American citizens of all stripes, there’s reason to rejoice this evening. A little after 10:37 p.m. on Thursday, October 22, the
third second and final debate of the 2020 election concluded. That means the nation is officially one step closer to determining who will be America’s Next Top (or bottom, quite frankly) President of the United States, and closing out this (dark) chapter of our nation’s history. Perhaps a young, upstart musical-theater composer will turn this debate cycle into a rap battle worthy of a Pulitzer Prize–winning musical, or (more likely) perhaps not. In either case, one thing is true. Say it with us: “There will never be another presidential debate in the 2020 election.” Feels nice to say, doesn’t it?
For those hoping to get the thrill of seeing Trump get muted mid-sentence on live television this evening, we’ve got some bad news. While the nation was informed that the Commission on Presidential Debates would employ new “tools to maintain order” after the disastrous first debate (barely) moderated by Chris Wallace, we didn’t really get to see them in action. The mics were muted during the other candidate’s initial two minutes, preventing either one from interjecting (which seemed to bother one candidate a whole lot more than it bothered the other). However, after the initial two minutes were up, the mute-button operator could breathe a sigh of relief, as per debate rules the candidates were free to let loose on each other. The existential threat of potentially being muted at any moment coupled with the superior moderating skills of NBC News’ Kristen Welker created an atmosphere that was much closer to resembling a debate than anything we’ve seen thus far.
Considering how the first debate and subsequent town halls went, and the record number of early votes that have already been cast, one must wonder how necessary Thursday’s proceedings even were? However, the race is not yet won. This is not over yet, and it won’t be until Election
Day Week has come and gone. That being said, let’s give ourselves the space to take solace in knowing that at least one more unfortunate aspect of this terrible year — watching septuagenarians argue for 90 minutes without a commercial break — has gone the way of Quibi: never to return again.