A Donald Trump-Bernie Sanders debate makes a lot of sense.
If you ask me, they’re both pretty unusual politicians who represent radical movements that appeal exclusively to angry white males. And with a California showdown seeming highly likely, the budding satirist who lives in my body piped up and said “Hey, Carl, maybe the debate would go a little something like this.”
So, with apologies to Andy Borowitz and David Javerbaum (and those renowned humorists at the New York Times) here goes nothing!
WOLF: Good evening. I’m universally-respected newsman Wolf Blitzer, and I’m moderating tonight’s debate along with CNBC’s Becky Quick. We will begin with opening statements. Mr. Trump, go ahead.
TRUMP: Thank you, Wolf. We have some really wonderful, fantastic people here. And some losers! I’m going to build a yuge, beautiful wall.
WOLF: Alright, thank your Mr. Trump. Senator Sanders, we now go to you.
SANDERS: The billionaires who have run amok in this country, with Wall Street, the wars in the Middle East, have all DEVASTATED the American people. This is not a campaign. This is a revolution. I have never celebrated Christmas. Thank you.
WOLF: The biggest issue that has surrounded both of your campaigns is accusations of violence and harassment, especially against respected Beltway insiders. People say that you egg your supporters on to call people either “cucks” or “scumbags.” Is this an unfair characterization of your campaigns?
TRUMP: We’ve got some really terrific people out there, working around the clock to harass reporters and many other people. Look, we are working around the clock here; Bernie just harasses women when there’s a primary coming up, or a woman is stating her opinion. Let me tell you, that doesn’t cut it for someone with the biggest job in the world.
SANDERS: [hideously waving hands around, voice somehow more grating and rude now] Excuse me! I was mentioned. I was mentioned.
BECKY QUICK: Why are you pointing at me?
SANDERS: Allow. Me. To. Finish.
[“Heisenberg Like A Boss” t-shirt-clad Sanders supporters cheer as Bernie has shouted at another woman. Trump grimaces, obviously impressed.]
SANDERS: Anyone. ANYONE. Especially a billyion-aire like Mistuh Trump, can get his paid goons to show that damn frog to women on Twitter. Or to call John Podhoretz a “cuck.” A man who owns a few buildings, yes, he can get away with beating up black people at his rallies. BUT. BUT. Let me finish. Becky, let me finish.
QUICK: I’m not saying anything.
SANDERS: BUT! They’re not excited. My suppawtuhs, the people in this revolution, they’re at conventions throwing chairs at female Democratic Party officials. They’re calling Senator Barbara Boxer names. You can check the website. When’s the last time a Trump voter did ANYTHING like that?
TRUMP: That is ridiculous. That is just, are you listening to this guy? Now, respected pundits have said, and this is true, that they have never felt as unsafe anywhere, as at my rallies.
SANDERS: Ah, Purim!
[Sanders supporters hurl sexist abuse at Becky Quick]
WOLF: Please, you are only taking time away from your candidate.
TRUMP: Wolf, Wolf, can my supporters get a response here?
[Trump supporters hurl insults at Becky Quick]
WOLF: Moving on. Senator Sanders, your supporters are exclusively entitled, angsty white men who live in their mother’s basement. [Manchildren in the audience applaud.]
SANDERS: Yes. Absolutely.
WOLF: How do you expect to win your party’s nomination and the general election with such a limited base of support?
SANDERS: Wolf. I’m glad you asked. Every. Single. One. Of my votuhs. Will silence the other side. Minorities will be so depressed, they will stay home on election day. That’s. How we did it in Vermont.
TRUMP: [Making skeptical faces] Oh, please.
SANDERS: It’s my turn to speak, Mistuh Trump.
TRUMP: My supporters, they are the most angry, most misogynist white men in the whole world. For every person of color Bernie’s supporters harass, mine will harass ten. It’s gonna be the yugest landslide since Reagan. It’s gonna be so big.
SANDERS: Mashugana. Your suppawtuhs couldn’t gaslight if they were in 19th century Paris.
TRUMP: They will silence. They will harass. They will be oh so problematic, your head will spin. I will get the victims to pay for their own harassment too.
SANDERS: With the superdelegates, I am silencing the 10 million… BECKY QUICK WILL YOU BE QUIET! A! MAN! IS! TALKING!
QUICK: I didn’t —
TRUMP: Sit down.
WOLF: For the next question we’ll turn to radical moderate and member of the Fact Friends Ron Fournier. Ron?
