The ultimate Presidential Debate of the 2020 election season, the final showdown between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, was the terminal and supreme piece of proof for the idea that the yr 2016 didn’t come to an finish however in truth prolonged its lease into 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. The spectre of 2016 doesn’t hang-out america of America; it has possessed it like a malevolent spirit. 

In Phillip Ok. Dick’s fantastic and criminally undervalued novel VALIS the phrase “The Empire By no means Ended” is repeated again and again because the protagonist (Phil Ok. Dick himself underneath the eventually-discarded pseudonym “Horselover Fats”) slowly learns that the Roman Empire nonetheless exists and prospers at the moment, that in truth he—in addition to you and me and everybody else—are literally residing in 70 BCE however with the phantasm of time having handed laid over actuality like a blanket. A Gnostic demi-urge was accountable for the phantasm that point has handed for the reason that first century BCE, however that phantasm was starting to fade as a pleasant Huge Energetic Residing Intelligence System was reasserting itself, thus inflicting Dick’s visions of a first-century Roman Empire superimposed over his personal actuality. 

Phillip Ok. Dick was an excellent author who wrote thirty-six books and quite a few quick tales nearly totally underneath the affect of highly effective and unlawful amphetamines earlier than dying in his fifties, and in the event you’re acquainted with his work the comparability of his scary and sometimes hilarious cosmology with the yr 2016 will really feel very apt. Should you squint you possibly can nonetheless see 2016 taking place throughout us, as if it by no means ended in any respect, as if we’re nonetheless residing in that very same yr with an inexpensive shellac of change painted over us. I can see the identical forces from 2016 right here proper in entrance of me, they’re nonetheless very a lot current and nonetheless very a lot dictating the absurd occasions we witness every day. I, like Phillip Ok. Dick himself, acknowledge that that is an insane concept, however I, like Phillip Ok. Dick himself, acknowledge that typically going insane is an applicable response to actuality. 

In spite of everything, each candidates are clearly nonetheless residing in 2016, one by alternative and the opposite by forces past his management. At this identical time 4 years in the past Trump was deflecting yet one more scandal that might have instantly ended the presidential aspirations of every other candidate at every other time in historical past, a pattern that began in 2016 and, identical to that cursed yr itself, hasn’t shown any signs of stopping. This week it was the revelation that Donald Trump, the President of america of America, had a secret bank account in China, the place he has paid a whole bunch of 1000’s of {dollars} in taxes whereas pursuing licensing and actual property offers earlier than and after profitable the 2016 election (this got here on the heels of the revelation that Donald Trump, the President of america of America, paid roughly seven-hundred and fifty dollars total in earnings taxes right here in america in 2016 and 2017). 

Trump is even nonetheless attempting to have Hillary Clinton investigated, one other pattern from 2016 that hasn’t disappeared but. Sarcastically, Hillary Clinton is perhaps the one factor from 2016 that hasn’t been capable of keep related (regardless of her best efforts to take care of a presence within the media lengthy after everyone asked her to stop). Endorsements from Hillary Clinton are extra typically a kiss of loss of life than any type of boon, to the purpose the place even a rumor that she had returned Joe Kennedy III’s 2016 endorsement noticed Kennedy lose factors to progressive opponent Ed Markey earlier than following the instance of Andrew Gillum and Eliot Engel, robust candidates who every acquired a Clinton endorsement earlier than dropping within the polls and promptly dropping very winnable races. 

The Ultimate Presidential Debate

Thursday evening noticed Trump return to the 2016 Candidate Trump technique that appeared so profitable 4 years in the past. Whereas the President Trump technique is to inform insane lies as typically as he feels it crucial, Candidate Trump correctly opts to inform insane lies as typically as he feels it crucial and to inform apparent truths that almost all politicians, together with his opponents, attempt to keep away from on the bottom that they reveal what a ridiculous sham all of that is. He used this technique to great effect within the 2016 primaries towards Florida Governor and failed presidential candidate Jeb “Please Clap” Bush by stating the fully plain (however concurrently unadmittable) undeniable fact that the Iraq invasion was a “huge fats mistake” and that “they claimed there have been weapons of mass destruction…they lied. They lied!” forcing Jeb “Jeb!” Bush to disclaim one thing that, by 2016, was widespread data. 

