• One 750 ml bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • A television or any device capable of streaming the debate live
  • A sense of resigned masochism that can come only from no longer having any reason to believe that we live in a world where outcomes can be predicted using logic and reason.


Every time Biden makes a moderately self-deprecating joke about his age—but manages to lose the thread and stumble over the punchline—take a drink. You’re going to need it to make it through this nightmare.

Each time Trump waves his freakish little jazz hands and places the emphasis on a random simple adverb at the end of his Gordian Knot of a sentence, consider running to the store for something a little stronger. Possibly Everclear.

Any time it becomes clear that both candidates actually agree on an issue—and that issue is nowhere near the border of your own personal ethical road map—take two shots, because why the hell not? What even is the point of this spectacle?

Each time Trump mentions golf, golf tournaments, or golf resorts, measure exactly four shots of whiskey, but write down two strokes on your scorecard, because you own the damn bottle, and who’s going to tell you that shots from the sand actually do count?

Speaking of strokes, any time you’re not 100 percent sure Biden isn’t currently—at this very moment, in the middle of this debate—experiencing one, take a sip.

For every “the” Trump includes when talking about a historically oppressed group—“the Mexicans,” “the Jews,” “the gays,” etc.—pull a long haul off the bottle. Bonus points will be awarded if he replaces the definite article with “my” (especially when mentioning “my Blacks”). In this case, don’t worry if you can no longer find the cap to the Jameson. You won’t really need it much longer.

On any occasion where Biden uses four or more words to build an awkward euphemism to avoid saying the word “abortion,” remember that we have been cursed by the Old Gods to occupy a timeline where this octogenarian Catholic guy from Scranton, Pennsylvania, is somehow the last line of defense against a national abortion ban. Oh, and also take a shot.

Every time Trump openly praises a foreign authoritarian leader, drink however much you need to try to wash away the visions of a vindictive army of his cronies running the FBI and rounding up dissidents who dared to think he should be held accountable for his criminal actions.

If Biden becomes arbitrarily animated, uncomfortably loud, and overly attentive, consider walking down to a college bar and seeing if you, too, can score a little Adderall to help you make it through the next hour and a half.

If both candidates engage in a rhetorical game of one-upmanship trying to convince voters that they “stand with Israel” harder than their opponent, take a swig, pick up your phone, find a Palestinian relief agency working to help families flee Rafah, and donate whatever you can, because apparently, GoFundMe is more effective than the entire American electoral system.

Each time Biden utters any variation of the phrase “This isn’t who we are,” remember that this is, in fact, exactly who we are, and that’s kind of the whole point of this little C+ science-fair project called American Democracy, and then proceed to pour one out for the nation’s founders.

Whenever Trump brings up any renewable-energy technology and discusses its danger relative to predators, marine or otherwise, lick the side of the bottle, snort a capful of the whiskey through a two-dollar bill, and grind the metal cap into your bare thigh to prove that’s also not how any of this actually works.

When you get to the point in the evening when you remember that there is a better-than-average chance that the Russian government possesses a VHS tape of Trump paying a woman to urinate on him, go to the bathroom, stick your finger down your throat, and purge the liquor and any other contents from your stomach.

If the debate is still on after you have vomited the poison, consider the fact that—regardless of the outcome of this election—we may never again have a reasonably functional democracy, and we are not only barreling directly down the path of fascism, but do so as we pressure-cook the planet toward a mass extinction event, and then just finish the damn bottle.


The winner of the drinking game is the first person to slip into a temporary coma that lasts at least until November 6.