Like millions of Americans, I’ve spent the day metaphorically washing my hands, making 10,000 trips to the sink to scrub off the stink and disgust of last night’s “debate.”

The president showed up to the debate as a drunk heckler. The guy in charge got flustered right away and security had the night off. So the heckler was able to just let it rip all night long. If he was a regular citizen coming to a public meeting, he would be listened to for a few minutes and then shown the door. I’ve seen it happen. You can say a lot in public meetings but you can’t just go off on people endlessly.

It’s not Joe Biden’s fault that the president is a low rent heckler. And it wasn’t within Chris Wallace’s power to control the president, not without muscled-up security. Blaming either skirts the essential issue: our president is a crude, stupid, egotistical, and profoundly irresponsible person who plays at being president while he watches TV and tweets all day. God bless America.

So now, today, we are so screwed up as a country that the discussion is about how to make the next debate more structured so as to minimize the president’s heckling instead of screaming WHY DO WE HAVE A PRESIDENT WHO ACTS THIS WAY!

Years ago, I got uncomfortably familiar with the allegory of the frog in boiling water. It is explained on Wikipedia thusly:

The boiling frog is a fable describing a frog being slowly boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.”

Being the frog initially swimming in the tepid water and then getting boiled to death is an allegory for how people get used to increasingly weird and difficult situations, like how an abused woman absorbs a steady stream of hurt and humiliation, all the while carrying on with what she wants to believe is a normal life but is actually an exceedingly abnormal life except she’s lost sight of normalcy so she doesn’t realize that the water is boiling. You get my point.

So, here we are. 73 million frogs. Nearly boiled and so twisted in our thinking that we hope the next debate has more controls for our heckling president. It’s crazy. We’re crazy. It’s not our fault, though, we didn’t notice the water getting hotter. Hopefully, there’s still time to hop out of the pot.


Photo by Kerin Gedge on Unsplash

3 Comments on “Parboiled

  1. Watching the post-(and I use the next term loosely) debate analysis, I was struck by the number of comments that likened him to an abuser. Were you?

  2. I think that if the debates weren’t live broadcast it might keep Trump from overacting. So much of it is about the attention he needs, and if there was only a small panel of journalists watching it might not matter to him. I feel for you.

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