I know we are supposed not to build up expectations for Trump’s failure in the debate, but this is irresistible.
For some reason utterly beyond me, the world has forgotten that Jim Lehrer, deeply respected former co-presenter of the PBS News Hour, and multiple Presidential debate moderator, wrote in 1996 a hysterically funny and absolutely to the point for 2016, novel about presidential debates, called The Last Debate. It is on Amazon, including Kindle, here.
The Democratic candidate is a George McGovern type, decent, but no match for modern political warfare. The Republican is leading heavily in the polls. He is a Cruz-Trump amalgam, heavy on the religiosity, a thug and a bully, without principle, and certain to win. The campaign has gone so far as to get dirt on the debate questioners.
So, the moderator secretly decides, with the agreement of the other panelists, to stage an intervention. They gather affidavits, and then, at the start of the debate get the candidates to agree to a flexible back and forth, rather than the agreed rules. (Can’t you imagine the ego in Trump thinking that would be an advantage?)
But then the moderators start confronting the Republican with his abuse of his female staff, his domestic violence, illegal tactics, etc., etc.
After the candidate’s slowly burning fury builds: (I have replaced names, because, well . . )
And then came the awful ending.
Trump tore the microphone out of the podium in front of him.
He threw it with force towards the moderator, barely missing his head.
He picked up the wooden podium with his two hands and raised it over his head.
“No more of this!” he shouted. “No more!”
He threw the podium at the panelists’ table. It crashed to be floor before it got that fr and splintered into several pieces.
He screamed: “God will fucking punish all of you for this! You will fucking die! You will fucking perish!”
Trump then turned to his left and exited the stage at a dead run.
And, that is that.
The only way I can communicate the brilliant humor of the book is to tell you that the first time I read it, I was flying across the Atlantic to see my father who was in his last days after emergency heat surgery. There I was in the darkened cabin, everyone around me asleep, unable to suppress my out loud laughter. It does not hurt for today that the Republic campaign manager was named Turpin.
So, read it and hope for the best.