FOURNIER: [earnest Southern lilt] Well thank you, Wolf. Mr. Trump, the biggest issue voters care about is partisanship, there’s just too darn much of it–
TRUMP: Whoa whoa, is that Ron Fournier? Ron, Ron, you are absolutely the worst reporter I have ever seen. Just terrible. Just last week Ron here wrote in his column, this is just tragic, Ron wrote, “My political affiliation is ‘disruptor.'” [makes exaggerated confused face] “But at heart, my only label is No Labels.” What the Hell is that? That is just garbage to me. I cannot believe that the National Journal, whatever the Hell that is, pays you to write for them. You are a disgrace.
FOURNIER: There’s no need for personal attacks–
SANDERS: Youh writing. Is a personal attack. On my eyeballs! Partisanship is good, and we need more of it. In fact, I might start a third party. Just so we have. [clapping hands obnoxiously] Even more. Dysfunction. In Washington, D.C.!
FOURNIER: But what about solutions to America’s problems, like the debt?
TRUMP: Here’s a solution for you, Ron: I tell my 8 million Twitter followers to harass you with racist frog memes, say your wife is an illegal, make you cry, because I am the candidate who can cyberbully the most journalists, bar none.
SANDERS: While you have been talking. I have been DOING. My followuhs have posted Ron’s address on the Facebook. They are sending him infographics about childhood poverty. They are in his mentions telling him he’s a shmendrick. And they will force. Him. Off. The. Intuhnet. By the time I am done. With this sentence.
TRUMP: Oh excuse me, excuse me, is your campaign manager waiting outside in the parking lot by Ron’s car with a lead pipe? Shut up, just shut up.
SANDERS: I have 50 white men wearing frightening masks of The Joker in a cordon around Ron’s home. You don’t know, sir–
TRUMP: You’re an embarrassment. Just stop it– [crosstalk, rancor]
VOICE FROM OFFSTAGE: That’s enough!
WOLF: My God, this is unprecedented. It’s 30 year veteran of political reporting both inside the Beltway and out, Polk Award-nominated journalist Carl Diggler!
[I walk on stage. Viewers at home swoon and applaud, but the Bernie Bros and Trump Racists in attendance boo, thus proving my point.]
TRUMP: Diggler? I thought I took care of you back in Iowa.
SANDERS: I was certain. You had been destroyed. By my harassment militia!
DIG: “Cuck.” “Establishment.” “Shill.” “Loser.” These are words you two like to use to label your perceived adversaries.
SANDERS: Wait a minute here-
DIG: Oh, did you want to interject with another ad hominem that segued into a Begging The Question fallacy?
[crowd goes totally silence, in awe]
DIG: But what about the labels you two ought to have? Mr. Trump, you’re a blowhard who attacks his opponent’s characters instead of his ideas. You’re a loudmouth, and you’re just plain not nice.
TRUMP: Ah, ah-
DIG: And Bernie, if I were to label you? I have too much to pick from. Do I call you a misogynist? A racist? An intellectually bankrupt extremist? It’s ironic that you talk about the one percent so much, because you’re taking up 99 percent of what’s wrong with politics with your horror show of a campaign.
[A single woman starts clapping in the audience. Dozens of others follow]
DIG: Hold on, now. I’m not in this for the glory, or the applause, or a potential new life partner-slash-mother to my round son, although I am a caring man and my marriage dissolved because I cared too much. I just want to say one thing. People are angry. They’re hurting. They don’t know who’s going to balance the budget. They stay up all night, waiting for a charter school that just never comes. They’re looking at their kids with tears in their eyes, telling them they never experience means testing for social security. Fathers and sons don’t even talk to each other anymore because they know their leaders won’t fund moderate Syrian rebels. Both of you are half-clever, so you know how to exploit this fear, appealing to people’s racial animus or their desire not to be homeless. Well, I’m here to say, it’s alright to be afraid. Because it’s a scary world. But it’s not OK to be like these two men, who exploit our fears and turn them on respected Beltway insiders. Bernie, Donald, grow up.
[I drop my mic and the crowd cheers in a standing ovation for 20 minutes straight.]
[Sanders and Trump leave the stage red-faced. Corey Lewandowski drops his lead pipe in disgust and walks away.]
[I look at my Blackberry. There’s a new text from war hero Jim Webb: “I’M IN.”]
FADE TO BLACK
Carl “The Dig” Diggler has covered national politics for 30 years, and is the author of “Think-ocracy: The Rise Of The Brainy Congressman”. Got a question for the Dig? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet to @carl_diggler. And check out his predictions at SixThirtyEight.
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