Lord help me, I looked at the debate.
Oh, not much, furtive glances over supper, really, while I tried desperately to find something, anything worth watching that was under an hour long.
For me, the debate was like a car wreck: you drive by, drawn but not wanting to look, certainly not so long a look that you begin see enough to sort body parts from automotive wreckage. Yet traffic slows to a crawl, stops, and you look, look away, look again--
If you have a major-party candidate you like or at least can vote for without agonizing mental gymnastics, I'm happy for you. How wonderful to not feel despair! For me, well, I didn't think much of either one of them going into the debate and what I saw did nothing to change that. Afterwards, Mr. Trump's supporters and Ms. Clinton's supporters both declared victory and posted hasty memes to that effect on social media.
The capper for me came this morning, when I stumbled over a hand-wringing piece on Vox (somewhere to the Left of the Left) annoyingly written in the present tense by a fellow who'd abstained from the 1968 Presidential election because at the time, he didn't see any difference between Richard M. Nixon and Hubert H. Humphrey. He proceeds to recount the traditional litany of horrors of the Nixon Presidency, including a number of items Nixon had nothing to do with, musing all the while that it would have been better under Humphrey. --I doubt that; he offers nothing in support of his notion past an axiomatic acceptance that Nixon was, in fact, the Devil. In 1968, things were screwed up, delicately balanced, and any touch was going to have disproportionate effects. Humphrey probably would have made a different mess but he would have made a mess. Bigger, smaller? I don't know; I don't know in 2016, either.
Go vote, you can't make matters any worse all by yourself and your neighbors are probably going to be voting at you. Make your choice. Refuse to regret it. There is one person you can decide for, one person for whom you can speak, one person whose moral character is under your control: yourself. That's all you've got.
6 months ago