Opinion: A toast to the end of the debates

Matt Poe

We did it.

We, as a nation, somehow managed to tread water long enough to survive the mockery and reality television show that was the 2016 presidential debates. I am proud of each and every one of you for staying strong through this dark period in our nation.

The final debate is Thursday night, and it will be the last of the stepping stones to the end of this merciless presidential election. Thank God.

So it is without further ado that I would like to thank some of the people who made these debates as laughable and memorable as any in our nation’s history (clears throat, straightens tie, raises glass).

To Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump: Oh Donnie, Donnie Boy. From the beginning of the Republican debates all the way to the presidential debates, you made it an election season to remember. Your ability to make every topic about yourself, whether it be ISIS, the economy or immigration, is uncanny.

Who wants to hear about real issues or plausible solutions to help solve some of the issues our nation is facing? Not I. I want to hear as much about you as possible, and throughout the campaign trail, I really feel like I got to know you quite well. My favorite part was the whole dismissing sexual assault as “boys will be boys” talk.

Really, I can’t thank you enough. This column wouldn’t have survived without you.

To Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton: You battled and held your ground against Trump, continually volleying his remarks about your emails and your husband’s alleged marital affairs. You tried to talk about substantial issues and help remind us that the leader of the free world needs to provide solutions, not barriers to further divide us.

At times, you went for personal attacks and took the low hanging fruit, like Trump not releasing his taxes. But mostly, you stood your ground and reminded us what someone running for elected office should act like.

I feel like we’ve grown to know each other a lot since your first attempt at running for president in 2008. We still have some trust issues and growing pains to work out, but hey, no good relationship grows without a little bit of time and effort. I hope in four to eight years we’ll look back on this time period with a chuckle.

To CNN anchorman and presidential debate moderator Anderson Cooper: You, sir, continue to show us what great journalism looks like. Your ability to moderate and ask tough questions that need clarification is slowly setting the gold standard in journalism. Keep up the good work, kid. You just might have a future in this business.

To Obama: This election has made me realize how much I will miss your personality when your time as president ends. Regardless of how one feels about your politics, your interactions with every day people serve as a reminder that the president should remain relatable and humble to all citizens — your jump shot will certainly be missed. It’s a tough job market out there, so please update your resume and start looking for work. It could be difficult, but I have hopes for you.

So there you have it, folks. When Thursday night’s debate wraps up, I’m sure I’ll feel like Frodo and Sam after destroying the ring, coming to the realization that it’s finally over. Make sure to have your popcorn ready for the final act, and watch as the mushroom cloud settles in glorious high definition (ends toast, chugs champagne, throws glass in drunken uncle’s vicinity).

Matt Poe is a columnist, contact him at [email protected].