It seems like practically every day people are on Twitter clutching their pearls and asking, "How will I explain this election to my children?"
And practically every day I think to myself, "Forget the children, what about us?!"
Seriously, I say this with only a minimal amount of exaggeration: This election has been a legitimately traumatic experience to live through.
All of it has been so exhausting, and it's pretty hard to fully wrap your head around all the crazy things that have happened.
But when I watched my 65,473rd hour of news coverage this past weekend, I had an epiphany, and it all started to make sense: This stuff is just like "Game of Thrones."
Don't get me wrong. There's not a direct comparison for every character, but I know one thing:
Donald Trump = Stannis
To get their campaigns going, both pretty much had to murder the people they were supposed to get along with. Trump basically slaughtered "fellow" Republican Jeb Bush and Stannis finished off his brother Renly.
And say what you will about Trump, but he has had a few legitimate arguments on which to build his case: politicians being compromised by lobbyists, jobs leaving certain areas, etc.
Similarly, Stannis had a credible claim to the crown: the blood of a Baratheon.
There's just one problem. Practically none of the elites liked either of these two guys.
And you could see that from the way neither of them could manage to find more compelling deputies.
Seriously, did any of you have the same reaction as I did when Trump introduced his VP pick?
I mean, Mike Pence and Sir Davos are arguably more agreeable than their bosses. Well, at least each makes a better case for his guy being in charge than, you know, those guys themselves.
But ultimately, both are just meh.
Hillary = Cersei
In the specific case of Clinton vs Trump, you can tell there are a lot of people who are begrudgingly voting for Hillary.
And when Stannis tried to take King's Landing, it felt like something similar happened to many of those citizens.
In that particular feud, it was easy to side with Cersei, if only because we didn't want to see King's Landing destroyed.
After all, there were people living there we still liked (Sansa, Bronn and — OK, fine — mostly Tyrion).
Speaking of Tyrion, nothing makes this Hillary comparison more valid than the scene of Cersei cowering in the throne room while someone more lovable and charismatic fought her battles on the frontlines.
Not catching my drift? Well, Clinton has had a tendency to oddly disappear out of nowhere during this election. Sometimes it's for fundraising; sometimes it's for debate prep.
All I know is the Obamas are out there being the "closers" for her during those times when she's missing. If that's not Tyrion fighting at the gates of King's Landing, I don't know what is.
Battle of the Blackwater.
At first, Stannis seemed totally unlikely to take the crown. Then he ended up building a really formidable army. It seemed like he had a real shot at the Iron Throne.
You could say the same for Donald Trump during the summer, back when poll numbers actually had him neck-and-neck with Clinton.
The problem for Stannis, though, is that he had to go into Cersei's territory to take the throne. And once his ships reached the Blackwater Bay, he practically walked into a trap.
The problem for Trump? Well, I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but he had to go into Hillary's territory: the debates.
Once Trump got there, he fell for that debate bait. Debate season has seen his campaign explode. Almost like...
Where we are now.
Lest we forget, Stannis wasn't dead after Blackwater. It's just his bid for glory had been severely halted, and so is Donald Trump's — right now.
It's at the point where Trump actually sounds delusional when he speaks about his campaign at his rallies, the same way Stannis sounded crazy when he still thought of himself as the king.
But there's no denying it's looking like this. Hillary's team is so strong she can afford to expand her political influence elsewhere.
Remember Littlefinger getting Harrenhal, Walder Fray getting Riverrun and Roose Bolton getting Winterfell as gifts for being on the Lannisters' side?
That's basically what's happening nationally right now. A lot of places look up for the taking simply because nobody's there to defend them.
Out West, Arizona looks like it can go to the Democrats. On Wednesday, CNN released a video titled, and I quote, "Can Hillary Clinton Win Texas (That's right: Texas)"
In New Hampshire, Clinton is trying to help take down a Republican senator who can't be helped by the new guy at the top of her party's presidential ticket because the senator doesn't like that new guy.
For the love of God, SOME GUY NAMED EVAN MCMULLIN MIGHT TAKE UTAH.
And if all that's getting too technical, just know this:
This is the type of thing that happens when certain areas are loyal to a certain party, e.g., the way the North was loyal to the Starks. Once one of those parties is weakened, it's a free-for-all.
So yeah, that's where we're at right now. Both sides of the war are kinda screwed up, but the side that has the most cohesion is winning. Cohesion, mind you, should be the bare minimum, but I digress.
Now let's just hope Trump doesn't sacrifice his daughter to win. We kinda like her.