It's now pretty clear that Joe Biden has a lead, but President Donald Trump has been closing nationally (which doesn't really matter) and in key battleground states (which matters a ton). Each party's base has been decided for months. The election, as usual, is largely about who can convince the people in the middle.

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Attention readers: Neil Patel is off this week. Please enjoy the following column by Veronique de Rugy.

As the saying goes, "When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging." This advice applies to the hole Congress leapt into by bailing out the airline industry back in March through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. Now these companies want even more taxpayer money. The federal government should refuse another bailout.

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Every good thing comes to an end. Since our founding -- based on ideas and principles rather than race or nationality -- America grew to become the world's most dominant power by the end of World War II. By the 1990s, once we won the Cold War, there was nobody else even close. Now we are completely falling apart. Our situation is so bad that it could be time to start debating whether we have, in fact, peaked as a country and as a world power. I sure hope not.

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Attention readers: Neil Patel is off this week. Please enjoy the following column by David Harsanyi.

It remains something of a mystery why there's so little apprehension among liberal pundits and Democrats about the similarities between battleground state polling for the 2020 presidential election and 2016 contest -- which as you might recall did not turn out as expected.

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Do we really have to worry about the Postal Service? That's the latest faux controversy to dominate our political debate. It's a sign of our times that even the mail system isn't without controversy. As usual, there's plenty of blame to go around on how we got into this mess.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's reasonable to presume we need more absentee voting. Packing voters into overcrowded indoor polling places with long lines is not a good idea. Our government and politicians of all stripes have a duty to promote free and fair elections whether in person or absentee. That shouldn't be a controversial idea.

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Attention readers: Neil Patel is off this week. Please enjoy the following column by David Harsanyi.

By the time the 2020 campaign ends, president-in-waiting Kamala Harris will have been transformed into the greatest exemplar of judicious centrism and political level-headedness in American history.

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Until the Trump era, there was a pretty broad consensus in America around free speech. If you didn't like something someone said, you could debate them and prove their point was not worthy. The solution to bad arguments was to use our free speech rights to win an argument. The notion of censoring political debate does not have deep roots in our system. The Trump era changed all that. The left views Trump as an existential threat. Quaint notions such as free speech are no longer in vogue when compared to the broader moral calling to drive him from office.

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In an election year, we all grow used to politicians twisting one another's words for maximum advantage. That's always happened, and it always will. It's our job as citizens to cut through the political spin, figure out the truth and vote our conscience. The difference in this political cycle, more than any other before it, is it's not just the politicians who are constantly spinning the truth. Formerly responsible institutions have rejected the goal of objectivity in exchange for political expediency. You cannot find the truth in this election cycle unless you actively seek it out. The only way to do that is to look beyond your political bubble.

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Attention readers: Neil Patel is off this week. Please enjoy the following column by David Harsanyi.

Despite the occasional looting, chaos, property damage, trespassing, rioting, graffiti, assaults, arson and general mayhem, the media consistently assure us that antifa "protesters" are "largely peaceful." And since the majority of buildings in Portland, Seattle and Denver haven't been looted yet, who am I to argue?

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Attention readers: Neil Patel is off this week. Please enjoy the following column by David Harsanyi.

On March 25, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made one of deadliest mistakes of the coronavirus crisis, signing an executive order forcing nursing homes in his state to accept patients who tested positive for coronavirus. Around 4,800 New Yorkers died from COVID-19 in those nursing homes from March to May -- approximately 25% of all fatalities in the state.

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Is America good? That's the real question we have been debating these past few weeks. The answer, of course, is obvious to all but a few true radicals. Yes, America is good. That doesn't mean America is perfect, and it doesn't mean we should not strive to make America better, but the criticisms we make should have some grounding in facts, in history and in comparison with the rest of the world.

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Attention readers: Neil Patel is off this week. Please enjoy the following column by David Harsanyi.

This week, the Supreme Court struck down a Montana constitutional provision barring religious schools from benefiting from the state's tax dollars. There are similar now-unconstitutional laws on the books across the nation -- many of them borne of anti-Catholic bigotry -- that subvert religious liberty and further empower government, rather than parents, to make educational choices for their kids. In most cases, those laws are now dead.

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There is a fanatical and increasingly violent form of fascism growing on the streets of our country. Civil debate and free speech are out. Power on the streets is in. If that scares you, the fact that our country's political, corporate and media leaders seem to be OK with this mob violence should scare you even more.

The spark that ignited our current unrest was the brutal murder of George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, all caught on video. President Donald Trump, for all his skills, is unable to effectively lead at a time like this, especially on a sensitive issue like race. His talks have veered from awkward to unhelpful.

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Attention readers: Neil Patel is off this week. Please enjoy the following column by David Harsanyi.

We're in the dawn of a high-tech, bloodless Cultural Revolution, one that relies on intimidation, public shaming and economic ruin to dictate what words and ideas are permissible in the public square.

"Words are violence" has always been an illiberal notion meant to stifle speech and open discourse. Popularized by a generation of coddled and brittle college students, it now guides policy on editorial pages at newspapers such as the Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times and most major news outlets.

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We just had riots from coast to coast. Downtown Seattle is currently a lawless zone under the control of anarchists. It may be time to start asking what's going on in our country. People are not happy. The national unrest started with the brutal killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, but it is not solely about police brutality or race. People on the left and on the right are unhappy about a host of issues. Maybe now that it has become this bad, we can stop pretending otherwise.

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Our country is hurting. Culturally, as a society and how we relate to each other, we are in the midst of a steep drop, almost a free fall. Race is just one aspect; we are talking past one another, and we are less of a community than I ever recall. If you love this country, the question is how did this happen, and how can we turn it around.

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