As I sit in the waiting room while my wife undergoes a routine colonoscopy, I can’t help thinking about that other colonoscopy — America’s colonoscopy — that will take place later tonight when Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton hold their first presidential debate.
Even though I start work tomorrow at 5 a.m., I’ll be staying up late tonight because there’s just too much at stake. I figure I can sleep when I’m dead, and that day could come sooner than anyone expects if Trump somehow manages to win this election and gain access to the launch codes.
There’s literally zero chance that Trump will say or do something tonight that will get me to vote for him in November. Similarly, Hillary Clinton cannot do or say anything that will dissuade me from voting for her.
You might ask, if your mind is already set, why bend yourself over and lose sleep watching something so excruciating? My answer: Because even though I know what I’m going to do, I still don’t know what YOU are going to do.
So yeah, I need to understand what you’re thinking, and if you’ll see the same things I see.
Tonight, I will be trying to fathom the strange appeal Donald Trump has among these so-called patriots, these flag-waving imbeciles who praise dead heroes on the beaches of Normandy, but with their next breath praise the Hitleresque politics of Trump, the likes of which those self-same heroes gave their lives to destroy.
Tonight, I need to see with my own eyes, and try to understand how my fellow Americans can be so in love with their Essential Whiteness that they’ll clamor for walls and rubber stamp hate directed at neighbors with skin that is black or brown.
Tonight, I will strive to understand those Americans who are so desperate for change — any change — that they’re willing to grasp even at that change of a looming Armageddon.
I long to get inside the minds of Americans who care nothing for truth as long as there’s a clever sound bite; who cling to the ignorance of Trump’s latest Twitter meme, while ridiculing fact-checked journalism that is unbiased, clearly written, and freely disseminated.
Tonight, through the scope of a televised debate, I’ll fear to see what I already know — that Donald J. Trump is a tumor that should have been excised long ago, and I’ll dread the diagnosis that his malignancy of hate has metastasized throughout the body of my country.