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US Presidential Debate: An autopsy of a night of despair in Cleveland

America is broken. Cut from its moorings, it sails aimlessly not quite sure where its going, what it wants to look like or say to the world. America is like the class no teacher wants to teach.

The students are throwing paper balls at each other. Some, hurling abuse from one side of the class to the other. Others trying to start a fight. The quiet kid is burning the textbooks.

A kid sat at the back loads a semi-automatic rifle whilst a girl at the front is preaching the benefits of pacifism, reusable cups, organic coffee, and yoga.

And all this is having to be harmonised by the slightly deranged, positively gruesome Donald J. Trump. His highness.

The first ‘debate’ of the Presidential race was conducted in Ohio last night. It quickly turned into a depressing shouting match of partisanship and lies. No surprise then. The poor American people, who have to decide between one of these two in November, have become used to politics being played upon ugly partisanship and lies in recent years.

One could have hoped if Trump and Biden managed to be corralled into a pen where a clued-up journalist sat, albeit satirically low down, to keep them on their leash, then robust, thoughtful political chatter could commence. Afraid not.

A toothless presenter, Chris Wallace, failed to keep baby-child Trump in his place. In turn, reducing the credibility of the night and ensuring the debate was labelled one of the worst in American history by many political analysists.

There was a rare showing of bipartisanship agreement that the Fox News host had little control over Biden or Trump.  

Little hope can be found in the US political system, when a presidential debate between a failed businessman and a rather forgetful, secluded Democrat is closely and eagerly stalked by a frequently used ‘Fact Check’ reminder.

Trump heroically stated insulin prices are now so cheap, they are “like water”. When in fact, insulin vials are around $300 each. Those with diabetes needing around two or more veils a month.

He later tried to remind the world how Biden called US Soldiers “stupid bastards”. This was taken out of context and is clearly wrong if one has the patience to research the background to the original statement. Something which I don’t think Trumps supporters possesses sadly.

A malignant, decrepit vein has worked itself to the top of American politics. But it is the citizens of change and hope in America who are the ones left behind.

The citizens whose Thanksgivings and Christmases are going to be a little less populated this year. The real victims of the immature horseplay between the two withered fools of the old folks home who lack the common decency and faculties of a working, compassionate brain to lead the worlds top dog, America.  

This is a scary new kind of politics. Where the President publicly calls for the support of his men. His personal army of thugs and blinkered hitmen. Telling the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by”. This shows a blurring of the lines between ‘shirt -and -tie politics’ with savage public beatings

Online forums of Proud Boys members were all too happy to oblige. “Standing by sir”. “We’re ready”. “Trump basically said to go fuck them up! This makes me so happy”. Were the cries of some, as their repugnant army chief stationed in Cleveland for the night contacted them over the airwaves.

“Stand back” for now, but “stand by” to remind the country of their threat in case Trump loses. 

A post-debate CNN Poll returned 60% thinking Biden won. 28% for Trump. But proceed with caution. For these results were nearly identical to a CNN poll from the first Trump/Clinton debate in 2016. The year Trump trampled to victory come election day.

Tuesday’s debate was nothing more than a competition of who could drum up the most boneheaded, tribalistic support from their bases. A test of who could arouse the loudest chest banging and animalistic shrieks from their loyal disciples of apes and hounds.

Trump now seems, in light of the New York Times’ magnificent piece on the President’s taxes, the beat up, broke and failed businessman.

Penniless and with huge debts to pay, he crawls over for one last late-night roll of the dice round the casino table in a weary attempt to get back into the cosy confines of the Oval Office.

A Presidential campaign that studies in the gracious art of schoolboy insults and bullying to punch, kick, whine and hate his way back to the Presidents chair.

Where he can continue to call himself the ‘Mogul’ and brush off reminders of debts to pay, people to keep safe, a country to run. In what is a self-appreciating puddle of fake tan and blissful ignorance.

The Leader of the Free World, everyone.

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