Winners and Losers from the Final Presidential Debate

Last night we saw—at last—the final debate of this [prolonged/torturous/entertaining, but in the same way a car crash is entertaining/highly arousing, though that may be because I am a masochist] presidential season. It was a [fascinating/miserable/refreshingly policy-orienting/disappointingly policy-oriented/extremely sexy] affair that left viewers [tearing their eyes out/tearing their clothes off/blackout drunk/yelling the wrong racial slurs at their television/slipping into a blissful fantasy realm of denial/rock hard/soaking wet]. Here are the winners and losers. 

Nobody: The total absence of people was big winner from the night, and not just because Trump conceded it has more respect for women than he does

Hillary Clinton: With three commanding performances in three debates, accomplished a clean sweep of the sort the Chicago Cubs are desperately wishing they could muster right about now

Donald Trump’s makeup team: Did an impressive job of color coordinating to ensure Trump’s face was the same bright red as his tie

Stupid and pointless Internet memes: haha trump said “hombres” which sounds like “harambe” ahahah this is a genuinely funny joke instead of a played-out memetic structure which substitutes the listener’s recognition of a signal they have previously acknowledged as funny in place of an actual joke

People sick of that totally absurd bullshit about American flag lapel pins we’ve had to deal with for eight years: Clinton once again did not wear a lapel pin, and the lack of outcry surrounding it is an encouraging sign that this incredibly stupid source of controversy has finally outstayed its welcome

Delicious schadenfreude at the Republican Party’s tortured and entirely self-imposed collapse: Watching down-ballot candidates who endorsed Trump struggle to distance themselves from him in the wake of his refusal to accept the election results last night is going to be amazing


Donald Trump: Hoo boy, where to start

Chris Wallace: Did tremendously well in moderating the debate and asking biting questions, an impressive show of skilled journalistic mettle which unfortunately will soon result in him losing his job at Fox News

Abortion: As in the vice-presidential debate, produced one of the most substantive, heartfelt, sympathetic, and well-stated answers of the whole damn circus, which frustrated those of us who thought such a controversial topic would produce a truly juicy moment like Donald Trump collapsing after a cocaine overdose, Hillary admitting that she’s working for ISIS, or Chris Wallace jumping onstage and clotheslining them both in one move while the crowd screams for blood

The ability of humans to follow clearly stated directions: The audience once again applauded during the debate after being repeatedly asked not to, indicating that this core aspect of human survivability and adaptability is slowly departing the species

Shocking, transgressive statements which violate the norms of American politics and totally disqualify a potential candidate: The media has raised a huge outcry over Trump’s vow to challenge the election results, almost as if they don’t realize that this election has made a mockery of their old taboos or that their persistent finger-wagging will change the minds of precisely zero people

Women: After listening to Donald Trump once again interrupt and insult Hillary Clinton all night, barely got a break before learning that the newly-revealed Red Dead Redemption 2 looks like it will continue Rockstar Games’ longstanding tradition of not having prominent female characters

Rockstar Games: Seriously, it should not be hard to write major female characters into a setting that birthed real-life women with names like “Calamity Jane

Ted Cruz: I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: Ted Cruz, a man so good at debating that in his college days he made it to the semifinals of the World Debating Championship, lost a Republican primary season that featured TWELVE different debates to that guy

Image credit: Freddie Campion, Twitter (@FreddieCampion)