I watched it.
I shouldn’t have.
When it was mercifully over I felt sick to my stomach.
I understand that most of what I was taught to believe about the United States is myth. When the fables of American exceptionalism are stripped away, what remains reveals that this is a nation built on racism and genocide, imperial conquest, double-dealing and hypocrisy. This is harsh but inescapable. Recognizing the truth about one’s country doesn’t imply or prove hatred of one’s country.
Not a single direct question in any of the “debates” about climate change, the most urgent issue facing the world. This is inexcusably irresponsible.
Deemed more important is a false question about the national debt and entitlement programs. First of all, Americans pay into Social Security and Medicare paycheck by paycheck, with the promise that when the time arrives, as it will for all of us, these programs will be there to insure that no person that has worked his or her entire life is forced to live in poverty. Conservatives have railed against Social Security and Medicare for decades, and now they are routinely joined by corporate Democrats like Hillary Clinton, all shouting in unison for austerity measures.
It’s total bullshit, of course. If this country stopped pouring trillions of dollars into the Pentagon, we would have more than enough to fund Medicare for all and to insure that Social Security lives up to its implicit promise. Year after year polls show that the majority of Americans want to expand these programs, and year after year the political class ignores the will of the majority.
Was I surprised that Donald Trump is completely ignorant about abortion?
No more than to hear Hillary Clinton blame Russia for trying to tip the election in favor of Trump. Hillary declared that Russia -- the highest levels of the Kremlin, mind you, harkening back to the Cold War -- is behind the cyber attacks that led to the latest WikiLeaks disclosures. Clinton stated that all 17 of America’s intelligence agencies have confirmed that Russia is behind the leaks. My first question is: do we really need 17 intelligence agencies? And these are, I suppose, the same crack agencies that spent more than a decade searching the globe for Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted man? Couldn’t find him anywhere...
And speaking of that great bogeyman bin Laden, Clinton twice said that bin Laden had been brought to justice. Strange, I don’t remember bin Laden being charged and tried in an American court or any court for that matter. Didn’t America’s brave operatives assassinate bin Laden and dump his body into the sea? In an age when the American president decides who shall live and who shall die by remote controlled drone, I suppose you can say that bin Laden was brought to justice.
If Russia is behind the cyber attacks and attempting to subvert our election all I can ask my country is: how does it feel to have the tables turned, to be on the receiving end for a change?
Some of the exchanges were merely amusing, ample proof, as if any were needed, of the utter debasement of our democratic process, like when Trump insisted that nobody respects women more than he does. Or when Clinton defended the money laundering operation that is the Clinton Foundation.
It was a sad night for America. I shouldn’t have watched, but I did.