Many incidents in recent American politics appear bizarre when analyzed as policy discussions, but become meaningful political acts if interpreted as efforts in brand management. In particular, viewing voter behavior as a form consumer culture provides some explanation for the popular support enjoyed by the Republican party.
With the world more globalized and fields more interconnected than ever before, there is room for a détente between religion and academia. However, in my experience that has not been the case. In the two countries where I have interacted with and been a part of the academy, it is sometimes very clear that most academics, at least in the social sciences and humanities, tend to view religion with suspicion.
While Democrats are banking on the support of women and trying to make sure that women vote, the left has its own issues with gender that it struggles to deal with. Underneath the surface level performative support for #metoo, however, gender based harassment and discrimination is not only a right wing issue.