The GOP nominee was sedated and sane for 30 whole minutes at 2016′ s final presidential debate, and then he went back to his normal conspiracy theory-believing self.”>

LAS VEGAS I will maintain you in suspense, Donald Trump told, referring to whether hell accept the results of the election.

It was right about then that things fell apart for the Republican nomineewhen he waffled on whether he accepted the legitimacy of American democracy. It only got worse for him at the final presidential debate on Wednesday evening at the University of Nevada, during which he called his adversary a nasty woman and complained about the Emmys.

After three debates, its clear that Trump cant opposed his own blustery nature for 90 minutes of back-and-forth. In each debate, he utilized roughly 30 minutes to stimulate his points before the wheels went off. On Wednesday night, his last opportunity to dramatically change his trajectory before Election Day, he choked like a dogto borrow an insult he likes.

He handed the game to Hillary Clinton, who is up by 6.5 percentage points on average nationally, according to Real Clear Politics.

An remarkably subdued Trump seemed for those precious, initial minutes of the debate, much like during the first debate in New York, clothe in his uniform of dark suit and red affiliation. It seemed that the discussion, shepherded by Fox Newss Chris Wallace, might actually be substantive. The first question was about constitutional rights. The second, abortion.

There were glimpses of Trump as we know him, as when, during an exchange about immigration in which Clinton said she didnt want to break up families with undocumented immigrants living in the country, he told, testing out a Spanish phrase, We have some bad hombres, and were going to get them out. It was, Clinton shot back, an idea that would rend our country apart.

Then the conversation get weird: Trump accused Clinton of supporting the idea that he had based his campaign on.

Hillary Clinton wanted the wall, he told , noting that Clinton did support a 700 -mile border fence in 2006. Hillary Clinton fought for the wall in 2006 or thereabouts. Now, she never gets anything done, so naturally the wall wasnt constructed. But Hillary Clinton wanted the wall.

But it was when Trump attacked the very core of American democracythe peaceful transition of power through electionsthat things get nuts. It was a total flip-flop from the first presidential debate, when he said he would absolutely accept the results of the election.

That is frightening, Clinton told. Hes denigrating and talking down our democracy. I, for one, am appalled that somebody who is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind of position.

In the developed world, major party nominees dont undermine their republics by challenging the legitimacy of their contests.

But Trump is not like any other nominee in history. For instance, as Clinton noted, he once said the Emmys were rigged.

Should have gotten it! he said in response, about the awards.

When it became clear that Trump would be the Republican nominee, there was a lot of chatter, among the press and the so-called political experts, about his need to fulcrum, to act more presidential. He hired experienced campaign staff. He got a operating mate who acts like an adult. Any period Trump acted unlike himselfsay, by reading from a teleprompter, or constructing it through an interview or speech without saying something so insane he nearly has broken the internet, it seemed as if the Brand New Trump had arrived.

And then hed go back to his old ways.

Get The Beast In Your Inbox!

Daily DigestStart and finish your day with the top narratives from The Daily Beast.

Cheat SheetA speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know( and nothing you don't ).

By clicking “Subscribe, ” you agree to have read the TermsofUse and PrivacyPolicy