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Monday, April 19, 2021

Democracy and the rise of a new insurgency

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Mr. Trump defended the roughing up of Mr. Khan by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (who insisted on a national audience it wasn’t real), as well as the tweet from the president-elect earlier this month calling the parents of Humayun Khan a “phony” and a “stealer of a speech” and peddling the debunked conspiracy theory that the CIA killed Osama bin Laden. On every question he faced, Mr. Trump went the opposite way of his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who pointed to his Christian faith, his patriotism and to Mr. Khan and his wife. But Mr. Trump himself was entirely at sea when asked what kind of commander in chief he would be and what his plans were to keep the country safe. Mr. Trump also refused to explain why his charitable giving has fallen off, even as his out-of-pocket contributions to his campaign have shot up.

What was the most striking aspect of the final debate between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton was Mr. Trump repeatedly attempting to bait his opponent into a fight with him as they traded accusations and personal attacks back and forth. As Mr. Trump’s temperament became more apparent, Mr. Pence remained silent as he tried to shield his running mate.

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