The fuzzy battle lines of the 2020 election

So far this has not been the election anyone thought it would be

Joe Biden and President Trump.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock)

It's been real, hasn't it? Two weeks of montages about who is the nicer grandfather and competing testimonies from small business owners, two unmemorable speeches delivered far too late for the target audience of senior citizens in the Midwest to watch them live. The guy who wrote the draconian crime bill is accusing the guy who (partially) repealed it of being an authoritarian monster; the latter is insisting that the former, along with his party, are simultaneously too soft and too tough on crime.

In 67 days we will know whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden is going to be the next president of the United States. What we might not know is why. Obviously in the barest formal sense we will learn that one man managed to win a majority of the 538 electoral votes and that the other did not. But this is not an election in which there are well-defined "issues" at stake or competing visions of the common good that are even remotely as clear as partisans on both sides believe.

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