Tonight’s debate

Here’s what to expect from tonight’s debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump: Fireworks from Trump. The fireworks probably won’t differ significantly from the ones we saw at the second debate, though we may hear more about “rigged elections.” Perhaps Clinton will goad Trump into taking things to a new level. If so, the debate will be worth watching. Otherwise, not really.

Here’s what not to expect from the debate: Anything that will fuel a Trump comeback.

I think Americans have decided in sufficient numbers that Trump simply won’t do as president — he’s too vicious and unstable. Thus, even a performance in which Trump seemed decent and stable would probably come too late.

In any event, Trump shows no sign of wanting to put in such a performance, assuming that he’s capable of it. He relishes being unshackled. Thus, he seems condemned to reinforce the image he projected (not for the first time) in the aftermath of his first debate, in the second one, and in his response to allegations of sexual harassment — the image that caused him to fall from almost even with Clinton to trailing by around 5 to 7 points.

I hope, at least, that the debate will entertain. But I plan to watch it sober, and therefore hold out little hope of being entertained.