It has often been written that the key to our democracy has been our inherent low regard for politicians. Until politicians achieved the ability to buy your vote through the dispensation of your own tax dollars, we citizens looked on politicians with a wary eye.
Every two years, or every four years we citizenry made our politicians jump through hoops, an electoral carnival where we took nothing they said very seriously, expecting nothing from government except to stay out of our lives as much as possible.
That all changed with Franklin Roosevelt. Using the power surrendered to him during the depression, Roosevelt created a citizenry more dependent on government.
And it didn't matter that most of Roosevelt's many, many federal plans failed because, by then the east coast intellectuals were selling FDR as a massive success...to serve as a role model for every future liberal since.
Well, throughout the fifties we fought pretty hard against that notion. Back then we still possessed a pretty good work ethic, and still kept big government at arm's length.
Then, in the early sixties, a man who was plagued with self doubt that he was loved used the power of the federal purse to institute the great American giveaway, LBJ's Great Society.
And from that time on the "let's take what we can get for free" game was on. And with that came massive fraud, waste and abuse of our tax dollars. But far more lethal for American democracy was a growing belief that government bureaucrats could solve your problems...and in a flash half of America was enslaved by a political party.
And, with government as the new god, God was no longer important. The church was no longer important. Hell, even fathers were no longer important because "Daddy Government" was here to save the day, first through a heftier welfare check, then free medical, free housing, food stamps, free child care, and free school breakfasts, now expanded to free lunch...with some school districts now offering free supper to succor kids in after school programs.
All of the above is pure digression. As the debate hour nears I'm looking a the American citizenry far more than those up there on the stage. I'm looking at those "47 percenters" who are waiting with bated breath to see if The Donald can avoid the thousand land mines set for him by Hillary and the mainstream media.
And the Trump supporters are divided; half of them wanting him to scream "crooked Hillary", the other half praying like hell that he'll avoid those mine fields...that he'll not talk about his incestuous lust for pretty daughter, or how big his hands and penis are, and that he can just keep a modicum of civil tongue in his head and try not to screw up when the moderator asks him about the Ukraine or Aleppo.
Yes, we've still got the carnival, we've still got the clowns, but they now have their own personal cheering sections and we are more divided as a nation than we have ever been.
So, go ahead and watch the debate. The media says anywhere from 80 to 100 million will. But frankly, I'm going to be paying more attention to the "watchers" than I will the "watched".
Tonight's debate is that 100 car pileup on a freeway, with a hundred million "gawkers" watching and praying for carnage. And sadly, none of the politicians can help us avoid the carnage and move on down the proverbial road of progress. That's up to us...and we are failing.
So, to each his own tonight. Break out the popcorn, pop a beer, and pull up a chair. Just know that neither of the two clowns have the answers we need.