We experienced our first presidential debate (“Trump, Biden engage in fiery first debate,” Sept. 30). It was more than a chaotic display of personalities. It was 90-plus minutes of seeing our chosen candidates up close with their ideas for our country and their reverence for our democracy.

One spoke of supporting our police. One could not denounce white supremacy and militias. One voiced concrete steps to counter climate change and an opportunity to provide jobs. One found climate change efforts a threat to the economy. One spoke of his pride in our armed forces and the ones left behind as patriots. One only sneered "really?" One spoke of the goals of our democracy to end racial injustice and bring our country together. One spoke on the unrest and his use of armed forces and the Democratic mayors and governors. One spoke on relying on scientists to get us out of the pandemic and his understanding of the pain of losing a loved one. One felt his policies have saved lives.

One spoke to us and one interrupted, overshadowing ideas. One showed the possibilities of change by voting and the need to make sure every vote is counted. One voiced his concern that every mail-in vote is suspect and the election could be rigged if he isn't elected.

Yes indeed, we saw our candidates.

Diane Langlee

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Hermantown