Drugs Don’t Work That Way

Too bad. I wish they did.

Donald Trump thinks Joe Biden should take a drug test before the presidential debates, because Biden seems to be talking extra pretty lately. Trump, it seems, doesn’t understand how drugs work. That’s not terribly surprising; he doesn’t understand how much of anything works—vaccines, bleach, health insurance, water pressure, women. Even so, I’d love to know what sort of illegal drug would make a person more coherent and better at public speaking. And then I’d like to know, why isn’t Trump taking this drug?

Look, it’s no secret that Biden isn’t always the smoothest public speaker. He gets tongue-tied. He gets ahead of himself. He doesn’t always phrase things in the best possible way. But Trump does all of that and more. Plus, Trump lies when the truth would serve him better. He makes racist remarks and insults women. If there were a drug that could fix all that, surely someone would be injecting it straight into his veins.

The thing is, that’s not what drugs do. A person hopped up on illegal drugs may believe they sound like a genius, but they won’t fool anyone. Red eyes, flop sweat, manic shouting, twitchy movements, delusions of grandeur, paranoia—these are the signs of illicit drug use. There may be a few people in danger of failing a drug test before making a political speech, but their last name isn’t Biden.

water glass with pills

What sort of drug makes a person sound smarter or speak more clearly? If this drug exists, I want some. I want Trump to have some too. And, sure, dose Biden up while you’re at it. Can you imagine how much better debate season would be if all the candidates sounded thoughtful and rational? If all the candidates were thoughtful and rational? I honestly cannot imagine it.

I don’t know what’s going to happen in the debates. I’m not looking forward to them, particularly after the last election when Trump lurched around behind Hillary Clinton like Frankenstein’s monster. What will he do on a stage with Biden? Will he cough on Biden’s microphone? Will he insult Dr. Jill Biden? Will he tie Biden’s shoelaces together and challenge him to a foot race? Nothing would surprise me.

If I had my druthers, we’d skip the whole pointless mess. I cannot imagine the voter who looks at Trump and Biden and can’t make up her mind without watching a few debates, but I keep hearing that these voters exist. Maybe they need drugs. Is there a drug that helps people choose between pure hatred and compassion, between chaos and calm, between humiliation and dignity? Because those are our choices and it doesn’t matter how well or how poorly either man speaks.

It’s ludicrous to suggest a drug test for anyone in advance of a presidential debate. It’s not the candidates who need drugs to get through the debates. It’s the viewers.

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