What a “Debate”! What a “Country”!

I watched two segments of the first Presidential "debate," and in between consoled myself with a Twilight Zone episode about a conman who could assume the face of anyone whose picture he had seen.  My conclusion is to vote for the late Rod Serling, who understood politics better than the candidates, their handlers, or the media.

I don't have much to say, other than that it was somewhat worse than I had anticipated.  Trump was a schoolyard bully, blissful in his ignorance of what any normal human being would think of his performance.  Asked a direct question about how he justified a late term appointment of a Supreme Court justice, he oohed and aahed over the brilliance of his nominee.  In his sublime contempt for fact and reason, Trump must have thought he was Pope, not President..  Who prepped him?  James Carville?

Biden was refreshingly candid.  At last the American people get to see the real Joe, a nasty, lying, slandering little reptile with a fixed grin on his face begging for someone to knock it off with a well-aimed blow of the fist.  At one point, Wallace asked him a direct question, and, when Joe went off topic and Trump called him to account, the former Vice President looked into the camera and openly declared that he refused to answer.  Viewers did not have to read between the lines to hear the voice of every crooked pol who has ever sought power without responsibility.

The third debater, Mike Wallace, was unquestionably the worst of the three.  If Wallace had had even his father's discretion, he would have understood he had a part to play, that of the referee.  Instead, the little squirt decided it was payback time for all the complaints Trump had made against his partiality.  Instead, he hit upon what in his mind must have seemed a brilliant ploy.  He would ask Biden some tough questions, but with Trump, he would deliver a lecture--even a homily--on what his critics had claimed, and then add a question mark at the end.  If anybody missed this, they were not paying attention.

Like the Yellow Dog Democrat of yesteryear, I'd probably vote for Trump even if every single charge against him is proved in an impartial court of law.  I never liked him or respected him and never will, but this election is not about the character of the candidates.  If it were, there would be no point in voting.  This may be our last chance to cast even a symbolic vote against the insurgent revolution against private property, political liberty, family integrity, human nature, and the God of our fathers.  That our hero is no Hector or David or even Warren Harding is entirely fitting.  My own candidate, Mr. Serling would understand where our world has ended up.


There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fearsand the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.

Cue the music!

Avatar photo

Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

6 Responses

  1. Dot says:

    I considered last night’s debate too quarrelsome and didn’t finish watching it. I suddenly realized that the liberal left is so strong and their program so desirous of most people, in other words, “do it for me” reasoning, that the country I knew no longer exists. There are too many liberal causes that support this mindset one of which is the social justice mindset. People are not unified for the country but for a cause and the cause is tearing the country apart.

  2. Robert Reavis says:

    I thought Jared Kushner and Jen O’Malley Dillon did a great job preparing their respective candidates for political suicide.
    I also enjoyed the unpolished, New York yankee, businessman and the unpolished, New Jersey yankee, politician resorting to BB guns instead of the lethal injections Mike Wallace has prepared for them.
    Other than those minor achievements and given what is to come when Biden wins , it was pathetically similar to watching Clinton and Bush attempt to be presidential in public.

  3. Vince Cornell says:

    I was waiting for Kamala Harris to run in with the steel chair, at which point the Donald would “Hulk Out” and start shaking his fists like he’s on an invisible jack hammer and wail on them both “house-a-fire” style.

    While I would never say I like, admire, or think much of Donald Trump, at least one can always say that he’s not Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush. That still counts for a whole lot. Better to have a bully being crass and crude to the weasel than a sycophant preening with false civility.

  4. Ken Rosenberger says:

    Past my bed time. Thanks, everyone, for watching, so I didn’t have to.

    By any chance did Biden claim to have written that famous cookbook “To Serve Man?”

  5. Allen Wilson says:

    Trump should have gone for the throat. KLA connections, organ harvesting and all. There is no other strategy left for anyone who wants to stop the revolution but going for broke and straight for the jugular. The question is, how could someone have done that during the debate without looking crazy and over the top? He needs to do it during the rest of the campaign in some way that doesn’t compromise credibility, and attack the lock downs, expose the lies, in order to force those issues into the next debate. What is needed is real demagoguery of a kind that will raise hellfire and strike terror into the enemy. Easier said than done.

  6. Josh Doggrell says:

    “Yuge” disappointment.