A man—a very lonely man, lurching forward with a hunch—stood tonight at a podium, gathered his losses, and projected an aura of confidence. It was not his night; the confidence was not earned; and yet it was fitting, for the man was the Zodiac Killer, and also a favored Republican presidential candidate. It was as though he was in a feelgood Little League in which every team won a trophy regardless of performance, except he was both the presenter and the recipient of the trophy.

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The man, clad in a navy-colored suit of starch and poly blends, his tie like an off-brand Christmas candy cane, accused the lamestream media of being full of “network suits.” The gall. The lack of self-awareness. The gall.

“It’s easy to talk about making America great again. You can even print that on a baseball cap,” joked the sad mashed potato man, directing a chuckle towards his audience like child-size poisoned arrows. They chuckled back, limply, with the dissonant double-bind of obligation and enthusiasm one delivers when one knows one is about to be snuffed out.

Image via AP