Every Time I Missed Donald Trump During Last Night’s GOP Debate

He built a wall around my heart.

By Brenden Gallagher

The Bulls after Jordan retired.

The WWF after Hogan left.

The Fast and the Furious after the passing of Paul Walker.

How do you replace a larger than life figure? What happens when a star is gone and all that’s left are cold, dark planets revolving around endless nothingness begging for oblivion? Can you imagine Destiny’s Child without Beyoncé? That’s what happened last night at the GOP debate, except that I have seen Kelly Rowland, and Ted Cruz, you are no Kelly Rowland. There was a hole in last night’s Republican debate larger than the wall Trump is going to build along the Mexican border.

I never thought I’d say it, but I miss Donald Trump.

Throughout the evening, as I was bored to tears by discussions of “amnesty,” “establishment,” and “ethanol,” periodically I would imagine the lights going out. I would imagine “Don’t Stop Believin'” blaring through the loudspeakers. I would imagine a man rising from the crowd, tearing off his “Make America Great Again” hat and revealing that perfect graying blonde bowl of hair.

I imagined it would look something like this.

or maybe this

Hell, maybe he could have given Jeb Bush one of these.

But, then I would wake up from my idle dreaming and realize that it was never going to happen. Trump was never going to show up. America, at least for tonight, was going to remain mediocre. Here are the times we missed Donald Trump most during last night’s debate.

“Let’s address the elephant not in the room tonight.” – Ted Cruz

Everyone took shots at Trump to start the night. Cruz made fun of how Trump makes fun of everyone. Rubio (who obviously has never seen a Prince video on YouTube) called Trump “the greatest entertainer in the world,” which is kind of a shitty insult if you think about it. Bush, sounding like a nerd trash-talking his bully on the playground clearly nervous he’ll hear said, “I kind of miss Donald Trump. He was a little teddy bear to me. We always had such a loving relationship in these debates … Everyone else was in the witness protection program when I went after him on behalf of what the Republican cause should be.”

As candidates hurled insults at an absent Donald, I dreamt of all the times Trump could have shrugged and referenced his poll numbers. God I miss him talking about his poll numbers. During that debate last night I would have given anything to hear him talk about his poll numbers again. But alas, it never came to be.

“When you’re elected, you need to do things.” – Jeb Bush

As if he hadn’t embarrassed himself enough when he talked about he and Trump’s frenemy bromance , Jeb made this statement. Then for some reason he said, “Barbara Bush is my mom” in a “my dad could beat up your dad” tone.

When Trump watches footage of Jeb from last night, he is going to be kicking himself for not being there to kick Jeb Bush when he’s down, which is where he’s been since this whole thing got started.

Rubio Running 3rd in Florida

“In your home state you’re running third … Losing to Trump by 21% …”

This is how the moderators started off a question about Rubio’s position in Florida. And though it was nice to see Rubio squirm, it just wasn’t the same without Trump there to interject. It would have been truly stupendous, just wonderful, really great, to hear Trump toss off one snide, “You know, I am doing very well in the polls.” Watching Rubio or Jeb defend their weak polling without Trump there to bash them is kind of like listening to an orchestra without a violin section. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got an ear for it or not, you know something is off.

When They Argued For Like Half an Hour About Who Was “Establishment”

At one point, every candidate took turns contorting their record and their positions so that they could avoid the dreadful “establishment” label. John Kasich, who has been an elected Republican official since back when they used to hunt unionized miners for sport, said, “There’s three lanes: the establishment lane, the anti-establishment lane, and the Kasich lane.”

I’m pretty sure the Kasich lane is for old people who drive on the left doing 45 and then tailgate you with their brights on after you pass them on the right.

“You have advocated closing down mosques, diners, wherever radicalization is happening.” – Megyn Kelly

There’s usually a moment when the candidates have a contest to see who can propose treating Muslims the worst. Just as without Donald we had no idea how to discern the “stupendous” from the merely “excellent,” we also have no way of reaching a complete lack of humanity when it came to talking about those who aren’t white Protestant men. Ted Cruz was the only one on stage who claimed that he would close down diners just because Muslims were hanging out there. If Trump had shown up, maybe one of the candidates would have advocated forcing diners to serve only pork one day a year to root out devout Muslims, or shutting down any restaurant that won’t call french fries “freedom fries” for health code violations.

When We Had to Hear About YouTube Stars

If there’s one group the American public wants to hear from less than Republican presidential candidates, it is YouTube stars. I’m not exactly sure how reviewing XBox controllers or showing people how to put on eye shadow translates to a valid perspective on foreign policy, but this is the world we live in. It would have been amazing to hear Trump assume an air of superiority over the YouTube stars after referencing his time on The Apprentice, or his ownership stake in beauty pageants.

Instead, we got Jeb sounding like an out of touch dad when he said, “Dulce Candy — who has a pretty cool name — actually is now a star on the YouTube.” and lost the support of the remaining seven Iowa voters under the age of twenty-five who planned on voting for him.

When They Talked About Religion

Christie: “I never said that Kim Davis should lose her job or that she had to do it.”
Rubio: “I will always allow my faith to influence everything I do.”
Paul: “We must have a religious bearing as a nation.”

You know that Trump would have tried to follow up those lines with something like “The Bible is absolutely stupendous. Jesus was an incredible guy. Water into wine is basically the most fantastic business move imaginable.”

“Putin is a one-horse country. Oil.” – Ben Carson

Ben Carson actually said this. This is an actual quote that came out of Ben Carson’s mouth. Ben Carson, the candidate for President, uttered this string of nonsense on national television. Think of how Donald could have responded. Think of the erotic Putin-Trump fanfic that could have been inspired as Donald once again gave Putin a rhetorical hand job while mocking Carson’s foreign policy musings that would seem remedial in a fifth grade social studies class.

Closing Statements

The Closing Statements were so close to being perfect. Rand Paul called himself, “the one true conservative.” Chris Christie once again cast himself as the hero of his own 9/11 plus-sized action movie. Ben Carson, I shit you not, recited the Preamble to the Constitution instead of saying anything original. Don’t believe me? Ask USA Today.

The only way it could have been better is if Trump was there … but sadly, some dreams they cannot be and some storms we cannot weather. All we can do is wait patiently until our favorite candidate returns to us again to deliver the smackdown we need as part of American political discourse.

Until then, we wait.