Whichever clown wins November 8, the insider elite will preserve the status quo...
"I CAN'T watch this...it's too depressing."
We had tuned in to watch the presidential debate, writes Bill Bonner in his Diary of a Rogue Economist.
On the one side was a seasoned pro...calmly, carefully mouthing the platitudes and empty promises she thought would get her elected.
"We are great because we are good," said the woman partly responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths on her watch as Secretary of State.
On the other was the vulgar opportunist, winging it.
Almost any other compos mentis candidate could probably pull it off.
So great is the fear and loathing of his Big Nurse opponent, all it would take would be a few moments of honest reflection and reasonable discussion; the election would be in the bag.
But character is destiny. And Mr.Trump can't escape his.
It sticks to him like a tar baby. His dodgy business deals...his tax returns...his prehensile regard for the fairer sex...his goofy wall...his vain posturing...his pouting...his reckless, shambling opinions.
The most painful part of the evening was the earnest self-congratulation that preceded the main event.
The moderators wanted us to know that they supped with the gods of democracy. They also let it be known that they had carefully scripted the program so that the two candidates might respond in a dignified, controlled way.
Undecided voters would get the information they needed to make a thoughtful choice. They had even brought forth a group of voters who had not made up their minds yet to ask questions.
Once the high-minded claptrap was out of the way, the two lowlifes appeared, like a pair of professional wrestlers at a Nobel Prize awards ceremony.
Ms.Clinton glided onstage, beaming with phony confidence and much-practiced ease. Mr.Trump shuffled to his place, shoulders stooped...walking slowly, like a condemned man.
"He looks like the election is already over and he lost," said our friend.
Almost immediately, the show began – with prurient interest.
The Republican candidate had been recorded making naughty remarks. Interviewers wanted to know what he had to say for himself.
"Locker room talk," was his reply.
Was Mr.Trump all talk and no action? Inquiring minds wanted to know.
After some diversionary tactics, the answer finally came. Had he done the things his comments implied?
"No," was his answer.
This gave rise to an odious comparison. For in the audience (the TV camera helpfully picked them out for us) were three women who claimed they had been sexually molested by Ms.Clinton's husband, Bill.
And there he was, sitting in the front row. White haired. Looking almost distinguished, and very unlike a classic sex predator.
No raincoat. No wild-eyed, maniacal look. He might be a retired chiropractor...a church greeter...or a former president of the United States of America.
And yet, had not he actually done the things Mr.Trump talked about? Had not he taken advantage of a silly young woman?
Had not he lied to the nation about it?
Had not his wife come to his aid, as she had many times before, to discredit the woman involved?
"I'm feeling a little sick," said our friend.
But the spectacle was just beginning. And it was headed downhill.
It didn't really matter what questions were asked...or how civic-minded the moderators thought they were...The two candidates "wrassled" in the mud.
There was no real discussion of policies, principles, or philosophy.
Ms.Clinton thought "The Donald" unfit for the Oval Office. Mr.Trump thought the Oval Office was no place for a crook like Hillary.
What about the 33,000 deleted emails, he wanted to know.
What about his tax returns, she wanted to know.
By following the rules of the tax system – as doctored by our elected representatives, including the selfsame Ms.Clinton when she was a senator from New York – Mr.Trump had apparently not paid a penny "for the police, and the schools, and the veterans," she charged.
For his part, if he is elected, Mr.Trump promised to appoint a special prosecutor to put Hillary in jail.
(She did not say so, but if she is elected, Ms.Clinton will surely be on the phone to the IRS, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, zoning boards, and licensing committees, making sure Mr.Trump is ruined.)
Ms.Clinton: Mr.Trump doesn't care about women, Hispanics, immigrants, the poor, the disabled, and various other victim categories she didn't have time to mention.
If she were so "fortunate enough to be elected president," she would serve all the people, she said. After all, that's her campaign slogan: Stronger Together.
Mr.Trump: Oh yeah? Aren't you the same woman who labeled half my supporters "deplorable"? Aren't you the same person who said they were "irredeemable"?
How are you going to heal the wounds left by this campaign and bring the American people together with so much "hate in your heart"?
On and on...funny in places...pathetic most of the time...occasionally terrifying.
The Republican stands with the government in Syria. The Democrat takes the insurgents' side and is willing to risk (nuclear?) war with Russia over it. Neither explained why voters should give a damn.
And when it was over, did the poor undecided voter get any information to help him make an informed, rational decision?
Not at all.
The two champions whacked each other with boards and tripped over barrels, racing toward a prize neither should be allowed anywhere near: the office once held by Washington, Jefferson, and Adams.
"I'm going to have to leave the room," said our friend.
We always try to look at the bright side here at the Diary. But neither side appeared very bright to us on that Sunday night.
We do not wish harm to either one of them...for they have made this election cycle the most entertaining we have ever seen.
But it has also given us a new perspective...
This is the first time we have been grateful to the Deep State. No matter which of these clowns is elected, we have nothing to worry about. The insider elites will continue to rip us all off in the manner to which we've become sorely accustomed.