Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Moderator Chris Wallace, hands down, won the first 2020 US presidential debate

The questions by Wallace, anchor of “Fox News Sunday,” were sharp to both sides. He was really not partial. He was the big winner. You can’t help respecting journalism seeing the job he did. His work tonight should be studied by and taught for years to students learning journalism. CNN’s commentators, most ABC observers, and others overlooked this success.

I watched the debate life. There is nothing like it. I must say that the fast pace never slowed down (thank you for not having ads interrupting). Time flew. A masterwork by the moderator and his editorial team.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid that the more-left-wing moderators of the next two presidential debates won’t be able to stand up to Trump, the bully. Trump could not go after Wallace (but he tried) because he was really and clearly a fair chair. But he will accuse the next moderators of being ‘the fake news.’ He’ll play the victim and underdog to those moderators. Good luck to them. They should insist on having buttons to mute the candidates’ microphones (and have them stand far-away from any other mike).

The Stammerer vs. the Slick Talker and the Stammerer Won

The runner up in this debate, Trump or Biden?

I would say that Trump really lost from Biden. He was much too aggressive. He trusted his (made-up) old stories to work still. He trusted that he could unsettle Biden by constantly interrupting. It looked bad on Trump.

Trump, over and over again, played the person (Biden) and not the ball, as the Dutch characterize someone who gets personal for no good reason.

Trump tried to win the debate (by reducing Biden), while Biden tried to win the American viewer (reducing Trump to the clown he is).

No, Trump did not ‘lose it.’ No fake craze overcomes con artists. They’re too calculated and cold-hearted for that. They just use it to bully.

Trump, challenged, both by the moderator and his opponent, to outright condemn White supremacist, did not deliver! It was embarrassing, telling.

Biden Won on Two Points: Content and Character

While Trump tried to control the debate, Biden controlled himself. And he didn’t say: look at me doing better than him. He just did it. For all to see.

Biden mentioned a lot of points and never harped on anything. It was a rich critique of the failed Trump administration. A dozen or so major points, he mentioned clearly. And he never reduced it to rehearsing slogans or stories. He didn’t even mention Obama! He really trained.

If someone listened to spot a leader who was dignified and in command, who had sound reasoning and wasn’t a dogmatist, s/he easily found him.

Biden clearly cared about America. Trump clearly cared about his record.

Biden dealt with substance while negative remarks about Trump (he’s a liar, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about) were just stated as asides. He stayed laconic. He never got angry. Instead, he often shook his head and smirked derisively. That worked. He talked, time and again, to the viewers at home, that they count, not the presidency. He also kept saying about Trump: He has no plan. Not only true but also coming across.

Biden’s last large statement was dignified and well formulated. And Trump’s last statement after that was belligerent. Anger is the only thing that definitely makes you look like a looser. And while Trump was riling, Biden looked dignified, though often shaking his head and almost rolling his eyes. The result of hard work preparing for the debate. Hard work–something Trump has never done. He likes to wing it. And it showed. Trump is a one-man-show (a show it is), while Biden stands for teamwork.

But make no mistake: most people will only notice and remember the attitudes of the candidates and not any of their words or arguments.

A few times, Biden shot back and engaged in a shouting match. That was good too. He showed that he’s a leader not to be intimidated. (This also undermined Trump’s false claim that Biden would just obey Bernie Sanders and all the ‘Socialist’ Democrats.) Four years ago, Trump was able to terrorize Clinton in the debate. And today, that was the only strategy he had ready again. Lazy Trump, only doing what worked before. But Biden learned not to repeat Clinton’s vulnerability leaving Trump empty-handed.

The only ball Biden may have dropped was: He failed to say: Trump here proves tonight that he’s a thief. He even steals from my speaking time.

Press Coverage of the Debate a Failure All-Around

Leading Democrats completely missed Wallace’s and Biden’s successes. I don’t understand why Trump critics were so shocked and unhappy about this debate. How better to show Trump’s immorality and incompetence? They truly would have preferred a dignified debate in which Trump had succeeded pretending to be presidential, after four years of being a thug?

The headlines of the Israeli-English and American-Jewish press were a total failure. They equated the candidates’ performance, claiming they “went on the attack,” “bickered bitterly,” and that the debate was “chaotic.” It’s like saying there’s much animosity between Jews and Nazis. False equivalence masquerading as even-handedness is the worst of journalism! It keeps the real information from the public and thereby nullifies the reporters’ job.

In any case, tonight, Trump sealed his November loss. Thank G^d.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500th blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry, and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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