To put things in the proper perspective, it might be useful to understand that we are not living through an "Apollo 11" election. This is not a smoothly-run exercise in applied expertise -- a rendezvous with destiny that will be watched with pride by people around the world.
No. with the nomination of Donald J. Trump as the Republican standard-bearer, this has become the "Apollo 13" election.
This has become an honest-to-god, disaster-in-space election because the GOP has finally done what they have been trying to do for 30 years: inflict such catastrophic damage on our democracy that the entire America experiment in self-government in now at risk of failure.
But failure is not an option, which is why this time, history will measure our capacity for leadership not by the first footprints the Obama campaign leaves on an alien world, but by how skillfully the Clinton campaign can pilot our crippled craft back to Earth without getting us all killed.