Perspectives: Shreveport political science professor and pastor weigh in on first presidential debate

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A local political science professor and a pastor of a large Shreveport church weighed in Wednesday on the chaotic presidential debate Tuesday night between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

“Really the only thing that stood out in this debate was the disorder,” said LSU Political Science professor Jeffrey Sadow. “It was hosted in Cleveland, but you may think Cincinnati because that’s where Jerry Springer is from.”

Sadow said the debate was mostly “dominated” by President Trump because “in a sense, it was forced on him because Biden spent 98 percent of his time criticizing Trump.”

Sadow said Trump purposely uses tactics to rile up his opponents.

“I think that’s always been part of his strategy with his opposition to say things to drive them crazy and they’re distracted by that and it makes it more difficult to stay on message and criticize him.”

That’s one way Sadow believes Trump succeeded in making Biden look flustered and possibly weaker.

“I suspect if any candidate pulls out, it’s going to be Biden. It was sort of karmic in a sense that when eight years ago when Joe Biden was running for Vice President and was running against Paul Ryan he kind of adopted the strategy that President Trump did last night to bulldoze over the opponent.”

Morning Star Baptist Church Pastor Theron Jackson also watched Trump and Biden square off in Cleveland for the first of three presidential debates, and he says he was disappointed with what he saw.

“There’s going to be a lowering of civil discourse and it’s made okay by this tomfoolery that we see on this national stage,” Jackson said.

Jackson said he was not surprised by Trump’s comments when asked to denounce white supremacy.

“I think it’s this whole deciding to lead by pouring gas on a fire. It’s inflammatory.”

Jackson said it was a “presidential debate” as much as a “commercial” and he is not interested in watching the future debates between the two candidates.

“I may not sound like a good civic student or good citizen … but I will not watch another debate,” Jackson said. “There is nothing left to be debated. It’s clear that both come to just share their sides. So I don’t even know the value of the debate at this time. There are not persuadable people at this time. Folks are really dug in. I’m ready to vote.”

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