You know what’s going to happen tonight. We all do, if we really think about it and think about it hard. There will be a debate tonight. Hillary Clinton will show up and offer a huge helping of competence and she will demonstrate that she knows what she’s doing. She will show that she knows what she’s talking about and that she’s prepared to be president. We know this because she did exactly that in every debate so far this election cycle. Say what you will about Bernie Sanders, but no one can possibly say that Hillary Clinton didn’t show that she was perfectly ready to assume the presidency based on her debate performance. Bernie agrees. She will do so again tonight.
On the other hand, we have Donald Trump, who has demonstrated that he has absolutely no knowledge about the job he’s running for and who doesn’t seem to have any interest in learning anything. He will spend the debate spouting bullshit slogans and issuing dog whistles to his most faithful followers, who honestly don’t care what he knows or what he plans to do if, by some miracle, he’s elected. If he’s interested in anything at all, he is interested in winning and that is all. He sees winning an election as something to place in his trophy case. However, I have always gotten a sense that Trump doesn’t care about winning. He’s interested in being beloved and that is all. He likes being adored by fawning admirers. If he wins, Mike Pence will effectively be your new president. So, he will bluff his way through the debate and not answer a single question in a comprehensible way.
Lester Holt will ask inane questions that he and the others at NBC News who are wealthy enough to live and work in Manhattan or suburban Connecticut will assume that “everyone” wants to know the answers to. After the debate, what so many refer to as “the mainstream media” will react. They will nitpick everything that Hillary Clinton says and attack every point. At the same time, if Donald Trump doesn’t drool too much and doesn’t trip over his own two feet, he will be considered “presidential” and he will receive accolades from people who expect him to be a complete buffoon.
After all, that is the problem, isn’t it? What you refer to as the “mainstream media” (there actually is no such thing) is determined to create a race here because a six-week-long blowout doesn’t draw interest and either ratings or clicks. Even though the race is not as close as some would like to believe, everyone who relies on clicks for their living is freaking out over the “closeness” of the race, and that includes the estimable Nate Silver and his crew at FiveThirtyEight. And we all know this is the case. It has been the case for decades. This is why it’s important to end the freakout cycle. It’s pointless and it helps no one.
Hillary Clinton has to win, it’s that simple. And she probably will. If you’re a news junkie or you can’t take your face out of social media, you should understand that the information you devour as if it’s the healthiest thing in the world is largely crap. Worse, it is distorted. The country really isn’t “polarized.” What you see is the far left and the far right screaming at everyone because both of them have convinced themselves that the only thing that motivates people is fear. The professional left believes that the only way someone will vote for Hillary Clinton is because they fear Donald Trump, so they tend to scream. The problem with that is, Donald Trump isn’t the problem. The problem is the entire Republican ideology. Listen closely to what Trump says and explain to be how it differs from Republican orthodoxy, really. It doesn’t. In fact, like I said, if Trump wins, he’s not going to run the country, he’s going to delegate the running of the country to his Vice President, who would be Mike Pence, who is a racist, homophobic misogynist and is currently a mainstream Republican.
The vast majority of the American people are neither far left nor far right and they really just want to elect someone sane. That means they want to vote Hillary Clinton. If we can sing Hillary’s praises and the praises of the Democratic Party in general, Democrats can start to take back the government. But we can’t accomplish that if we’re always freaking out. Just maintain an even keel and push Democrats over Republicans every chance you get. It should be easy, given that Republicans are batshit crazy. So let’s do this thing. Yes, the press won’t stand behnd Hillary after the debate. But they don’t have to, as long as we do it.