I can’t vote or support former Vice President Joe Biden. As a pro-lifer, I can’t support any candidate that would– or even could– advance pro-choice policies. But, for a moment, let’s pretend Biden wasn’t pro-choice and everything else was equal. While I don’t support Biden’s policies, President Donald Trump’s performance in the first Presidential debate would push me towards Biden for two reasons.
First, Trump’s consistent and constant refusal to accept democratic results that don’t end with him winning. Chris Wallace gave him a layup. Wallace gave him the chance to say whoever wins in November will be the legitimate President next year. Biden was able to say it. Instead, he chose to continue to undermine public confidence in the electron results.
I’ve seen some Trump supporters claim he isn’t threatening to undermine the election. Instead, Trump is saying we have to ensure all the votes are counted accurately and there’s nothing wrong with that. But when Trump is saying five weeks before the election that “this is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen” he isn’t simply saying he will accept a fair election result. He’s starting a case that the election is rigged because he lost– and he couldn’t be clearer that he intends to contest the election and undermine the results if he loses. And that’s no surprise. Trump has never accepted losing. Anytime anything goes wrong he always blames someone or something. Even in 2016, he couldn’t accept losing the popular vote so still said there were millions of fraudulent votes without any evidence.
To be clear, I don’t think he will try to stay in office longer than his term. I think his response will be to claim he really did win at every opportunity he has and galvanize his base to do the same.
Second, his support for violent supporters– “stand back and stand by”.
Not to be melodramatic, but the current President of the US is implicitly supporting the idea of street battles between his supporters and others by saying the Proud Boys should “stand by” for … something. Imagine the President of any other country calling his private militia to attention in the middle of a debate with his election opponent. We would be talking about how awful authoritarian banana republics are.
To be clear, I would still prefer a strong libertarian candidate like Representative Justin Amash, but I don’t believe that exists. Jo Jorgensen is a joke. I also think there are other fundamentally unacceptable things Trump has done (ie the Access Hollywood tape), but the point of this post was to focus on the debate. At the end, none of this matters. Joe Biden is pro-choice and supporting the murder of hundreds of thousands of babies is worse than gross comments.