Presidential debate | The Nation

Presidential debate | The Nation
Presidential debate | The Nation

Some people are wondering whether the presidential debates in the United States have any effect on the final results. On June 27, we predicted that this would be a highly significant face-to-face, as the result of a technical tie and that the “character” issues would be the most important.

In the case of President Biden, his main mission was to project vitality and clarity in handling affairs and that his age, 81, would not be an obstacle to occupying the office for four more years. I always believed that was one of the reasons why the debate should be held at such an early date, but Biden failed miserably.

Former President Donald Trump had a mission to show himself as a calmer, more focused and mature person, free of lies, and to make it clear that he would govern with the interests of the majority in mind. It was very important to discredit that he would come to power with a thirst for revenge. He squandered his opportunity, with minimal consequences given the fear generated by Biden among Democrats.

Trump is helped by a questionable Supreme Court ruling that, with its interpretation, practically granted him broad immunity that frees him from one of his biggest obstacles, several criminal proceedings, including what happened at the Capitol in January 2021. As a lawyer, I am sure that this is a ruling that will be a case of study and questioning for many years to come.

There are still several months ahead, and once again the US elections are gaining importance in the world due to the very different vision of both candidates on relevant issues such as the future of NATO, the war in Ukraine, the protection of South Korea and Japan, and the “trade war with China”, as well as the possible consequences for Taiwan.

These are factors of concern not only in the United States, but also in the rest of the Western world. Certainly, some of those most interested are Putin and Xi Jinping.

Given its importance as the world’s largest economy, other relevant and worrying facts are the growth of its debt, the control of inflation and the general performance of its economy, which are key for our country. Undoubtedly, we must keep an eye on these elections.

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The author is a political scientist, member of the Wilson Center Advisory Board on Latin American affairs.

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