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Francis Wilkinson

Trump’s Focus on the Past Leaves Republicans Without a Future

Mike Pence had trouble articulating a vision because the party has abandoned it.

Flying blind.

Flying blind.

Photographer: ERIC BARADAT/AFP

When the coherent half of the Republican ticket participated in the vice presidential debate this week, it was an opportunity for viewers to learn what the future holds. Yes, Vice President Mike Pence may be a talking-point machine, but to a debate audience that’s a more useful device than a random-lie generator. You can learn things from talking points.

There’s only one problem: Republicans have no points to talk about. If elections are about the future, the GOP plans are the blank piece of paper to which President Donald Trump affixed his signature in his Covid photo-op at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.