Dear Debaters,

I loved your show. At first, I thought I had chanced upon something affiliated with the Miss Universe Pageant. And I had an awful moment when I braced against the possibility of having to see Donald Trump mince across the stage in a Speedo.

When I got the two events untangled in my mind, everything was swell. I even enjoyed the warm-up version, with jokes by Lindsey Graham. He is quite a cutup for a war hawk. I’m glad he traveled to the Middle East so often, but I wish he had told us what he learned there. Did he stay with the U.S. military, or did he do a kind of Lindsey of Arabia, riding a camel and eating shawarma? Did he teach them the intricacies of South Carolina barbecue? We should be told.

As for that sly, former New York governor, George Pataki, he sounded presidential when he chided those who would obey the law selectively. Trouble is he has saved himself from overexertion out of the gate and now the field is in the stretch, while the governor ambling up to the first turn.

In the main event, we all swooned — well, nearly — for dear, sweet Ben Carson. Such a nice man. Ready-made to be ambassador to the Court of St. James’s (United Kingdom, that is) or president of Harvard, he would bring class to anything. But why, oh why, is he running for president of the United States? Clearly, he does not do foreign policy, banking or sanctions management.

Thank you doctor for toning up the Republican Party. It needed it. Have you seen the Trump Tower? How gauche!

Carly Fiorina, you are quite an information sponge. Loved the way you tossed off those statistics about brigades, divisions and ships. Super! But did you have to simper over Bibi Netanyahu? You can love Israel without embracing Netanyahu, who is — if you think about it — something like Israel’s Donald Trump, but more cunning.

Swatting has served you well. but do not paint yourself in a corner with Vladimir Putin. Do not tell him what you will do as president. I would cozy up to him while rearming.

Talk to everyone and carry a big stick, John Kasich understands that. Wow John, when you were talking about how you balanced the budget with someone from the other party, I guess you meant to say it was Bill Clinton. But it slipped your mind.

And then, The Donald. Could this be the beginning of the end? And those faces you pulled? Expect to see them in Democratic ads. Donald, if you make it to the next debate, read up on things outside of New York, Florida and New Jersey. There are aids for embryonic politicians, which you can buy at any bookstore: they are called CliffsNotes, and in no time you can drop historical facts, mention faraway land masses, and quote Winston Churchill or Julius Caesar. Those pesky foreign names? Easy. Get The New York Times and read the foreign section on Page Two. In just one week, you will be conversant with the names of all kinds of demagogues, who are just waiting to deal with you. I promise.

Many of you are showing improvement from last time, especially Jeb Bush. He has graduated from looking like a schoolmaster all the way up to having all the savoir faire of a county bank manager. Can the White House be far behind?