Editorial: The first “debate” shows that Trump is not just a bad president. He’s a bad person.

Let’s start with what President Donald Trump did not do on Tuesday night.

He did not quickly, completely, and in a complete and cohesive sentence condemn white supremacy. He did not urge supporters – in the looming weeks of regular and legitimate counting of postal ballots that voters should expect after the November 3 election – to remain calm during this extended period and not engage in civil unrest. And he didn’t behave in the ways almost everyone learned in kindergarten.

Trump’s bullying and brutal behavior on Tuesday night in his first debate with Democratic opponent Joe Biden – in which he interrupted relentlessly Biden and ignored the rules of debate despite repeated warnings from moderator Chris Wallace – made for the worst presidential debate of the modern era.

Biden not only refused to be dragged into losing his temper, as Trump clearly hoped, but the former vice president also stayed on the message – repeatedly stressing that he would bring decency back to Washington, DC, and calm the chaos created by the incumbent. In a nation that has yet to truly and collectively mourn over 200,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19, Biden has spoken directly to Americans with “an empty chair at the kitchen table” as Trump walked away. took to him: “You would have lost a lot more people.” … A lot more people.

It is not a game, Mr President, if we can stick to the decorum that you have allowed to languish. And Tuesday night, it was not a debate. It was a horror sight. Trump’s constant interruptions to his rival created an infuriating and bewildering spectacle – leading commentators around the world have called the debate symbol of american decline. The announcement made on Wednesday by the Presidential Debates Commission that it would have changing the rules to make the next two debates more orderly and productive has been a relief – though no one believes Trump is going to give in unless he is muted.

He also doesn’t stop lying. In defending his response to the coronavirus pandemic, the president rewriting history, denying the fact that for months – even as the virus ravaged Asia and Europe – he played down the threat and rejected calls to stockpile personal protective equipment. He ignored the idea that by refusing to wear a mask he was encouraging Americans’ dangerous behavior. He even pulled one out of a pocket like he was Gallagher, it was a prop and it was stand-up comedy. Then he made fun of Biden for wearing one more regularly.

On issues of racial justice, Trump’s statement that the radically racist Proud Boys should ‘stand back and stand by’ was a stark reminder of his 2017 comment on racist and counter-protesters in Charlottesville , Virginia, that there were “great people on both sides.”

Asked about the “science of climate change,” Trump said that “we are responding to it in phenomenal ways” – when in fact, the United States is by far the only Western nation that most undermines international efforts to respond to it. the existential threat posed by the world. becomes hotter and drier.

Then the president questioned the legitimacy of the election. He suggested that the tens of millions of mail-in ballots made necessary by the pandemic will lead to “fraud like you’ve never seen.” And he suggested that the Conservative Supreme Court majority get ready to replace him – “I think I’m counting on them to look at the ballots, definitely.”

There is no debate on it. Donald Trump is not just a terrible president. He’s a very bad person.

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