I honestly don't believe the debates are over. You will have to demonstrate to me slowly and gently over a period of months that there aren't any more debates, because I am too afraid to believe that they have really stopped.
However, here is what I hope is my final recap for this election season.
CHRIS WALLACE: Hello. I have come to your world from a different reality, Fox News, a fact that will become apparent as this debate goes on. This is the final presidential debate of the season, or, depending on whom you vote for, the final presidential debate of all time. If you play your cards right, all future elections can be settled by the spear! Now, let's bring out the candidates.
HILLARY CLINTON: Hello. I am dressed as Saruman the White. My best moments this evening will occur when I am forced to defend the basic principles of democracy, a terrifyingly low bar that this election season has set. Thank you for making it so easy, but also, eeegh.
DONALD TRUMP: *low guttural hiss* Tonight I have worn my RED tie.
WALLACE: Who would you put on the Supreme Court? Why?
CLINTON: I would definitely put human people on the Supreme Court, judges who were people and supported people, not corporations. I think people are people and corporations are faceless entities you sometimes give speeches to. All I want are judges who will not drag us screaming backward into the past.
TRUMP: I disagree. The subtext of my whole campaign is that the past was great! Especially for my core voters. The rest of you people, not so much. I know that the Supreme Court needs changing because one time, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was mean to me. If Hillary Clinton is elected, it is important that we keep the Second Amendment intact. This is not the most threatening thing I will say all evening.
WALLACE: Okay, let's talk about the Second Amendment. Hillary?
CLINTON: Thank you. Listen, I love the Second Amendment. I lived in Arkansas for 18 (twitch) WONDERFUL years. I oppose the way the Heller decision was applied, because I believe in toddlers. Hooray, toddlers.
TRUMP: The only thing that can stop a bad toddler with a gun is a good toddler with a gun. And Hillary was so upset about Heller! Look at her! What was Heller?
WALLACE: And now let's talk about abortion. Donald, will your judges overturn Roe v. Wade?
TRUMP: Maybe? Yes. Probably.
CLINTON: (cracks knuckles) First off, no. Second off, I support Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood. It is nice that this is finally coming up at a debate with a woman in it. Do you think that women do this for fun? This is not fun. This is a decision you get to make about your own life and your own body, with your family, taking your faith into account, and I can't imagine why you would want the government making it for you.
WALLACE: Ah, but didn't you support partial-birth abortions?
TRUMP: I read somewhere that a baby can — you can just RIP a baby out of a lady's tummy at nine months! In the ninth month. On the final day.
CLINTON: I think you're describing a C-section.
TRUMP: And if that baby from his mother's womb untimely ripped gets Birnam Wood to come to Dunsinane with him, you don't get to be king of Scotland any more.
CLINTON: I honestly did not expect you had read "Macbeth" but, okay.
TRUMP: That is a recent medical text, I think.
CLINTON: It's a fictional play about a Scottish king.
TRUMP: I think it is just deplorable how women, they get these big bats, huge, and they just KNOCK THE STORKS OUT OF THE SKY before the baby even has a chance.
CLINTON: You don't know where babies come from, do you?
WALLACE: Let's move on. Immigration. Why are you right about it, and why is your opponent wrong?
TRUMP: Listen, every week ICE endorses me. We need a wall, Chris. That's the bottom line. The wall itself would be a kind of line on the bottom of our country. It would keep the White Walkers out and also stop the pollution of our blood. New Hampshire especially needs this wall.
CLINTON: You do realize New Hampshire is not anywhere near our southern border, correct? Don't answer that. It will only depress me further. I recently met an inspiring young human anecdote who reinforced my position on borders. I want them to be strong, and I want the chain bookstore of the same name to reopen. Can I say also that when you went to Mexico, you conveniently forgot to mention this at all? You choked, Donald.
TRUMP: (sniffling) You are mean. I would have mentioned the wall, but I forgot what the word was. I told Prime Minister Peña Nieto many times to build a "biblioteca" but it turns out that is something different. We agreed that NAFTA was bad, though. I think. I could not tell because he was not speaking English. Look, I have been to South of the Border many times-
CLINTON: That is not in Mexico.
TRUMP: President Obama deported millions of people.
WALLACE: Secretary Clinton, didn't you say you wanted a hemispheric open market during one of your SECRET SPEECHES to OMINOUS CORPORATIONS?
