For the first time since its founding in 1982, the editorial board for USA Today has endorsed a presidential candidate – Joe Biden.
If this were a choice between two capable major party nominees who happened to have opposing ideas, we wouldn’t choose sides. Different voters have different concerns.
But this is not a normal election, and these are not normal times. This year, character, competence and credibility are on the ballot. Given Trump’s refusal to guarantee a peaceful transfer of power if he loses, so, too, is the future of America’s democracy.
For nearly four decades, the Editorial Board has stood for certain core values: truth, accountability, civility in public discourse, opposition to racism, common-ground solutions to the nation’s problems, and steadfast support for First Amendment rights. These aren’t partisan issues, or at least they shouldn’t be.
Donald Trump has trampled each of these principles, making more than 20,000 false or misleading statements, ducking responsibility for his actions, spewing streams of invective at his critics, trafficking in racial fearmongering, governing more as the leader of the red states than of the United States, and relentlessly attacking the free press.
Everything about Biden’s nearly half-century political career suggests he would do a far better job of respecting these values.
Mentioning Biden’s role in the last economic recovery, the editorial board notes that Trump “did no better than the Obama-Biden administration on job creation, the stock market and economic growth.” Also referenced is the national debt which is now $27 trillion, up more than $7 trillion from four years ago.
The op-ed closes with this statement: “We may never endorse a presidential nominee again. In fact, we hope we’ll never have to.”