Last night, three withered husks play-acting as authorities on the Empire’s future put some words together during a televised event. Six months into a pandemic that has killed over 200,000 Americans, a significant portion of the audience—including the president’s progeny—did not opt to don masks. A pale and rather exhausted looking Democratic nominee, pushed through the primary as the party’s favored choice mostly due to the optics of his former post, was said to have become the event’s conquering hero when he called the president a “clown” and told him to “shut up.” The Republican nominee, largely uninterrupted by the moderator, said he didn’t pay his taxes because he didn’t want to. He said the vaccine would be here soon. (It will not.) He called on the white supremacists that comprise a large segment of his base to “stand by.”
The takes today will tell you that the first 2020 presidential debate was “surreal” and “chaotic,” that the nominees traded “barbs” and “insults” and broke with “tradition” in their quest to secure Americans’ votes. This is not true. The debate was a made-for-tv exposition on rotten institutions that likely swayed no voters and certainly had little to do with anyone’s lived reality. It was bad, and I feel bad, and it’s okay if you feel bad too.