America: Please don't lose hopeImage Not Found.
Look. I know we're all eager to grab our phones and poop out the same "Boy that sure was a dumpster fire" posts and farm those likes and shares and LOLs and sad faces, but I have a favor to ask. I don't know whether you plan to vote Republican, Democrat, or write in "Batman" (which would be a terrible idea on multiple levels, so please do not do that). I want a few minutes of your time to discuss what happened tonight and why it should not dissuade you from taking part in our democracy. What's left of it, anyway.
Biden came prepared tonight. He came organized. He took notes. He tried to respond based on the merit of questions and statements made by the moderator, who did an abysmal job, and Trump, who was abysmal in his own unique way. If you think what you saw tonight is evidence of what Trump and the media, who are culpable, refer to as Biden's "mental decline," and made you disgusted enough to throw up your hands and say "both sides are embarrassing" and consider not voting--that's what Trump wants.
Joe Biden has a stutter. He's talked about it. He's helped others through their own stutters. Donald Trump knows that interrupting someone with a stutter and jumping from subject to subject is the easiest way to throw them off. What he did tonight was blatant bullying. If you came away from this debate thinking, "Gee, Donald Trump seemed a lot more together than Biden," you think that because Trump went into this ready to manipulate instead of answering questions. He can't answer them because he has no answers.
Trump said the US would have over 300 million N95 masks by September. For those of us living in this reality, tomorrow is the last day of September and--spoiler--we don't have 300m N95 masks. He said he has a health care plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare" if you prefer. If he does, he hasn't shared it. Trump is not a Christian. Trump does not respect our soldiers. Trump does not respect you. Another spoiler: He does not have a plan. He never has a plan--for healthcare, for systemic racism, for climate change, for any of it.
Chaos is Trump's brand. He's a reality TV star who thrives on chaos and ratings. I'm sure tonight's debate generated huge ratings. Ask yourself if that's important to you. If you answered no, and I sincerely hope you did, you are not on the same page as Donald Trump.
Donald Trump subscribes to the George Costanza ideology of truth telling: "Remember: It's not a lie if you believe it." He can say anything he wants because he believes it and he knows his supporters will back him The lies he told tonight are the tip of the iceberg. He was asked to condemn white supremacists; he did not, and in fact spoke directly to the Proud Boys, a white supremacist organization, saying, "Stand back and stand by." He recommended that law enforcement and some of his people help at voting booths to make sure things go smoothly; that is voter intimidation and suppression. He doesn't want to help. He wants to scare people away.
Donald Trump and Joe Biden are not the same. Republicans and Democrats are not the same. Neither is perfect, but Trump and the Republicans are running a campaign based on intimidation, racism, and lies--what the media likes to call "falsehoods."
If you really want to make America great again, please do not be discouraged after tonight's circus. That's what he wants. Take this seriously. Treat it as if your future and your children's future and their children's future depend on this election, because it's true. Please vote.