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History will not be made on the debate stage in 2020. Photo: Getty Images
History will not be made on the debate stage in 2020. Photo: Getty Images

No Latinx moderator named for the Presidential Debates

The potential selection of a Latinx moderator was highly anticipated, but hopes have been shot down with today’s announcement

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There has never been a Latinx moderator in the history of the presidential debates, and this year will be no different.

The list for this year’s moderators at the upcoming presidential debates was announced on Sept. 2, and it falls short of what was hoped for by the Latinx community.

A record 32 million Latinxs will be eligible to vote during this presidential election, the largest non-white demographic voting bloc in the nation. That is one of the many reasons why a Latinx moderator was critical for 2020, because all these new voters will be looking to see themselves on the stage, for a voice that will bring a unique perspective before Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

While the choice for moderators is not determined by the presidential candidates, both candidates have been vying for the Latinx vote in a way never before seen, therefore this push for Latinx voters should have also extended to the debate stage. 

Visibility and representation is not the only issue at hand. The second-largest voting bloc in the nation needs a representative on the moderator panel with a deep knowledge of Latinx issues and who knows which ones are the most integral to Latinx households.

Back in July, the Latino Community Foundation wrote a petition to Janet H. Brown, the executive director of The Commission on Presidential Debates, and urged her to consider a Latinx journalist to moderate one of the upcoming presidential debates.

In the petition, the foundation describes having a Latinx moderator as “no longer considered a nice-to-have, but essential to fulfill the Commission’s mission and to be in tune with the needs and opportunities of the American electorate.”

However today such hopes have been shot down.

“The Latino Community Foundation is disappointed to see that no Latino was selected to moderate any of the presidential debates,” the foundation told AL DÍA.

“This is a missed opportunity to fully engage Latinos in the political process,” the foundation continued. “Latinos want to know that their issues, which are America’s issues, will be addressed by the candidates as we head into the election.”

The moderators set for the upcoming debates are Chris Wallace of Fox News, Steve Scully of C-SPAN, and Kristen Welker of NBC News. USA Today’s Susan Page will moderate the Vice Presidential debate.

Welker is the only person of color set to be a moderator this year. With her presence, there is at least a representative for Black Americans, who have faced several high-profile injustices this summer alone.

Latinxs have a considerable role in the future of this nation’s leadership, and it is a disservice to ignore the multitude of Latinx journalists who could have fit the bill. 

“We sincerely hope that the selected moderators understand that the American electorate has changed demographically, and that the needs and aspirations of Latinos across the United States must be fully reflected during these historic debates,” The Latino Community Foundation told AL DÍA

The first presidential debate between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is scheduled for Sept. 29. If anything, Latinxs across the nation can hope for some semblance of acknowledgement on the debate stage.

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