Opinion

Please Advise! This US Debate Needs a Serious Drinking Game

Dr. Steve couldn’t agree more, and offers his calming variation. Warning: may require all the booze.

By Steve Burgess 26 Sep 2016 | TheTyee.ca

Steve Burgess writes about politics and culture for The Tyee. Find his previous articles here.

[Editor's note: Steve Burgess is an accredited spin doctor with a PhD in Centrifugal Rhetoric from the University of SASE, situated on the lovely campus of PO Box 7650, Cayman Islands. In this space he dispenses PR advice to politicians, the rich and famous, the troubled and well-heeled, the wealthy and gullible.]

Dear Dr. Steve,

The first presidential debate takes place tonight (Monday) in Long Island with Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump. What can we expect? I’m nervous.

Signed,

Nervous

Dear Nervous,

Monday night’s debate will not precisely resemble the Battle of Stalingrad. Unlike that Second World War showdown, the debate will have a time limit as well as central heating. The lighting will be better. Yet it could play the same kind of decisive role in the battle against a deplorable foe.

Anxiety is high in advance of the face-off between the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees at Hofstra University, as polls show the electoral race in a dead heat. Hillary Clinton supporters point out that her comprehensive grasp of policy will confer a significant debating advantage, while Trump supporters counter that elitist libtards are worthy of death.

Much pre-debate controversy has centred on whether moderator Lester Holt should step in whenever Trump makes statements that are clearly untrue. But such an approach could backfire for the Democrats, as it means Clinton would never actually appear onscreen. Holt would also require regular intravenous transfusions to stave off exhaustion, which would be bad TV.

There are drinking games springing up around this debate, mostly involving particular words like “tremendous” and “win” and sort-of words like “yuuge.” I propose other variations to enhance your viewing pleasure.

Drink whenever the Trump smirk makes you want to put a fist through the screen.

Drink every time you recall that a majority of white voters in America have responded to Trump’s fact-free, narcissistic, megalomaniacal, Putin-loving, Muslim-hating, Mexican-trashing, violence-encouraging, disabled-and-POW-insulting campaign by telling pollsters they would like to see him in the White House.

A big gulp every time you contemplate that no rhetorical outrage, no jaw-dropping demonstration of wilful ignorance, no revelation of fraudulent business dealing, nor even the news that he used charitable donations to pay his legal bills and buy not one but two portraits of himself, has destroyed his political viability.

Chug when you recall that a recent poll showed almost half of Trump’s supporters — not his critics but the people who plan to vote for him — believe he would be likely to use nuclear weapons, create a database to track Muslims, and put illegal immigrants in internment camps, while only a modest 22 per cent believe their choice for president will actually start a nuclear war.

Swig when you realize that even a Hillary Clinton victory will not change the forensic picture of America that has been revealed by the 2016 election campaign.

Scoop liquor into your gaping maw with both hands as you contemplate the recent poll showing a majority of white Americans believe that the chief victims of racial discrimination in America are white people. Drain the dregs of each bottle in the house, even the ones with cigarette butts, as you contemplate the self-serving blindness required for white Americans to think they are the group currently being victimized by society.

Drink and drink and drink again until this world swirls away down a dark well of sweet oblivion.

If by Tuesday the conventional wisdom proclaims that Donald Trump somehow gained the upper hand in Monday’s debate, the effect could resemble a historical revision in which the Wehrmacht’s Sixth Army had crushed its enemies along the Volga in 1942. We don’t know what turn the world might have taken had the Russians lost at Stalingrad. But chances are it wouldn’t have been good. And consider: this time, the Russians are supporting the other side.

So don’t run short of booze.  [Tyee]

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