Trump Agrees to a Virtual Debate with Himself

Eric Reads The News is a daily humor column that spins politics, pop culture, fame, shadow and schadenfreude.


I hate to bring up ancient history but do you remember last week? Days after testing positive for COVID-19 and hours after leaving hospital after being treated for COVID-19, Trump had a great stench of not wanting to make the debate scheduled for this week a virtual meeting . He and his camp insisted that Joe Biden willingly put himself and a moderator in a room with a man actively spreading a virus like Pigpen from Peanuts for their town hall style event. Not content with continuing to rack up Rose Garden night’s superspreader points for Amy Coney Barrett, Trump laid eyes on Biden like a Pokémon playing after a Pikachu. Trump declined to attend virtually, saying this was not how presidential debates were conducted.

Don’t look like a originalist (I believe black people are people so that disqualifies me) but the historical spirit of the presidential debates is not based on breathing the same air, refusing to answer questions or pretending to know nothing about them. white supremacist groups. During the first debates, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas used a format where one spoke for an hour without interruption! And then the other spoke for An hour and a half. And then the first candidate refuted for half an hour. It happened Seven time. Awesome, but let’s be honest, it sounds terrible. Want me to watch 21 hours of conversation that doesn’t involve Meryl Streep being rude to the people of Monterey, CA? Undoubtedly not, my good guy!

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Trump, however, insisted that the only way to debate was 1) live, 2) on camera, 3) in the same room, 4) boring me. This, despite the fact that JFK and Nixon once had a televised debate of two separate studios on opposite coasts. They didn’t even have a Zoom connection. No idea if they were dumb or not. Totally dependent on a technology that had been invented in the very recent past. Just Richard Nixon sitting alone, sweating, muttering to the camera, “Well, go to Teletubby. Take me up to Mars.” Trump maintained his position, which was, as usual, indefensible and absurd. The Presidential Debates Committee ultimately canceled the debate. ABC has agreed to host Joe Biden, who only asked not to be in the same room as a man who is becoming increasingly obviously dangerous by the minute, at a town hall event that same night. All of this happened last week. It’s okay if you don’t remember; it actually works 900 years ago on Earth.

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Well, you’re never going to believe it, but Donald Trump is now going to appear on television, in a town hall, at the same time the debate was going to take place. What a strange coincidence! NBC has announced that it will host the President at his own town hall during the same time slot as Joe Biden in a separate studio, answering questions from American voters undecided because they have just returned from spending four years trapped in space like Matt Damon in The Martian. The Poor Patriots expected to return to a ticker parade and possibly an appearance on Ellen and instead, they need to ask the president about racial equality and watch him immediately start talking about crime before he swings into overt racism. Come on Teletubby; take me back to Mars!

The only difference, it seems, between the proposed virtual debate and these two separate town hall events is that now Trump doesn’t even have to engage with Joe Biden and he can focus on eliminating his real one. enemy: his own words, actions, thoughts and impulses. Honestly, it’s ridiculous that either of us thought it would be any other way. A man who has reverted to organizing rallies in the midst of a pandemic has no familiarity whatsoever with reality, so even if the candidates were in the same room, it was still going to be essentially virtual. Our modern system of piece-wise debate and GIF-debate is by no means a debate. I’m not saying I want to go back to the Lincoln-Douglas miniseries, but at least then the reporters transcribed the proceedings and published the full text in the papers. Have you ever tried to transcribe what Donald Trump said? It can’t be done! Modern science is perplexed! If they tried to transcribe Trump, the newspapers would end up printing a Rorschach test that would drive everyone mad. Not great for public health and conscience.

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But one wonders what the good of having two competing stump speeches for those poor indecisive voters who just want to change the spacesuits they’ve been wearing for four years while growing potatoes on Mars. How does watching Donald Trump say whatever comes to his mind without the benefit of counterpoints, fact-checks, rebuttals, or his enthusiastic sidekick audience create a more informed electorate? Is it really a debate when the only person yelling at Trump is me, sitting in the cockpit of my spaceship, waiting to be kicked out of here? Guess we have no choice but to find out!

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