What Trump's Body Language Revealed At The First Debate, According To An Expert

Unless you've been living under a rock somewhere — and TBH that doesn't necessarily sound like a bad idea right now — you might recall how the first 2020 presidential debate left Americans with little more than hope that the next one will be slightly more civil. In fact, if both candidates would simply allow each other to speak without interruption and forego spewing names and insults at one another the next time around, that'd be ideal. But alas, perhaps that's just too much to ask. It is 2020, after all. 

One of the hardest parts of sitting through the excruciating "debate" was trying to listen to what both President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden were saying before they inevitably interrupted each other. Fortunately for us, there was also a visual component to the debate. With the video element, viewers everywhere were privy to not only the words coming out of the candidates' mouths, but also their body language. Now feels like the right time to drop a lyric from a certain disgraced R&B singer (my mind's telling me no, but my body, my body's telling me yessss) but — OH, WAIT. NEVERMIND. 

Keep reading to learn what body language expert Dr. Renee Carr had to say about Trump's body language during the presidential debate, one that will surely do go down in history.

Donald Trump's tie was a 'reflection of his fiery mentality'

Dr. Renee Carr, psychologist and political advisor, first made note of President Donald Trump's tie. While one might expect the staunchly conservative politician to opt for a bright red necktie during something as significant as the presidential debate, they'd be wrong to do so. According to Carr, Trump might have opted for a navy blue tie with only thin red lines throughout in an effort to inherently signal his feisty disposition. Per Carr, Trump's tie served as "a subconscious reflection of his fiery mentality and readiness to fire darts without holding back." 

She also noted that Trump might view red as "a power color," which might be why he opted for a tie with said color woven throughout. It might have also symbolized his belief that he must defend himself at all times, like when going head-to-head with his opponent, Joe Biden, or even moderator Chris Wallace, as Trump made it quite clear that he felt he needed to be on the defensive around the Fox News host, too. "I guess I'm debating you instead... I'm not surprised," Trump remarked at one point during the debate. 

Talk to Donald Trump's hand, 'cause the face ain't listening

How does that old saying go? "Talk to the hand, 'cause the face ain't listening." Apparently real estate tycoon-turned-president Donald Trump took that idiom quite literally, as evidenced by his hand gestures during the first presidential debate of 2020. 

Dr. Renee Carr provided some much-needed insight, particularly regarding Trump's preference to talk with his hands. During the debate, Trump made a box shape with his hands several times. According to Carr, Trump did so to signal that he was doubling down on a particular issue. The gesture at hand — see what we did there? — was "symbolic of Trump sticking to his thoughts and a subconscious display that he is not going to go outside of this figurative box nor waver from his original opinion," Carr explained.

Carr also made mention of Trump using his hands to draw a linear line, almost as if he's drawing a line in the proverbial sand. Carr posited that Trump "uses his hands to draw a symbolic straight line reflecting his very linear thoughts when speaking." Okay, okay, we're picking up on what you're putting down, Mr. President.

Donald Trump took a page right out of the 'Real Housewives' reunion playbook

Like all Real Housewives reunions presidential debates, it's not a wrap until someone doles out a few passive-aggressive digs here and there. And lucky for everyone, President Donald Trump was happy to oblige the masses. Right off the bat, when asked about his Supreme Court justice pick, Trump instead rattled off a Ruth Bader Ginsburg quote. Per Dr. Renee Carr, this particular kind of deflection was "an act of passive-aggressiveness in that Trump was able to avoid the psychological discomfort of answering the question by relying upon the respected opinions and words of others to justify his own actions." Well, alrighty then.

Unfortunately, however, it appears Trump wasn't willing to leave it at that. Carr referenced a particular instance where Trump displayed behavior that could be considered downright aggressive. During the debate, when moderator Chris Wallace brought up Trump's federal income taxes, the president "exhibit[ed] a primal display of showing his teeth as a non-verbal and subconscious act of aggression and self-protection." Carr cautioned that, while some voters might see that as a sign of strength, others might interpret it an entirely different way. Here's hoping that the second debate is more... shall we say... constructive?