Decisions in this vital swing state are made in two different realities, one adherent to facts and science, the other rooted in conspiracies and political dogma
If you wanted a symbol for Donald Trump’s complete takeover of the Republican party, you could do little better than a nondescript shopping mall on the outskirts of Largo in west Florida.
This is a usually quiet intersection in Florida’s quintessential bellwether county, Pinellas, which has voted for the winning presidential candidate in every election since 1980 (bar the disputed 2000 race won by George W Bush).
But eight months ago Cliff Gephart, an enthusiastic Trump supporter and local entrepreneur, transformed a vacant lot – formerly a strip club – into a thriving coffee shop devoted to the president. Business at Conservative Grounds is roaring, despite the pandemic, with hundreds and, they claim, occasionally over a thousand customers, dropping by each day for a cup of coffee, a chat about politics and to purchase from a plethora of Trump themed merchandise. No-one is social distancing or wearing a facemask.
In 2016, the narrative of the so-called “secretive Trump voter” went part of the way to explaining the billionaire property magnate’s unexpected pathway to the White House. But now, in Pinellas as in many parts of the country, Trump supporters are out in force, unafraid, empowered and organised.
In another bitter symbol for rattled liberals, on the morning that arch conservative Amy Coney Barrett paid a visit to Mitch McConnell on Capitol Hill, prior to her expected swift confirmation and ascension to the supreme court, the woman she will replace was laid to rest.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, aka the Notorious RBG, feminist and left-leaning icon, was buried this morning in Arlington National Cemetery, in Virginia, just on the outskirts of Washington.
She was to be buried next to her late husband, Marty, who died in 2010, and the event took place four days after Ginsburg was afforded the honor last Friday of being the first woman to lie in state in the US Capitol.
Meanwhile, demonstrations continue in Washington, DC.
A group of clergy, rabbis and imams marched from the US Capitol to the Dirksen Senate Office Building during a demonstration to remember Supreme Court Ginsburg, earlier today. The group was led by Reverend Dr William Barber and they urged Americans to vote in her memory and that of Kentucky police shooting victim Breonna Taylor.
Read the original article at The Guardian