The first night of the second democratic debates delivered an action-packed, thrilling viewing experience as Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders teamed up to fend off challenges from party moderates including Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Montana Governor Steve Bullock, former Congressman John Delaney, and Senator Amy Klobuchar. However, one of the night's most memorable twists came while Sanders was responding to an attack from Delaney calling her progressive policies "fairy tale economics."
"I don't know why anyone goes to the trouble to run for president to talk about what we can't do and what we won't fight for," Warren said, right before a glowing portal opened on the stage and grizzled, gun-toting alternate universe versions of Sanders and Warren emerged in a cloud of smoke, cleary fleeing imminent disaster.
"Close the damn portal!" Ultimate Universe Sanders shouted as Warren aimed what appeared to be a portable nuclear reactor gun at the portal and blasted it shut.
"It won't hold them for long," Ultimate Universe Warren revealed. "I only hope we aren't too late."
"Excuse me, is this fair?" interrupted Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, struggling for a standout moment all night. "If I had known we were allowed to have our alternate universe doubles onstage, my campaign would have made–"
"Shut up, you idiot!" Ultimate Sanders retorted. "Don't you understand that your universe is facing the gravest threat it's ever known? It may be too late for our universe, but yours can still be saved! We just have to stand up and show that we're willing to fight the big pharmaceutical companies, fight the fossil fuel industry, fight the prison-industrial complex, and most importantly fight the interdimensional soul-eating demons who are currently devouring the fabric of reality itself across the multiverse!"
"Uh, what?" said a confused-looking Delaney as Marianne Williamson simply nodded her head.
The debate moderators then moved the discussion on from healthcare to racial issues, foreign policy, and taxes, finally offering the candidates an opportunity to deliver their closing statements.
"I want a politics that goes much deeper. I want a politics that speaks to the heart," said self-help guru Williamson, offering an emotional appeal to Democratic voters. "Because the only way to fight — you keep talking about how we're going to fight Donald Trump. You can't fight dog whistles. You have to override."
"Is that…?" said Ultimate Sanders, who had moments earlier threatened to blast Buttigieg with a plasma cannon for insulting the age of his regular-universe counterpart.
"No…" said Ultimate Warren, the first time either Warren showed any sign of fear all night. "It can't be…"
"I think she's a friend of Oprah's," offered Hickenlooper, his only contribution of the night.
"Fools!" Ultimate Warren shouted. "That's Marianne Williamson. In our universe, she's one of the most powerful dark sorcerers on the planet. She's responsible for letting the soul-eaters into our dimension."
"She'll destroy us all!" agreed Ultimate Sanders.
"And the only way you can override them is with new voices, voices of energy that only come from the fact that America has been willing to live up to our own mistakes, atone for our own mistakes, make amends for our own mistakes, love each other, love our democracy, love future generations," Williamson continued. "Something emotional and psychological that will not be emerging from anything on this. It will emerge from something I'm the one who is qualified to bring forth."
Next, the moderators turned to Governor Bullock for his closing remarks.
"The r-r-reason I w– want to be… president…" Bullock stammered, drawing the attention of the Ultimate Universe duo.
"There," said Ultimate Warren.
"I see it," Ultimate Sanders agreed.
"How could you have all been so clueless?!" Ultimate Warren admonished the candidates. "Don't you see that man has a black hole inside his head?"
"I thought he was just having a really slow-moving stroke all night," said Beto O'Rourke.
"Hey, Beto O'Rourke is here?" said Ultimate Sanders, surprised. "I hadn't noticed him."
"If we don't stop her right now, the Williamson will harness its power and open a portal to our dimension, allowing the soul-eaters into your universe," Ultimate Warren shouted. "Your world will be lost!"
"But how can we stop her?!" asked regular-universe Warren. Regular-universe Bernie appeared to be napping.
"You think you're so smart," said Ultimate Sanders. "You think you've got it all figured out. But you forgot one thing. Tell her, Lizzie."
"You're correct when you say that if we tax just 2 cents on the dollar of the wealth of the richest Americans, we can easily pay for the most extravagant social programs that would revitalize the country and finally create a democracy that works for all of the people of the United States," Ultimate Universe Warren explained. "But if we tax them 3 cents on the dollar… then we have enough left over to build a big-ass nuclear @#$%ing gun!"
As Ultimate Warren leveled her weapon at Williamson and prepared to fire, regular-Universe Warren emerged from behind her podium.
"No," regular-universe Warren said. "If we want to restore the world's faith in America, we can never be the ones to use nuclear weapons first."
Regular-universe Warren then dove at Ultimate Universe Warren, knocking her shot just slightly wide, vaporizing a 50-square-mile section of Detroit but sparing Williamson. The crowd, many of whom would soon be dead, applauded wildly.
"No!" Ultimate Universe Warren cried. "You've doomed us all!"
At that point, Williamson's body erupted into black flames and she placed her glowing hands around Bullock's head. Bullock's mouth opened wide and from his throat a portal emerged, as legions of giant insectoid-creatures swarmed through portal, their ear-splitting shrieks striking terror in the hearts of all who bore witness.
Later, in CNN's post-debate analysis, pundit David Axelrod wondered whether general election voters who supported the general idea of a Universe not torn apart by soul-eaters would be willing to give up their personal healthcare plans that they love, while Van Jones questioned whether it was legal, or even moral, to tax wealthy Americans in order to save the universe, earning agreement from Vanderbilt heir Anderson Cooper.
Overall, the first night of the Democratic Debates showed great promise, both informing viewers about candidates they might not have been very familiar with and highlight the big divide between the progressive and centrist wings of the Democratic Party. It was probably the most exciting political debate we've seen since Earth 2 Bernie Sanders' dominance at the first Democratic primary debate back in 2015. We'll definitely be tuning in tomorrow to see the conclusion during the second night of the debates, provided we haven't been enslaved in the armies of the soul-eaters or erased from existence by then.