Opinion: Vegas is a perfect metaphor for this election


Las Vegas is a sight to behold. It certainly isn’t for everyone, but its size and appeal make it an exciting experience. It is unique to itself – like Disney World for adults (or at least adults with a spike of adrenaline and some expendable income).

The bright lights and scenery draw you in. It is intoxicating in its own weird way.

I’ve honeymooned at Mandalay Bay, I’ve gambled at Caesar’s Palace, and you better believe I’ve taken in the champagne brunch at the Bellagio. But for those living it up at the Luxor or trying their luck at the Monte Carlo, I suggest you wander a couple of miles down Tropicana Ave. on Wednesday to catch a real Vegas show – the final debate of the 2016 presidential election.

It will be a heavyweight matchup perhaps more fit for the MGM Grand’s infamous Garden Arena than UNLV’s campus facility, but synonymous with Vegas nonetheless. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will hit buzzwords and avoid any in-depth discussion of policy. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, will smile and do her best to defend herself from Trump’s criticisms — both fair and unfair.

Spectacle and flash

Just like this election season, Vegas is spectacle and flash. It is fun, self-serving and over-the-top – but after a few days, you are ready to cash in your chips and head home. Why? Because it lacks substance. And oh boy aren’t we ready to bid adieu to this election season?

This election season has been overloaded with conspiracy theories, gaudy headlines and has played to the worst of our fears. Any talk of policy or any credible conversation of what this decision means to our country going forward gets lost in the noise. And the candidates aren’t solely to blame for that. Yeah, I’m looking at you, cable news.

Do we know what Trump plans to do outside of (attempt to) build a giant wall and cut taxes for the richest Americans? Do we know how Clinton plans to work with a Senate and House that still are projected to hold Republican majorities?

It’s all flash, all spectacle, and no substance.

I’ve seen this one before

About the only thing that truly unites our country – outside of Michael Phelps’ run for the gold and our unquestioned love of Justin Timberlake – is the presidential debates and how they display our unilateral disapproval of the state of this election.

Wednesday’s debate will be no different. We will all come together, huddle around our social media accounts and sigh, lamenting the choices in front of us.

At this point we know what’s going to happen, right? Trump will talk over Clinton, complain about unfair treatment from the media, and maybe lob a few bombs to try and rattle the former Secretary of State. Whether they hit their intended target or blow up at his feet, who knows?

Clinton will try to stick to her talking points, establish her political experience and work to convince Americans that Trump is too dangerous for the White House.

All while I sit on my couch and frustratingly ask my own questions.

Mr. Trump, could you please give us some ideas of how you plan to “Make America Great Again?” All I’ve heard is “Trust me” and “I alone can fix this.”

Mrs. Clinton, I’m fully aware of Mr. Trump’s many, many downfalls, but the American public doesn’t seem to trust you. What are you going to do to rectify that?

Unfortunately, everything is lined up for this debate to mirror the rest of the election season: all flash, all spectacle, no substance.— Matt Jaworowski is a Sr. National Content Producer for Media General.

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