The tyrannical television will determine the outcome of this interminable presidential election, but for all of the awesome power it wields, it cannot convince a significant percentage of the American electorate to witness its presidential debates. Even in a time of ubiquitous unemployment, when a disturbingly large number of people really have nothing better to do than watch an allegedly “major television event”, still it proves an uncommonly arduous task to persuade them to sit on the couch and listen to two oligarchs mumble and mutter for a couple of hours. I lost the ability to tolerate it sober some time last year, but only when watching live television. I still have an honest interest in the televised debates of previous election cycles—the older, the better, but we are finally beginning to move far enough away from the psychological culture of 2016 that the televised debates of that period are gradually acquiring their own clarity. They are seeking out their place within a historical context.
Needless to say, we are not far enough removed to settle that context, but we are more than capable of overcoming the contemporary hysteria. In other words, we can recognize the election of Donald Trump as an inevitability, as a natural reflex performed by a moribund political body. For all of its visceral horror, perhaps even its unfathomability, there was simply no other plausible behavior for this body, at least not at that point in time. The political culture in the United States had undergone a decadent, maladaptive process across a span of several decades, at least, and has slowly effected the conditions under which the election of Trump is not a likely, but the likeliest, course of action. We do not travel by teleportation; we take an incalculable number of steps before we reach the end of our journey. The neoliberal media is in the business of scolding the public for its failure to turn left at the last minute, ignoring every move that was made previously and neglecting to notice that, in any case, we are still traveling on the same street.
We will leave them to scold Jill Stein and those who voted for her, and we will wish them luck in overcoming their unfortunate myopia. Our analytical work is more ambitious. While the bourgeois neoliberals prepare for tomorrow night’s debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, dogmatic in their confidence that the fate of our species hangs in the balance, but never considering that the electorate have already made their choice, we will turn our attention to the first presidential debate of 2016, staged almost exactly four years ago. We remember almost nothing from that debate, save for one or two of Trump’s trademark ripostes, and we’ll remember little from tomorrow’s debate, as well. Nevertheless, the debate of yesteryear illustrates clearly the argument for Trump, one that ought to be of interest to the supposedly omniscient Democrats.