It is clear after this first presidential debate of the 2020 US election, that America has a choice between a dull, elderly, frail, moderate, Democrat, and an energised, compelling, fascist who encourages white supremacism.
It is not clear that Americans will choose the weaker candidate, in terms of age and body language, for some times history veers in the direction of ugly demontstrations of untrammeled power. This conduit to a seemingly fearless, reckless power souce, an elan, is what Trump seems to offer his followers, like a vampire feeding an evil blood supply.
Germany had this choice in the 1930s, and went the wrong way after the Reichstag fire. Germany chose low unemployment, a big economy, patriotism, and a repudiation of physical weakness and 'disease', along with their mesmerising, terrible leader, who promised to shatter all the old values and humble the previous world system.
Trump's now infamous call to 'stand back and stand by' suggests there may be dark days ahead.
Those on the left in America should be aware that Trump's rhetorical intensity and messaging does and will appeal to those disenfranchised and weak people - who always exist in every society - who seek a strong, usually paternal, leader - it is by no means the case that everyone will be repulsed by his certitude and defiance of common customs.
To see Trump as merely vile misses the point, that he is superbly so - he is par excellence the fascistic leader some do crave, especially in uncertain times, the literal big brother some beaten down kids long for in the playground.
Nor is Joe Biden anyone's compelling first choice in ordinary times, but in these times he is the frayed lifeline Americans must reach for.