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Pres Debate #3 (3)

October 19, 2016

I’m having trouble imagining this, because if I imagine honestly, it’s all too painfully repulsive and scary. There are many women in my family and among my many decades of friends.

Last night I had three, long dreams. All took place in a big-city nightscape of sordid criminality and conspiracies to murder, all unresolved. This morning’s memories of them are a jumble of interesting two-bit characters and ice cold psycho bosses living in luxury.

So I’ll be dishonest. Here are some highlights of tonight’s debate:

Exhibiting grace under pressure, in his opening statement Trump calmly declares that in a debate, participants should be rational and should not make ad hominem attacks. He then apologizes, convincingly, to America for having incited violence, distorted the truth, obscured the issues, and slandered and mocked people for their color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, and/or physical disability. He apologizes to women everywhere for putting them through so much pain, and specifically to Hillary for having stalked her in the second debate. He reminds the best of us, our police officers, that black lives matter.

He has fired his campaign advisors.

He explains that in recent weeks he has considered resigning his candidacy, for the good of the country and of his party; but he has decided to stay in the race because he believes that, having gotten the attention of the electorate, he can be a model, especially for loyal Republicans, of enlightened conservatism, while being an effective critic of the Democratic candidate.

He admits that he knows nothing about solving the nation’s most pressing problems (and until recently, frankly hasn’t been all that interested); but he pushes H for a definitive statement regarding TPP, draws her attention to working families in the Rustbelt, critiques her hawkish foreign policy, presses her on how she will deal with money in electoral politics and in access to government when she risks being beholden to wealthy donors.

But he points out that none of that matters much, if we don’t move quickly to counter the effects of global warming; and he asks H to join him, whichever of them becomes President, in a major effort to inform the American people of the reality of climate change, and to enlist their help in a huuuuge effort to do something about it.

His Plan B (A + B if he won—which he doesn’t think he will, and he fully accepts that outcome) has always been a Trump TV network. He now realizes that it should be a leader in providing accurate and adequate information, and logical thinking.

Hillary forgives and thanks T on behalf of a grateful nation. She welcomes the contribution that he can make towards healing and reconstructing America, to make it both good and great again. “You and I really are,” she says, “stronger together.”

She responds to his criticism, somewhat persuasively. But, more important, with clearly heart-felt eloquence she shares her imagination of an America that highly values community, diversity and individual choice of lifestyle, abundant and equal opportunity, and personal responsibilty. An America in which wealthy persons and corporations are prevented from preying upon the young and the disadvantaged.

She apologizes to the American people for not taking a stronger stand against the policies and persons who are responsible for the damaging maldistribution of wealth, and pledges to pursue criminal prosecution of wealthy people, including corporate executives, who break the law.

She also apologizes to the American people for not taking steps that would have made her word more trustworthy, and she promises that she will remedy that, as President.

She promises to work closely with Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, and other Progressives in Congress, to transform the Democratic Party into the party of all the people.

Then she closes with a genuinely humble request to all American voters: “Please help me become the very best servant of the American people that I can be.”

After the first five minutes of the debate, the moderator mostly remains silent, allowing the candidates to converse with each other and the television audience. Gasps of astonishment and delight are heard from the audience in the auditorium, with increasing frequency until at the end they give the candidates a loud, sustained, standing ovation.

This was but a dream.

[post-coffee page]

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