The presidential debates are tonight, you guys! I can’t wait to watch two bad choices get onstage and fight it out in a futile attempt to convince us we, the people, have any control over the things that happen in our country and the world at large. But lest I anger-laugh myself to death, I’m just going to pretend I’m watching a particularly boring reality show on TLC. Which, considering its content, won’t be that hard, as it’s got all the elements of a super-bummer of a super-canceled reality show from hell.
Schadenfreude and fuck-ups
I suppose there are still some pinwheel-eyed hopers and changers who will watch the debates to be “inspired.” But most are watching for the chance to see a man drown on live television. Not Barack Obama (who, I’ll admit, is kind of perfect at this type of thing), but Mitt “whatever I said, I stand behind it” Romney. Will he get caught in a blatant lie? Refer to Obama as “clean and articulate”? Dirty Sanchez a hobo when he thinks no one’s watching? THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME.
For non-rich people who are dumb enough to feel their interests are being represented by the two-party system, but smart enough to tie their shoes without assistance, this person will be Romney. He’s already said he straight up hates poor people; all he needs is a mustache and a monocle to give him a Dickensian flair. No matter what he says, he’ll be the villain, because he’s constitutionally incapable of the most basic spiritual generosity. “May I have another bowl?” “No you may not, and who fucking gave you the first one?”
For crypto-racist “right populists” and non-guilt-ridden members of the 1%, this person will be Obama. For the former, his villainy will be less about anything he’s actually done (which would involve him having actually done something) and more about his birth certificate, the way he pronounces “Pakistan,” and his suspected ties to black Muslim terrorist abortionists. For the 1%, this will be out of the mistaken fear that he’s going to tax them what they actually owe to society. Don’t worry guys, Obama’s never going to empty your bank accounts of stolen wages while your rotting, spike-mounted heads decorate the national mall Game Of Thrones style. He’s nice like that.
The likable guy who can do no wrong
Like the villain, this will change depending who you are, but I think Obama has a special edge in this area. Listening to my liberal relatives talk about the president, you’d think he was a benevolent saint sent from heaven above to fix all our problems, and the only reason he hasn’t done it yet is because of those fucking republicans. He would never authorize the trial-less execution of a US citizen or kill literally countless civilians via drone attacks in Pakistan. As far as I can tell, this is because his various cultural markers (Book reading! Jay-Z! Organic vegetables!) code him as “one of us” and not some sort of ruthless, arugula-powered killing machine. A little pesto pizza goes a long way!
The peace keeper who pretends to hate drama but actually loves it
This role will be played by moderator Jim Lehrer, who, if he does his job correctly, will prod these two to pretend-fight like two Real Housewives on a champagne bender.
“I’m not here to make friends”
Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!
The girl who is never around and will probably get kicked off the show soon because she spends all her time with her boyfriend
The many women who unsuspectingly contract gonorrhea from Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino
Duck phone, useful but inanimate tool
That’s us, the American people. Democracy!
If you don’t feel like watching this WWF spectacle, don’t worry. You’re on the right track. In fact, I think the only appropriate response is to review some re-runs of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo as you gather strength for the coming Alana Thompson-led class war.