Trump-Biden Debate Prompts Shock, Despair and, in China, Glee
The chaos of the event has left allies and rivals alike questioning the state of American democracy and the country’s place on the global stage.
BRUSSELS — The unedifying spectacle of Tuesday night’s presidential debate produced some shock, some sadness and some weariness among American allies and rivals alike on Wednesday.
As President Trump bellowed, blustered and shouted down both the moderator, Chris Wallace, and his opponent, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., and as Mr. Biden responded by calling Mr. Trump a “clown,” many wondered if the chaos and tenor of the event said something more fundamental about the state of American democracy.
- Thomas Gomart, director of the French Institute of International Relations, said that the debate strengthened the impression “that the United States has retreated from the global stage and withdrawn into itself.” Mr. Trump, he said, “has explicitly walked away from the position of a global leader, and Joe Biden may be implicitly doing so, too.”
- Mr. Gomart said the debate showed the deep partisanship of today’s America, even in the face of the pandemic. “Those two men are from the same generation, from the same world,” he said. “And yet they are the two faces of a deeply polarized society.”
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