APPEL: A Cringeworthy, But Effective, Debate On Tuesday Night

If anyone had any idea that civility in politics really exists their image is now dashed. No doubt many in our nation cringed at the clash of personalities and philosophies that were on display for all to see in the first debate.

But if we peel back the obvious, dig down into the strategy that was employed, we may find a surprising conclusion. That conclusion is, though he turned off many who were already turned off, President Trump accomplished exactly what he set out to accomplish.

Trump in most cases stopped Biden’s debate efforts cold in their tracks. Biden’s goal was to demonstrate that he was not senile and that he could handle Trump. Further, despite all the evidence to the contrary he had to convince millions of voters that he, and not a behind the curtains coterie of 21st century Marxists such as AOC and Sanders, controlled Democrat policy and that he was not a figurehead that those on the Left would use to promote its goals.

In this Biden failed completely. He failed because of his inability to provide evidence to prove his points, but more so because he was never able to have the time to use what he had rehearsed. During his limited opportunities, he was never able to develop a consistent set of arguments to the cover up what voters were seeing with their own eyes every day on TV.

By not being able to do so Biden’s whole strategy for the debate was lost. After all he had spent months of valuable campaign time in repose in his basement rehearsing for his chance to sell a highly polished different image to America and Trump effectively prevented him from doing so. His goal was to portray an image crafted to wipe away his nearly fifty-year questionable record and the well-founded belief that if elected his Presidency would not be what he claims it would be. And he was particularly keen on avoiding any discussion of the corruption surrounding his son.

Whether by instinct or plan Trump simply overwhelmed Biden with his personality. Many I am sure were unhappy with Trump’s performance, but after his short time in the political arena his actions should have been of no big surprise. Clearly Trump was willing to sacrifice the sensibilities of many in order to prevent Biden from giving them the justification to vote for him. There were so many people that wanted so badly to hate Trump. They were hoping for Biden to justify an alternative to their conservative instincts but they were disappointed because Biden didn’t have the opportunity to give them anything, certainly no clear alternative, to support their impulse to vote against Trump. Now if they vote on emotion, they have no happy place to justify giving their vote to Biden. They will have to do so under the color of actual danger to their livelihood and their security that such a vote for Biden offers.


Biden’s frustration of not being able to employ his well-rehearsed strategy was palpable. As he became more frustrated all he could do was insult the President. But Trump fed on insults and the more Biden attacked, the more Trump fought back. This was exactly what Trump wanted. All the time that Biden threw insults igniting heated exchanges was time wasted. Biden wasn’t able to sell to voters that he was different than what they believe he and the Democratic Party truly are.

Do you see why Trump got what he wanted out of the debate? Of course, many will deride Trump for his manners and his abruptness, but after the debate they know nothing more about Biden than they already knew about his 47 years in politics. With Trump it’s what you see is what you get and his record of four years as President is powerful evidence that what Americans see is what they want in a President, things that have made their lives better.

Like him or not Trump accomplished his goals and Biden did not. In the end will it matter? Perhaps not, but for pure political theater the title of an old book, “The Medium is the Message,” says it all. In this case the application of this title is that goals and successes may not be what is proffered by Democrat friendly media hype. Instead, success must be measured by the mechanics of delivering the desired message. Or perhaps more profoundly in Trump’s case, the achieved goal was in blocking Biden as he desperately tried to use the medium to deliver his message.



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