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*Image: The County Election by George Caleb Bingham, 1854 [Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Winston-Salem, NC]

By David Warren, The Catholic Thing, Oct. 9, 2020

David Warren is a former editor of the Idler magazine and columnist in Canadian newspapers. He has extensive experience in the Near and Far East. His blog, Essays in Idleness, is now to be found at: davidwarrenonline.com.


David WarrenIt is weeks before an American general election, the results of which no one can reliably predict. As a (canceled) media hack, I could write “toldja so” summaries for any result, but I would have to know the result first. The alternative drafts would look very foolish.

And yet, the difference could come down to a few hundred disputed ballots, in one state or another. Or might not, if my own (foreign) hunch is sound. I think Trump will win, by a good margin, but I am working on assumptions about the electorate that may well be obsolete.

For this (or any) election is not only a referendum on the candidates. It is also a referendum on the voters. We learn, from the result, what they think important and – almost as important – what they will discount. Opinion polls are flighty, and I have never trusted them; when he votes, the citizen is playing for keeps.  ….

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