This really should be the end. During the course of the first of three scheduled debates, the U.S. president told the Proud Boys (neo-fascist, male-only fraternal organization that has engaged in political violence) to “stand by,” meaning to await further instructions.
It’s hard to know what one would do in such an incredible situation. I would like to believe that, if I were the moderator, I would have interrupted and said, “This debate is over. The American people have heard enough, and so has the rest of the world. This isn’t 1933 Berlin, and, speaking on behalf of the Commission on Presidential Debates, the organizing body sponsoring tonight’s event, I’m calling a halt to this obscenity right this second.”
(Pictured above: Proud Boys appearing alongside other hate groups at extremist gatherings like the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, an event which brought together Klansmen, antisemites, Southern racists, and militias)