Were they still fighting? Just go to bed, mom and dad. You’re both wrong.
Watching the Presidential debate was like watching mom and dad fight. The whole night I felt myself going through the same emotional stages I did when I was a kid:
I felt scared. Was America going to break up over this? There’s been fights before, but this one seemed really, really bad. Mommy had that ice-face. Daddy was breathing so hard and interrupting the whole time. He even yelled at her about how she’s never done anything good in over 30 years …
Then mommy called daddy a racist and shouted that he didn’t make as much money as he claimed.
I was worried the fight was my fault. Did I do something wrong with the Trans Pacific Partnership? Was this actually about me? Should I have cleaned up my room better?
I wished I had a different family. Do other countries’ parents fight like this? I bet England’s don’t. That Queen seems like a decent grandma. She probably gives good kids cake. I bet she doesn’t fight with Phillip, either. Maybe I could live with her.
I wished I could run away from home. This is what I have to look forward to for the next four years? I’m gone. But who am I kidding? I’m can’t switch families. The good ski hills are here in America.
So I spent the rest of the night daydreaming about other parents I could have. What about Elon Musk and Oprah? They’d be so cool.
If Elon and Oprah fought at all — which they wouldn’t, they’re not like that — it’d be about what kind of fun daycare we’d go to on Mars. I’d willingly sneak downstairs in my pajamas to listen to Elon and Oprah’s arguments, that’s how calm and sane their arguments would be compared to Donald and Hillary’s.
In fact, any other bickering parents would be better than these two we have to choose from. Elizabeth Warren and John Kasich. Bernie Sanders and Carly Fiorino. Jay Z and Beyonce. Stephen Hawking and Siri when she’s being sassy. Chewbacca and a malfunctioning toaster.
Then I snapped out of it and noticed the clock, an hour and a half had passed, I got bored. Were they still fighting? Just go to bed, mom and dad. You’re both wrong.
It ended, and mom won like she always does, but it didn’t reverse any emotional damage for those of us with mild temperaments who want to crawl under the bed when important people in life begin to argue.
And then I started to think: We’re not kids. We’re grown ups. Why let our moods be affected by these two destructive people who are both so clearly damaged? Maybe it’s time to emancipate ourselves. Not sure how. Find third and fourth parties? Get a parliament, like most other countries have?
Or … can we just ignore them? What about that? If President mom says go to war and we don’t want to go, we say no. If either says don’t do drugs and we like the drugs, we do drugs anyway. If President dad says be mean to gays or Mexicans or Muslims, we say screw you, dad. We’re not kids. We can find new friends on the Internet.
We're adults now. We need to all start acting like it, even when our leaders won't.