2020 election is referendum on constitutional norms

In traditional presidential campaigns, the two major parties offer contrasting ideas and policies. The Democratic and Republican candidates barnstorm the nation to make their cases.

Not this year.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden is more or less a virtual candidate, mostly communicating from home via Zoom. He offers few detailed alternatives to the first four years of the Trump administration.

Instead, Biden is running on the idea that Donald Trump caused the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession, and that he’s responsible for violence in the streets.

But Biden rarely offers contrasting visions of what he would have done differently than the Trump administration — or, for that matter, major European countries that are now in worse economic shape and fighting another coronavirus spike.

Even in the final days of the race, Biden is making far fewer campaign appearances than Trump. The challenger is outsourcing to the media his defense against allegations that the Biden family has peddled influence to foreign interests for millions of dollars that were routed into family coffers.

An inert Biden is playing the role of good ol’ Joe from Scranton, while his supporters hope not to just to change the presidency but to alter the very rules of how America has been governed for decades and even centuries.

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