From Dmitry Orlov, writing at his blog:
Last night was the third and final round of what are commonly believed to be debates involving the two presidential candidates. What was said is not very interesting or surprising at all, except in one respect: the two contestants played their role in accordance with a certain unwritten and unexpressed rule of discourse. This rule requires them to strictly adhere to a fictional, toy version of the world and of the role of the President of the US within it. We did not see two candidates campaigning to be elected into a position of leadership, but two actors auditioning for the role of President in a play that takes place strictly in the past. Now, in a normal course of events, if one candidate started carrying on like that, the other candidate would be a fool to not try to score points by pointing this fact out to the electorate. But this situation is different: here, both candidates know with absolute clarity that they are auditioning for a ceremonial role, nothing more, and that bringing even the tiniest bit of reality into it would only jeopardize their chances of being elected.
You see, they are auditioning for the role of someone who pretends to be “running” a country (whatever that means) that is itself not exactly running. It is by now defined by just two things: unstoppable inertia in the wrong direction, and a long list of broken promises. The federal government over which, if elected, they will pretend to “preside” (whatever that means) has two remaining choices: continue with the strategy of hemorrhaging debt and collapse in a few years once that strategy stops working, or don’t continue with that strategy, and collapse now.