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RUSSELL: With substance and civility, Pence shows what's at stake this election
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RUSSELL: With substance and civility, Pence shows what's at stake this election

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Election 2020 Debate (copy)

Vice President Mike Pence speaks during the vice presidential debate Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Kingsbury Hall on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. (Justin Sullivan/Pool via AP)

Wednesday night’s debate in Salt Lake City was a showcase of President Donald Trump’s policy successes and agenda for the future.

Vice President Mike Pence masterfully handled three opponents: Kamala Harris, the Democratic candidate for vice president, moderator Susan Page, who asked leading questions with built-in bias, and the fly that affixed itself to his hair for more than two minutes.

Vice President Pence highlighted the greatest economic boom under any President, which has happened on President Trump’s watch, and the V-shaped resurgent economy which is happening right now in the midst of a pandemic. Pence also touted the Trump tax cuts, which placed thousands of dollars back into the hands of America’s workers and that Joe Biden wants to get rid of if elected.

Also front stage was the issue of the environment. Vice President Pence noted that climate is always changing, but that is no excuse for the government to take over America’s energy companies in order to destroy them as Joe Biden wants to do.

Under President Trump carbon emissions have been reduced more than any developed country in the world. This has happened because of America’s increased use of natural gas. During the debate, Harris touted Joe Biden’s desire to place America back under the thumb of foreign countries by rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement.

Pence also touted the success of the First Step Act for criminal justice reform which Trump signed into law and Kamala Harris voted against.

Harris’ record of incarceration of Black Americans was brought to light. She denied her zealous prosecutions but her record is clear—Black San Franciscans were nearly 20 times more likely to be locked up while she was that city’s prosecutor. “You did nothing for criminal justice,” Pence told her Wednesday.

The starkest difference between Pence and Harris was on China. The Vice President rightly pointed out that Joe Biden has been Communist China’s best friend for the 47-plus years he spent in Congress.

Biden’s legacy on China has been to appease, and cut backroom deals with the Communist government. Only President Trump has been willing to achieve fair and free trade by tough negotiations. Only President Trump has forced China to its knees to get a better deal for our farmers and manufacturers.

Lastly, Kamala Harris reaffirmed her commitment to abortion rights. Kamala believes abortion should be available anytime during pregnancy even up until birth. She has received millions of campaign dollars from the abortion industry during her time in public office. On Wednesday, Vice President Pence firmly stood with President Trump in reaffirming their support for the right to life.

The debate was civil and hard-hitting. It demonstrated what is at stake in this year’s election. We either embrace American democracy and capitalism with President Trump or we will embrace a new socialism where the government elites rule our lives with Joe Biden.

A Culpeper town councilman and a Republican, Jon Russell formerly led the American City County Exchange, an affiliate of the American Legislative Exchange Council. His views are his own.

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