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Published on November 1, 2020 9:50 PM

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This could be the most important election of a lifetime
(CNN)Presidential candidates always hype the coming election as the most important in our lifetimes. This time it might be true.

An already divided nation is making its choice between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden with fraught political divides exacerbated by the worst public health crisis in a century. It is also facing a consequent economic slump that has cost millions of Americans their jobs and a still unresolved reckoning over race and police brutality.

Whether Trump gets one or two terms in office will decide if his shocking, untamed Republican presidency is an aberration in modern political history or can more permanently transform America and the world in his own disruptive image. A victory for Biden, the Democratic nominee, would end the constant gut calls, staffing chaos and continuous assaults on truth, science, fact and evidence in every sphere of national life. It would see a return to a more traditional head of state who is vowing to unite the country, create a new spirit of hope and restore compassion to the White House.

rump has made clear that becoming the first impeached president to win reelection would cause him to unleash a far purer form of his hardline nationalist ideology, and he may be all but unstoppable in his effort to fully weaponize the institutions of the US government to his own goals and whims. Vindicated by victory, the President would likely double down on crusades against "elites" and ...