I watched the final presidential debate on October 22 because I knew most people would skip it. And, according to the ratings, many people did just that. I learned that listening to Drumpf’s bellowing and then bellowing back at my TV had no impact whatsoever other than to increase my already irritated throat.

“We have the greatest economy, thanks to me!” “If Joe gets in, he’s going to pack the court!” “Rioters and looters!” “The virus is almost gone!” “Mute him! For Pete’s sake mute him now!” (That last one was mine.) Thankfully, the mute button was used this time during each candidate’s primary 2-minute section, and it worked.

Unfortunately, I could still hear Drumpf’s nonstop stream of lies. As a matter of fact, the nonpartisan groups PolitiFact and FactCheck.org both rated Drumpf’s Lie Quotient “off the charts.”

I’m pretty sure not one voter changed their mind. In truth, these “debates” are neither presidential nor debates. Anyway, other than braying and Lie-A-Palooza, here are the other takeaways I got:

• Every time the Orange Stain on America mentions “socialism,” that right-wing bogey man of governance, I yell, “Norway! Norway! Norway!” Why do cowardly Democrats get so squeamish at the mere mention of “socialism?” Along with Drumpf, many U.S. politicians of both parties hold Norway up as a beacon of national perfection. They don’t know that Norway uses a hybrid socialist/capitalist model of gender equity, basic decency, and universal healthcare. Good grief, we wouldn’t want that.

• Although the Supreme Court-packing issue got scant air time in this last “debate,” what the hell do people think the Republicans have been doing? For years, they have been packing both the Supreme Court and lower courts with judges who reflect the fringe elements of our society. They are entirely out of step with what the American people want regarding immigrant rights, gun rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights and more. Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland, never even got a hearing, yet he was a beacon of moderation and judicial temperament.

For a deeper dive into Republican judicial strategy, head on over to Amazon Prime or the free service TubiTV and watch “Hot Coffee.” This was a brilliantly made yet underseen documentary that will “unpack” for you what the extreme right has been doing for decades now. Packing the courts at every level.

• As far as muting goes, so many of us women have felt muted during this regime that it’s astonishing we’re able to even function. Our feminism is insulted and assaulted at every turn. We’re such a meme-oriented group now that the following meme from Eva the Diva on social media expresses our gender angst beautifully: “Women are told not to post photos that show too much skin because it might limit our future career options. Men who are rapists are elected to the highest office.”

• The Commission on Presidential Debates needs to either disband or re-brand. Commission on Blather Bouts? Commission STFU Fests? Commission on Verbal Vomit?

• There was a shift in Drumpf’s demeanor. He was on a tighter leash, although he was still growling, straining, and lunging. I was reminded of the venerable maxim: “Never wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and the pig likes it.”

• Here was another great meme on Facebook this week: “While my husband was queued up to vote, someone pulled up to the line outside the church in their car and asked, ‘how long have you been waiting?’ Some guy in the middle of the line yells, ‘Four years!’ and the crowd cheered.”

• While we’ve been mesmerized by the “malarkey” and gross debate shenanigans of the Orange Face Poo-Poo Undies (a nod to Madeline Kahn), this administration has gutted hard-won environmental and conservation wins. A partial list includes: The National Environmental Policy Act; The Endangered Species Act; The Clean Water Act; The Safe Drinking Water Act; The Farmland Protection Policy; The Coastal Zone Management Act, ad nauseum. This regime is bent on destroying our country and the planet for all but the extremely wealthy.

Finally, and more locally: in case you’re wondering about Proposition 24—an initiative that the League of Women Voters has urged a “No” vote on—it needs a very loud yes! (See? All women do not vote the same just because they are women! We are not a monolith.) Full disclosure: I have been a board member of Consumer Watchdog for 30 years. We are lawyers and activists committed to consumers’ well-being. Voting yes on Prop. 24 will force the ginormous tech companies to enable privacy protections that benefit regular gals and guys. Let’s have California be a leader in preventing the mining of our personal information.

I’ll close again with the chant, Norway, Norway, Norway! California is the Norway of the U.S. Hey, let’s secede—debate that.


Ellen Snortland has written “Consider This…” for a heckuva long time, and she also coaches first-time book authors! Contact her at ellen@beautybitesbeast.com.