Cardella: Debate Guide – South Philly Review

With the first presidential debate just four days away, here’s your guide to watching the debate.

Chapter One — Saving Lives during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Mr. Trump is sure to mention during the debate that the restrictions he placed on travel to and from China saved hundreds of thousands of lives. No such evidence supports his claim. It appears that travel restrictions, at most, delayed the spread of the virus, but did nothing to contain it. Trump will falsely accuse his opponent of being against placing travel restrictions on China. Mr. Biden did accuse the president of being “xenophobic” but not specifically in response to the afore-said restrictions. While Mr. Biden appears to be a bit too fond of the word “xenophobic” and has a taste for dim sum, there is NO evidence that he is soft on China.

Chapter Two — The Greatest Economy Ever.

Mr. Trump will claim that he had built the greatest economy in the history of the world until that damn plague from China came along. The economy was good — not great — for top-wage earners also known as “those folks at Mar-a-Lago.” But low-wage earners still couldn’t dine at Capital Grille. The federal minimum wage has not been raised in 11 years. As for that booming stock market that the president will undoubtedly praise at some point in the debate, only 18.7% of Americans directly own stocks. Only about 56% of Americans own a 401 (k). Let’s not be ungrateful, though. President Trump does have an historic achievement in this area. Never in the history of this country have so many people filed for unemployment in a six-month period.

Chapter Three — The Greatest Right-To-Life President Ever.

Mr. Trump is very proud of his right-to-life credentials and will be sure to point that out. He will not mention that he was just as passionately pro-choice until he decided to run for president. The origins of his conversion, some skeptics claim, were not in a spiritual awakening, but lay in the president’s political ambitions. Mr. Trump will correctly point out that he HAS appointed two pro-life justices to the Supreme Court. Only a spoil-sport would point out that the president’s interest in children does not seem to extend to immigrant children still being separated from their families at the border. Indeed, Mr. Trump’s fondness for the young and the innocent seems not to go much beyond that magical moment when the fetus turns into an infant at the moment of birth. The president will falsely charge Mr. Biden, a devout Catholic, for favoring abortion right up until the moment when an infant is wrapped in swaddling clothes.

Chapter Four — Guns and the Second Amendment.

Mr. Trump is reportedly squeamish about weapons, but that hasn’t stopped him from promising that he will never let “them” take your guns away. Neither school shootings nor the murder of law enforcement officers on the streets of our cities has caused the president to waver from this position. Some hint that Mr. Trump is deferring to his two adult sons in this area, both noted for proudly posing with large animals they’ve killed with their guns. The president knows that his constituents are genuinely convinced that “they” (defined loosely as liberals, all of whom look suspiciously like Nancy Pelosi) are after their weapons, though no prominent Democrat has ever voiced such a plan. Gun owners see a slippery slope whenever controls on weapons are suggested. Mr. Biden may remind them that requiring driving licenses hasn’t, at least so far, resulted in any of their cars being taken away.

Chapter Five — The Looters and Rioters.

The president insists on being called “the law and order” president, though one wonders whether — if that’s the case — why so many of his associates are in need of pardons. Be that as it may, Mr. Trump will emphasize that if his opponent gets elected, we’ll all be starring in a remake of the film THE ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13. Mr. Biden will likely counter that whatever rioting and looting IS taking place today is occurring while Mr. Trump is president. It should be noted that Mr. Trump occasionally forgets that HE is the president. How else to explain his displeasure over his opponent not issuing a national mandate on wearing a mask? Neither the president nor his supporters love the First Amendment — the right to peacefully assemble — as much as they do the Second Amendment.


In the course of the debate, Mr. Trump will make the case that he is the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln (some Trump fans seem to think even Lincoln’s presidency has been eclipsed in these last three and a half years). This columnist agrees that this has indeed been an historic presidency. One need only point out that Mr. Trump is the first president to have his businesses file for bankruptcy six times prior to running. He was granted five deferments from the draft, allowing him to have escaped capture and subsequently being labeled a “loser” like John McCain. The president has had the longest-running tax audit ever. And became the first U.S. president to ever fall madly in love with Kim Jong-un. He is also the first American president to prize the veracity of Vladimir Putin over that of his own intelligence service. Notable achievements all.

You can follow Tom Cardella on Facebook.

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