CLINTON: WIKILEAKS IS THE WORK OF RUSSIAN SPIES AND THAT'S ALL I'M GOING TO SAY ON THE SUBJECT. Wait, no, I will say one more thing: the rest of that sentence made it very clear that I was talking about energy markets.
TRUMP: I just need to interrupt because it sounded like Secretary Clinton was about to say something mean about Vladimir Putin. Vladimir Putin is a great man, so smart, strong, broad shoulders, lovely smile, looks great astride a steed. He respects me. I think. I would like to think that. It would make me proud to have the respect of a man like that. Do you want to read a story that I wrote about him? It is called VLADIMIR AND ME and in it we go to South of the Border together and hold hands and look at my wall and he compliments me like a true friend and marvels at the size of my hands.
WALLACE: Maybe after the debate.
CLINTON: Hard pass.
TRUMP: My point is, Vladimir does not respect this woman.
CLINTON: That's because you are his puppet.
TRUMP: "No puppet. No puppet. You're the puppet."
TRUMP: But I would be HONORED to be the puppet on his large, masculine hand.
CLINTON: This is an even vaster conspiracy, but it is not the work of the right wing. It is the work of the Russians. Yes, I know that coming from me this is hard to take, but, like, don't take it from me — take it from our intelligence agencies!
WALLACE: No, but, seriously, do you condemn foreign intervention in this election?
CLINTON: Yup definitely me me me I definitely condemn it!
TRUMP: (sighs) I'm not actually friends with Vladimir. Not when I'm awake. He's not my best friend. He's not my only friend. I have friends, though.
WALLACE: Are you okay?
TRUMP: He has missiles. He's so smart.
WALLACE: How did we get here? Weren't we talking about immigration, like, a second ago?
CLINTON: Can I just say that it's terrifying that Donald Trump keeps saying he thinks nuclear weapons should be on the table?
CLINTON: It's a direct quote from you.
TRUMP: That is how I know it's a lie.
CLINTON: (to camera) Allies, please, relax, in a few weeks everything will be in my capable hands. Do not pay attention to what this man is saying. Look at my exciting and fashion-forward suit! Please, pay no attention to the man in front of the curtain. He speaks for nobody. He is sad and alone.
WALLACE: Why is your plan for the economy better than your opponent's plan?
CLINTON: My plan will grow us 10 million jobs from the middle out!
TRUMP: Instead of challenging this EXTREMELY optimistic appraisal, I would like to go back to picking on our allies.
CLINTON: (to camera) Look away.
TRUMP: I think we should be meaner than our allies. Why would they pay their fair share when we are being nice to them? We should say mean things, like, Saudi Arabia, what are you wearing? and Japan, you have *interesting* eyes. Things of that nature.
CLINTON: (bangs head against lectern) Chris, may I speak?
WALLACE: Would it help if I attacked you instead of him?
CLINTON: N-no — why? Why would you do that?
WALLACE: You want to do more of what President Obama did, and we know that what he did was bad.
TRUMP: FACTCHECK RATING MOSTLY TRUE!
CLINTON: Donald, factchecking is my thing. You don't get to factcheck.
TRUMP: NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership are both bad.
CLINTON: For crying out loud, I'm against the TPP now and I will be against it when I'm president. Yes, I said it. Not if. When.
TRUMP: I have a question.
CLINTON: (turns to face him) Yes, Donald?
TRUMP: You have so many good ideas, it sounds like. Why didn't you do any of them in your 30 years of experience? I was always doing bad things, using Chinese steel, like you said, but you never even stopped me. Why didn't you stop me? Someone should have, I feel. I look at myself and I think, "Why didn't anyone stop this sooner?"
CLINTON: So do I, Donald. But, speaking of my 30 years of experience, yes, I have 30 years of experience. My worst quality is that I work too hard, I think. I believe in women's rights and also GOOGLE ALICIA MACHADO.
TRUMP: You built ISIS.
CLINTON: And it's in 32 countries! And you say I never accomplish anything! (to camera) But seriously ISIS is not my fault.
WALLACE: Before we talk about "foreign hot spots," let's have the MOST AWKWARD TRANSITION OF THIS DEBATE to, uh, domestic hot spots. Donald. Tell us why your accusers would suddenly all come forward and make up these awful stories?
