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IN FOR A PENCE?



It is possible to disagree with, or even recoil from, VP Pence's right-wing conservative political and social and religious beliefs, and still recognise that his recent conference speech was a remarkably powerful rhetorical exercise in firing up the new Republican pro-Trump base (down to its nasty transition pun); AND as clear a delineation between choices in any American election they've had since Reconstruction. 'Freedom vs. Control' may be an extreme version, capitalism vs. socialism also a slight exaggeration, but this is the final battle (for now) of the so-called 'Culture Wars' that have been brewing in the US since Nixon in 1968.

It's the ultimate American struggle, between the angels of our better selves with a progressive liberal agenda, versus traditional, evangelical, broadly Constitutional literalists, who think America has always been great, needs little correction, and is exceptional in the eyes of God - basically FDR versus Bush Jr. slash Cheney. The only difference this time is that the delivery system for the right-wing agenda is not a sunny communicator like Reagan, or a slippery, dexterous cunning like Nixon's, but a narcissistic blowhard with a sloppy mind, loose morals, and racist opinions. What I am saying is, this election is cataclysmic, but students of US politics can easily discern the battle lines, and they have been ever thus, if only by degrees. Now, the election will become closer, as election day looms, as the choice is this stark - and Americans decide WHAT THEY REALLY WANT.

From past such decision cross-roads in US politics, anything could still happen, because it is never clear that the more 'coastal enlightened' outnumber the more 'heartland patriotic', because as we saw in 2016, the voters with more extreme views tend to conceal their voting intentions; and the undecided often swing last minute behind the more charismatic, or 'powerful' leader; Trump, I think, now has a 40% chance of winning; and he still has the debates ahead, where he tends to do very well. Biden is still likely to be President in January 2021, but just barely. There's more storm and struggle ahead before then, for sure.

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