There was no “Both Sides” in this Debate


The temptation will be to play “both-siderism.” To declare that both former Vice-President Biden and President Trump were equally at fault for this depressing spectacle.

It is comfortable move. It allows those who make it to appear to take the high ground. “They’re both at fault.” “They both did it.”

But it wasn’t equal. Both men did not behave like ill-mannered brats. Trump did. The President of the United States did. As Chris Wallace, of Fox News, pointed out, “Mr. President, you are doing most of the interrupting.” Time and again — though not often enough — Wallace tried to get President to play by the rules he had agreed to.

But he didn’t do that and he doesn’t do that. The rules are for chumps. He interrupted. He talked over. He goaded. He delivered personal attacks. He invented unverified and unverifiable stories.

Biden was mostly playing defense. When he said to the President, “Will you shut up!” it was, sadly, the best line of the night.

If you want four more years of petulance and chaos re-elect Trump. If you would like to calm down, elect Biden. They aren’t both the same. This embarrassing disaster had Trump’s name all over it.

Anthony B. Robinson
Anthony B. Robinson
Tony is a writer, teacher, speaker and ordained minister (United Church of Christ). He served as Senior Minister of Seattle’s Plymouth Congregational Church for fourteen years. His newest book is Useful Wisdom: Letters to Young (and not so young) Ministers. He divides his time between Seattle and a cabin in Wallowa County of northeastern Oregon. If you’d like to know more or receive his regular blogs in your email, go to his site listed above to sign-up.


  1. Thank you for pointing out the obvious. Trump’s behavior was that of a true bully. Watching Fox News afterwards, the pro-Trump commentators strained to declare that Trump was forceful, rather than out of control. Another said, he was well prepared. It will be interesting to see how Trump attacks Wallace. Trump walked off the stage without stopping by to thank him. And at one time he took a swipe at Wallace.


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