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Thursday, October 8, 2020

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Mike Pence and Kamala Harris are divided by more than just plexiglass. Their views on America’s leadership, on display during the sole vice presidential debate Wednesday night, are miles apart. In essence, they represent a choice between the current constitutional republic and a descent into socialism.

The discourse in a coronavirus-restricted hall in Salt Lake City Wednesday night shifted focus toward broad political aims missing among the personal attacks hurled during last week’s presidential debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. Person and policy, though, are opposite sides of the same coin.


Addressing debate moderator Susan Page of USA Today, Vice President Mike Pence described the choice facing voters: “Joe Biden says democracy is on the ballot, make no mistake about it, Susan. The American economy, the American comeback is on the ballot . With four more years of President Donald Trump, 2021 will be biggest economic year in the history of this country.”

As Mr. Trump shakes off his own run-in with COVID-19, Ms. Harris suggested that the president failed to recognize the danger posed by the virus and covered up its consequences: “The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country. They knew what was happening, and they didn’t tell you.”

If Mr. Trump is culpable for the coronavirus deaths of 210,000 Americans despite his early efforts to halt the virus’ spread from China, then Ms. Harris is likewise responsible for a failure to save 16,000 of her Golden State’s constituents who have succumbed to the disease. Of course, neither deserves blame for an unpredictable “black swan” event like a pandemic, and casting blame for the ensuing suffering is a shameful political tactic.

Democrats backing the Biden-Harris ticket are undeterred, though, in their determination to convict the president, and Mr. Pence as head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, in the court of public opinion. In the latest FiveThirtyEight survey, 57% of respondents disapprove of the president’s handling of the virus, while only 40% approve.

Just as harmful are the big-government prescriptions Ms. Harris champions that would transform the United States into a nation of submissives, with Mr. Biden as chief overseer. Whether wielded by Mr. Biden or his understudy, policies like $4 trillion in new taxes, variations on Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, and amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants would serve as pointy prods for steering a cowed populace toward a subservient future.

Americans know Mike Pence as Donald Trump‘s steady hand in troubled times. As they scrutinize Kamala Harris, more pertinent than her status as a Black woman is whether she brings stability or recklessness to the Democrats’ presidential ticket. Plexiglass can’t obscure the likelihood that she would help Joe Biden drive the nation into a socialist ditch.


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