TRUMP: First off, thank you for framing the question like that. I don't know why, but I agree with your premise! Also, Hillary is responsible for all the violence at my rallies. It's on a tape, somewhere, along with her founding ISIS.
CLINTON: Do I have to remind America of how your first denial was that the women were not attractive enough for you to assault them? Do I?
TRUMP: I didn't say that.
CLINTON: I HAVE THE RECEIPTS ON THIS ONE, DONALD. I may get kind of sketchy when asked about my foundation, but, by god, I can quote you until the cows come home.
TRUMP: If "cows" was a reference to my accusers, I agree.
CLINTON: It was not.
TRUMP: Literally no one respects women more than I do.
(Audience laughs louder. The laughter builds and builds into 15 minutes of hysteria)
TRUMP: You know what isn't fiction? Emails.
CLINTON: Instead of accepting the premise that we should talk about my emails, what if I ran through all the things you've done wrong that I have highlighted in commercials? Cool by you?
WALLACE: No. Tell us, was your foundation engaged in pay-to-play?
CLINTON: You know what, the Clinton Foundation is great, and it does just, you know, so much good, for children, like the toddlers whom I wanted to save from guns earlier.
WALLACE: That isn't-
CLINTON: We gave lunches to children!
WALLACE: That's not-
CLINTON: Delicious, healthy lunches! Lunches that my dear friend, Michelle Obama, would have looked at and APPROVED!
WALLACE: You're still not-
CLINTON: When they go low, we go high, as Michelle so rightly said!
TRUMP: Well, exactly, Chris. I was in Little Haiti the other day, and the people there, they said the Clinton Foundation was bad.
WALLACE: (looks at Trump) That's it? I set you up like that, and that's it?
WALLACE: Then I guess I should also ask about your foundation.
TRUMP: Listen, the only thing the Trump foundation does is put up flags. That is 100 percent of what we do. We would be called PFLAG but it was taken.
CLINTON: (mutters) And six foot paintings of you.
TRUMP: Look, if you don't think it should be legal, you should have outlawed it when you were in the Senate.
CLINTON: Yes. Me. One senator. Personally. I should have.
WALLACE: Donald, I hate that I have to ask this, because it is 2016 and we are in America, but will you abide by the results of this election?
TRUMP: I will get back to you on that. The media is rigging it. They keep taking words out of my mouth and printing them where people can read them and form opinions about them.
WALLACE: So... no? Keep in mind that if you say "no" you are invalidating, like, every premise of our life in a democratic society.
WALLACE: Like, there's this thing we have, called a peaceful transition of power...
TRUMP: Never heard of it.
CLINTON: Can I say something? This is literally horrifying. I would be shaking and quivering with fear and hiding behind the lectern if I had not purged myself of all lesser emotions 30 years ago. All I feel now is vengeance and righteous anger. Now I am going to tell you some specifics about military operations that are ongoing, as though I am not shaken to my core by what was just said, but — somewhere deep inside me, a little girl with glasses is weeping unconsolably. But, uh, Mosul, huh?
TRUMP: Mosul is so sad. I really hope that Mosul is a real place, because I am just going to repeat it over and over. I hope this isn't one of those Agrabah things where you trick me into saying a fake name. Listen. I know how to fix all the military things. We just stop telling people what we are going to do. We surprise them. It works for my birthday parties; it can work in Iraq.
TRUMP: How did you even make that sound without a keyboard?
CLINTON: You bring these things out in me. Please, just vote for me, everyone. This man is spouting horrible nonsense conspiracy theories.
TRUMP: Bernie Sanders is right that you have bad instincts, and John Podesta is right that you don't know how to make risotto.
WALLACE: Anyone want to talk about Aleppo?
CLINTON: I would be happy to talk about Aleppo, but honestly, it would pain me for people around the globe to have to hear him talk about Aleppo.
WALLACE: Point taken.
TRUMP: We should be considered with every leppo.
WALLACE: Any concluding remarks?
CLINTON: My father was a small-business man with a squeegee and a dream. From him, I took a natural, humanlike cadence and the ambition to make a difference in the world. Please, America, I beg you: You can end this. Vote for me, and you will never have to hear Donald Trump's opinions on a national stage again.
TRUMP: "Such a nasty woman."
CLINTON: I rest my case.