In a similar way, through the remaining presidential debate Candidate Trump introduced up the influence-peddling scandal round Joe Biden’s son Hunter and Hunter’s appointment to a $150,000 a month no-show job as a board member for Ukrainian-owned power firm Burisma which, whereas under no circumstances unlawful, continues to be a transparent and blatant instance of the very same type of influence-peddling that the wealthy and influential have always performed for his or her silly or disappointing offspring. It’s why Senate Minority Chief Chuck Schumer’s baby is a Facebook executive, it’s why Invoice Clinton’s daughter sits on the board of numerous companies, and it’s why a talentless dunce like Megan McCain has a media profession regardless of none of those nimrods ever having had an actual job and even been certified for one. 

Naturally, in true President Trump vogue, Trump is even more guilty of this than his opponent, however that’s not the purpose. The purpose is to make Candidate Trump’s opponent attempt to deny one thing plainly apparent to anybody with half a mind. Likewise Trump introduced up Biden’s inconsistency in regard to fracking and frequently questioned why, since Biden had been in Congress for almost fifty years and within the White Home for eight, he had not already completed any of the targets Biden has for his forthcoming administration, two extra subjects Biden can’t remark upon with something resembling the reality as a result of the reality is that Joe Biden is a shameless liar with a truly horrendous legislative record

Nonetheless, it’s laborious to say if this was a profitable technique final evening, or if it was even a profitable technique 4 years in the past towards Hillary Clinton. It’s broadly agreed that Clinton received all three of her debates with Candidate Trump and it’s doubtless that Joe Biden can be seen because the victor of this remaining presidential debate as properly, which simply offers additional assist for my theory that these debates are empty, meaningless spectacles being carried out for no one in any respect, that they’re merely the poisonous by-products of the slight disagreements between factions of the identical faceless forces of capital and the US imperial challenge that that we, in our personal determined try and deny the apparent, have mistaken for the dramatic clashes of opposing ideologies. 

Let’s be actual: Joe Biden isn’t right here as a result of he desires to be, although he could consider in any other case. He wanted to run in 2016 however was dissuaded by President Barack Obama, and for good cause. Joe Biden is an imbecile with a horrible file and a nasty behavior of dropping presidential elections. In the meantime Hillary Clinton was nonetheless a drive to be reckoned with within the closing days of Obama’s presidency and the sensible folks stated that it’d be higher to have her contained in the tent pissing out than the alternative. And to be sincere, regardless of her noteworthy flaws as a candidate she nearly definitely would have received in 2016 had not James Comey’s Frankenstein-looking ass decided, on the final minute, to unburden himself of the world’s smallest disaster of conscience and irrevocably sink Clinton’s marketing campaign. Trump was a singularly unpopular candidate and it took a mixture of the second-most unpopular candidate working a horrible marketing campaign and James Comey to lose to him. 

Had it not been for James Comey, Clinton would doubtless have received and the world would in all probability be a special place. Not in the event you dwell in Palestine or Afghanistan or Iran or Russia or Syria or mainly wherever within the International South, after all, however America would’ve in all probability been totally different. All it took was a tiny little coin-flip in James Comey’s huge head to radically alter the nation, and it feels just like the universe is attempting to re-do that very same election however with out James Comey, nearly as if unusual forces put us on a repeating loop till they get the consequence they needed. Joe Biden’s coverage targets are not any totally different than Hillary Clinton’s and his administration can be precisely as useful to you or I as hers would have been, which is to say, Biden’s administration is not going to make anybody’s life any much less worse or alleviate the struggling of even one single individual, merely that it’ll nonetheless not be as unhealthy as a second Trump presidency. 

The forces that put Biden the place he’s now are the identical forces that put Clinton the place she was in 2016, they usually’re utilizing the very same argument to attempt to win the very same election—Our Candidate Sucks However Not As A lot As Trump. It’s a merciless factor to foist upon struggling folks, made extra merciless by the truth that it’s the identical dismal alternative these monsters have been providing for a number of many years now, however that doesn’t make it much less true. The truth that it’s true is what makes this ploy so god rattling evil. 

There’s nothing about Biden that makes him fitted to this job, he was merely the most effective weapon towards the state of affairs these forces completely couldn’t abide: a Bernie Sanders candidacy. Had Pete Buttigieg or Beto O’Rourke or Kamala Harris not been such spectacularly uninspiring duds they’d be the place Biden is and Biden could be again in Delaware, sitting in a comfortable chair and having fun with the rewards of a life lived within the service of merciless and horrible powers whereas he rots from the within out. Which, given what all the polls appear to be saying, might be what he’ll be doing within the White Home till the day he dies. Maybe then the universe will get again on its supposed monitor and the 12 months of Our Lord 2016 will lastly and mercifully come to an finish.