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March 14, 2024 — Trumpsburg, West Virginia: It was a rowdy, enthusiastic crowd that gathered last night in the Coal-o-Drome to witness the first debate among 22 Republican hopefuls vying for what we now know will be the largely ceremonial office of “President of the United States.”

It has been nearly a month since His Excellency made it clear through FSIA, the Fox State Information Authority, that he will remain the active head of government indefinitely, in a role he describes as “something really fantastic” and “the best thing anyone has ever seen.” Though the actual title has yet to be selected, sources familiar with the matter report that he will be styled either “Supremely Tough Overlord” or “His Most Royal and Potent MightyHands.”

Gauging by reports from IPSOS and Nielsen, it was a hugely successful evening, with ratings ranging from 90 million to 110 million viewers, a number experts say is conservative, since nearly a million likely viewers were drunk enough to inadvertently smash their Nielsen boxes before the proceedings began.

It was a much-anticipated spectacle, heavy with His Excellency’s unique legacy. Many observers credit its great success to the recent merger of the debate committee with WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), a synergy that provided candidates with well-defined rules of conduct while allowing for crowd-pleasing moves that have made politics not just more fun than ever, but as His Excellency’s supporters say, “so much more real.”

As one official explained, “People want representatives who will do and say the things everyday people would love to say and do, but don’t dare. Hey, normal people would get arrested for that stuff, they’d lose their jobs. But politicians? They can get away with it—and make us all proud of who we are as a nation, too!”

With Mike Pence out of the running, sidelined indefinitely in gay conversion therapy, the nomination is wide open, and the action on stage reflected the freewheeling atmosphere so often created by His Excellency in the past.

The program began with a health care policy statement from Steve King, congressman from Iowa, advocating giving Benjamin Moore paint chips to all physicians, who should then refuse care to anyone with skin tone darker than “Foggy Morning” or “Crisp Linen.” He was interrupted by Jeanine Piro, FSIA official and front-running candidate, who pointed to her own arm and shouted, “You *****, are you trying to take away my opioids?” The crowd roared with such enthusiasm that Ms. Piro felt moved to administer a quick right jab to Mr. King’s face, followed by an elbow to his solar plexus.

Because Mr. King was then on the floor, bleeding profusely from his nose, debate rules required the suspension of action while Topless Nurse Nancy administered first aid, an interlude that became an automatic crowd favorite.

As Ms. Piro strode across the stage, arms raised in triumph, Rick Perry, ex-Secretary of Energy, saw his chance. Perry, still sporting the glasses he hopes will add a few IQ points to an image that most observers describe as hopeless, got in a good double knee to Piro’s back, after which he slammed her prone body with a ferocious elbow drop. The crowd erupted with the chant, “USA! USA!” as Perry stood, shrugged, and reprised his most famous public comment: “Oops.”

More satisfyingly bloody scuffles broke out among the candidates when the topic of immigration was introduced, and the crowd began echoing His Excellency’s recent slogan concerning the wall on our southern border, one that now advocates construction of gun turrets at 300-yard intervals. The cry went up, “Build those turrets!”

This turned out to be a pivotal moment that might well determine the winner of the nomination. In a fierce exchange with ex-administration spokescreature Sarah Sanders, actor Scott Baio insisted that both a .50 caliber machine gun and a howitzer were needed on each turret. “If you can’t see the need for this level of armament, then you’re some kind of ******* traitor!” he exclaimed.

Sanders bristled as Baio approached her. “Listen, ****-face. Are you telling me you can’t see the truth here? Good old Slimy Scott. The American people can see right through your big-spending ways. You hate our country as much as the ******* Democrats do!”

Many experts said they couldn’t remember a more lively intellectual exchange, especially when she got back up off the floor, thumb-gouged Baio’s left eye and administered a solid knee to his groin. Red-faced and defiant, she screamed, “This is exactly the kind of ******* **** I’ll be fighting against if you all ******* elect me ******* president! We’re a noble, God-fearing, compassionate people, and I ******* intend to keep it that way!

The crowd went wild. Here was the new America at its best.

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Moser lives in Napa and is the author of the satire “Inside the Flavor League.” He blogs at thisunholymess.com.

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