Matthew Warner

Political Rant

I’ve been in a mild state of fight-or-flight all day, even as early as last night, around 2:30, when I woke up and was unable to get back to sleep for an hour. The reason, of course, was the first presidential debate last night between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

The debate was—no way to whitewash this—an absolute shit show. Biden had weeks of debate coaching at Camp David, but it didn’t make a difference. He bumbled and trailed off and mixed up his words and didn’t make a hell of a lot of sense at times. He was getting over a cold, so he spoke in a raspy monotone and generally sounded old as hell. Trump, on the other hand, came off all ruddy-faced and vigorous—probably hopped himself up on Viagra and amphetamine an hour beforehand—and played better to the camera.

This was all expected, I suppose, but it was still a grave disappointment. As for the substance of what they talked about, it should go without saying—but of course it doesn’t anymore—that every fucking word out of Trump’s mouth was an irresponsible lie. Biden, on the other hand, while confused and meandering at times, at least tried to actually answer the questions he was asked in a meaningful and truthful way.

The debate won’t change the votes of people like me, but it might sway the fickle swing voters who value style over substantive truth. And it’s sad. It’s sad because Trump, if elected, will be completely unbound by a Congress full of sycophants and a Supreme Court he has packed, and he will unbound by the public because he will be a second-term president. The only person he will serve will be himself. His first agenda item will be to use the presidency to save his own ass from all the federal felonies for which he’s been indicted by ordering the Justice Department to cease its prosecution. And that will only be the beginning because crazy fucks like Stephen Miller will use him to push their ultra-conservative Christian fascist agenda, which will include pulling us out of NATO and any climate-control treaties that they can. Russia will roll over Ukraine within a year because he will hang them out to dry. He will cozy up to the dictators in Russia, North Korea, and China and shit all over our allies in Europe, which will push the world ever closer to World War III nuclear annihilation.

The fiscal objectives that Republicans claim to hold sacred, such as reducing our umpty-trillion-dollar national debt, will be laid by the wayside as Trump returns to his old habits of using the federal government to enrich himself. This while he will spend every weekend having taxpayer-funded vacations at his own golf clubs, just like he did during his first term. He will do whatever he can to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which makes my family’s health insurance coverage possible, but he won’t have a coherent replacement plan. Meanwhile, LBGTQ+ minorities and women will suffer under onerous new legislation. Trans people will continue to see their civil liberties curtailed, and women will find it even more difficult to get abortions in order to save their own lives.

It will be fucking nightmare.

So, given the choice between a bumbling old man who means well, but who is experienced and who has surrounded himself with a competent apparatus, and an amoral psychopath who yearns to replace our democratic republic with a fascist temple to his own bottomless ego, I will choose the bumbling old man.