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The not so great debate


I’m dreading tonight’s Infotainment spectacle for a couple of reasons:

(1) The media’s desire for a close election will win out over its principled objections to/visceral fear of fascism the way that a bowl of cocaine at a Led Zeppelin afterparty would win out over 12-step program pamphlet. So if Biden stutters slightly or God forbid mis-states a fact it’s going to be off to the races, even if Trump spends the debate claiming that that he created Medicare and and was personally visited last night by Jesus Christ.

(2) Speaking of principles, political debates in general and presidential debates in particular are incredibly stupid, for reasons that are too obvious to elaborate. Anybody who is watching this thing to help them decide who to vote for should not vote, or, ideally, reproduce.

(3) I do think there’s a non-trivial chance that at some point Trump just walks off — maybe after Biden points at him and says “person, woman, man, camera, TV,” at which point I’m going to flash back to this:

This is exactly right (Nobdy in comments):

I think it’s more than this.

Having a “normal” debate right now feels painful and insulting. It’s a form of normalization of Trump and acceptance of what he’s done, and pretending that this is a “normal” election even as Trump has refused to accept the results.

If I were in charge of a network I would publicly say that there will be no debate until Trump agrees, publicly, to the peaceful transfer of power to Biden if he wins. Otherwise what’s the point of this whole “election” process? Of course that’s just one reason I will never be in charge of a network, but the fact that the debate is one giant “This is fine” cartoon given everything that’s happening is just painful.

It was fun watching Joe Biden beat the tar out of Paul Ryan.

It was satisfying watching Hillary Clinton smack Trump around, especially when the threat of a Trump presidency at that point still felt kind of ludicrous.

This can’t be fun or satisfying because of where we are as a country and what it means that we’re still going through the rituals even while everything burns and chokes and dies.

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