Where do things stand on economic recovery?

Where do things stand on economic recovery?
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The Guardian

America is suffering. Presidential debate offered no help

Donald Trump spent the evening whining in a circus of vanity, lies and hostility With over 200,000 Americans dead from Covid-19, the economy in tatters, the West on fire, schools closed, police brutality Against the still rampant blacks, and millions of Americans grieving, frightened and unable to recognize their lives, the first of three presidential debates on Tuesday night came at a time of pain, despair and anxiety for the people American. The debate itself reflected absolutely none of this concern. It was a display of vulgarity and selfishness that insulted Americans and that she was meant to persuade. For over 90 minutes, instead of a substantive discussion of the multiple ongoing national emergencies that have turned their lives upside down, viewers saw three white old men – Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and Fox News’ Chris Wallace, in principle the moderator – interrupting, shouting at, and insulting each other. The rudeness, dishonesty and majesty exhibited was a mockery of the dignity of the electoral process and a slap in the face to Americans whose lives will be shaped by the actions of the next president. Almost all of the evening’s chaos can be blamed, of course, on President Donald Trump, who spent the evening lying and distorting his own record, his opponent’s record, President Obama’s record, ‘Hillary Clinton, the records of several Senators and Congressional Democrats, and the state of fires, crime, economic activity, rates of coronavirus infection and the distribution of ballots in various states and American regions. He wrongly claimed that Joe Biden supported “socialist medicine”. He wrongly claimed that Joe Biden supported a Green New Deal. He wrongly asserted that Joe Biden opposes the police. And he claimed, wrongly, that Joe Biden would have had the power to prevent the spread of the coronavirus epidemic during his tenure as senator, vice president and presidential candidate. Trump has made several allusions to conspiracy theories which are popular on the right-wing internet but which are largely incomprehensible to anyone not already immersed in this world, a rhetorical choice that signaled that Trump either made a strategic decision to appeal to its base rather than the court. voters undecided, or that he, like the more enthusiastic members of his base, spends much of his time online searching for his name on Google. In an exchange that was ugly even by evening’s standards, Biden brought up the military service of his late son, Beau, and Trump interrupted to counter that Biden’s other son, Hunter, had been struggling with drug addiction. When he wasn’t lying, Trump was talking about his time, complaining about the moderator, undermining the election, and insulting Joe Biden’s children. At one point, asked to disown the white supremacists, he instead addressed the racist group known as the Proud Boys directly, telling them to “stand by”. At another point, he called on his supporters to deploy to “watch” the ongoing vote. It was difficult not to interpret these comments as threats to incite his supporters to racist violence if the elections go well. And Trump seems convinced it won’t. His closing remarks were aimed at insisting that the election would be illegitimate if he lost. “This is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen it before,” he said. “It’s a rigged election.” Meanwhile, Joe Biden challenged Trump, sometimes successfully, on the state of the country. He spoke of the staggering number of dead coronaviruses and highlighted the grief of those who stayed behind, who loved them. He referred to the Trump administration’s attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Obama-era health care expansion that extended insurance to millions of people during the pandemic. He spoke of the failing economy, shrinking jobs and tax cuts for the richest as the majority of Americans face tightening belts and increasingly shrinking prospects. At times, too, he spoke of the corruption and cruelty of Trump himself, calling on the president on his alleged tax dodging, as recently highlighted in the New York Times, Trump’s racist whistles and his embrace of white supremacists, and his refusal to agree to a peaceful transfer of power in the event of loss. Biden, who leads the national polls by an unusually large margin and has an advantage over Trump in many crucial transitional states, was prompted to do little news on the debate stage and therefore only had one task for the night: to preserve his dignity. talking to Donald Trump. It was a Herculean task and Biden met it with mixed success. Debating Donald Trump is like debating a chimpanzee: he is less likely to provide a thoughtful and substantive response than he is to throw his own excrement at you. It was difficult for the former vice president to make clear and complete statements to the public amid Trump’s assaults, a reality he tried to confront head-on. “It’s hard to get anything with this clown,” he says. Biden has referred to Trump as a clown on several occasions and has been outspoken in his exasperation and contempt, often looking straight at the camera and directing his frustrations not to Trump or the moderator, but to viewers at home. “Friends, do you have any idea what this clown is doing?” he asked the audience. At other times, he frankly disdained Trump. “Do you want to shut up, man?” He asked. The approach was refreshing in that it did not grant Trump any authority, decency, or respect – courtesies he didn’t deserve and tends to use against those who demonstrate them. But watching Joe Biden address Trump with such outspoken and deserved frankness, while relieving, also reminded me a bit too much of Hillary Clinton’s attempts to express politeness and patience in her own debates against Trump in the contest. of 2016. Biden treated Trump with the disdain and impatience that Trump deserves. But he could only have been so frankly dismissive because he was a man. What was the purpose of tonight’s debate? The circus of vanity, lies and hostility certainly didn’t reveal anything new about the candidates, and it would be laughable to suggest that the exchange was productive for the democratic process. Although Tuesday’s debate was yet another low point in national embarrassment, televised presidential debates were unnecessary for a time, still light in substance and heavy on spectacle. Perhaps it would be better to recognize these events for what they are: not real exchanges intended to inform the electorate, but reality shows intended to increase the ratings of the big networks. Maybe that’s why Donald Trump loves them so much. He doesn’t seem interested in fulfilling the duties of his office or meeting the challenges of the nation, but he’s very, very interested in being on television. * Moira Donegan is an American columnist for The Guardian

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