service officer, State Department.

One reply on “A Difference Of Styles”

  1. What a great job you did of summarizing lasts notes third debate. I liked it. I am hanging in there during Queen of Coronas visit to planet Earth but I want to see us being manners back, while I am working to hold on to my sanity during the pandemic.

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