This year’s general election ballot presents the voter with a dilemma. We have wrestled with this year’s choices, as we imagine many voters have. Up and down the ticket we are faced with choices in political ideologies, personalities, backgrounds and governing styles.

Some choices are easy. We can wholeheartedly recommend Chris Sununu be elected to another term as governor. He has proven himself a capable leader when faced with an extreme and occasionally hostile legislature. During the COVID-19 crisis, he has deftly handled a situation that left many leaders flustered and swinging from one extreme reaction to the next.

In the race that has dominated political discourse for the past four years the choice is murkier. There is no love lost between this newspaper and President Donald J. Trump. The Union Leader was very quickly dismissed by then-candidate Trump after we failed to bestow on him our endorsement in the Republican primary four years ago.

We were hopeful with Trump’s win that he might change, that the weight and responsibility of the Oval Office might mold a more respectful and presidential man. We have watched with the rest of the world as the mantle of the presidency has done very little to change Trump while the country and world have changed significantly.

President Trump is not always 100 percent wrong, but he is 100 percent wrong for America. Trump has many admirable accomplishments from his first term in office. We can find much common ground with Trump supporters, including judicial appointments, tax policy, support for gun rights, even inroads to Middle East peace. Trump has been able to accomplish this despite many in the media and Congress working to stop him at every opportunity.

Since Trump took over, the national debt has exploded by more than 7 TRILLION dollars. While the last several trillion was in response to the COVID-19 economic crisis, at least the first three trillion was on the books well before the pandemic, while Trump was presiding over “...the best economy we’ve ever had in the history of our country.” (Trump’s words.)

The layman would expect that the best economy in history would be a time to get the fiscal house in order, pay down debt and prepare for a rainy day (or perhaps a worldwide pandemic). The real tragedy of this scenario is that the runaway spending under the Trump administration has flashed dollar signs in the eyes of Capitol Hill Democrats. Trillions in unchecked spending has them clamoring to birth the social programs of their dreams.

Federal spending is on an unsustainable path. The fact that it has continued under an allegedly conservative president is unbelievable.

Mr. Trump rightly points out that the COVID-19 crisis isn’t his fault, but a true leader must own any situation that happens on their watch. We may be turning a corner with this virus, but the corner we turned is down a dark alley of record infections and deaths. Mr. Trump is a self-proclaimed expert on a wide variety of topics, but when pushed on basic topics he doesn’t want to discuss, he very quickly feigns ignorance.

Donald Trump did not create the social-media-driven political landscape we now live in, but he has weaponized it. He is a consummate linguistic takedown artist, ripping apart all comers to the delight of his fanbase but at the expense of the nation. America faces many challenges and needs a president to build this country up. This appears to be outside of Mr. Trump’s skill set.

Building this country up sits squarely within the skill set of Joseph Biden. We have found Mr. Biden to be a caring, compassionate and professional public servant. He has repeatedly expressed his desire to be a president for all of America, and we take him at his word. Joe Biden may not be the president we want, but in 2020 he is the president we desperately need. He will be a president to bring people together and right the ship of state.

Biden is not perfect. We are not satisfied with his responses about his son Hunter’s foreign business dealings. His understanding of gun rights leaves a lot to be desired (Joe says we only need shotguns). He suggests cops faced with a deadly threat should “shoot them in the leg.” He also seems to be copying more pages out of the “Green New Deal” than we would like.

Our policy disagreements with Joe Biden are significant. Despite our endorsement of his candidacy, we expect to spend a significant portion of the next four years disagreeing with the Biden administration on our editorial pages.

Biden was among the most moderate in the crowded 2020 Democratic primary field, proposing some of the lowest new spending among that increasingly left-leaning group. We are hopeful that this is a sign of the thoughtful and pragmatic public servant President Joe Biden will be. Sadly, President Trump has proven himself to be the antithesis of thoughtful and pragmatic; he has failed to earn a second term.

Our endorsement for President of these United States goes to Joe Biden.

* While Joe Biden is the clear choice for president, it would be a disservice to the country to send him to the White House without a backstop. We suggest splitting the ballot and electing a healthy dose of GOP senators and representatives. The best governance often comes through compromise. The civility of the Biden administration will help foster such compromise, but a blue wave would be nearly as disastrous for this country as four more years of Trump. It would result in a quagmire of big government programs that will take decades to overcome.

Sunday, November 29, 2020
Friday, November 27, 2020

One benefit of the recent elections ought to be the long overdue acceptance of a federal grant (i.e., taxpayer money) to explore and expand public charter school options throughout New Hampshire. The repeated rejection of these funds that the state Department of Education has sought for more…

No doubt readers today are still digging their way through either Thanksgiving leftovers and/or the extra-large holiday newspaper we served up earlier this week. The edition has ideas aplenty for the Christmas shopping that lies directly ahead.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

The statewide mask order issued by Gov. Chris Sununu late last week should come as no surprise. Anyone who has paid attention knows Sununu has moved decisively on dealing with COVID-19 when he believes action is warranted. It is one of the main reasons he was just re-elected by such a wide margin.

The staggering amount of taxpayer money that has been spent on the related problems of homelessness, drug abuse and mental illness in New Hampshire is mind-numbing. In his answer to a letter from mayors (including Manchester’s Joyce Craig), Gov. Chris Sununu provides an outline of such expen…

It is good to read that Secretary of State William Gardner will stand for another term. His record for New Hampshire speaks for itself as one of uncompromising service and integrity above partisan politics. Our most recent election process, standing as it does in stark relief to challenges a…

Friday, November 20, 2020
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

It seems ironic that the New Hampshire couple upset with the producers of the North Woods Law TV program for allegedly invading their privacy are in fact bringing notoriety on themselves with their lawsuit. It puts us in mind of the fellow who killed his parents and then begged for the court…

New Hampshire’s Fish and Game Department will have its hands full as the seasons change and the nights get longer. No doubt its officers will be dealing with road kill as deer, in particular, roam about as winter approaches.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Republican Party hacks across the country were willing enablers of Donald Trump even as his own self-interests did damage to a once-proud Republican philosophy. They did so precisely because they are political hacks first, last, and always.

The Union Leader Santa Fund for the Salvation Army would normally be kicking things off with a thank-you luncheon at about this time of year. That can’t happen because of the coronavirus pandemic, which is also putting an added strain on the families the Santa Fund helps to serve.

Clearly there is a disconnect between the state and the city over the homeless issues in Manchester. The state says its health and welfare people are in direct, daily communication with those in tent encampments. Mayor Joyce Craig and Fire Chief Dan Goonan say they have seen no evidence of this.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Perhaps the fellow whose political party was just “flipped” out of control of New Hampshire governance isn’t the best person to order up a wholesale review of what just happened. He certainly isn’t the one who should be selecting the reviewers.

Manchester’s school superintendent is warning that schools may need to revert to fully “remote learning” from Thanksgiving right through to mid-January. The reason: so many educators will be leaving the state over the holidays that pandemic protocols will demand it. The quarantine period for…

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

We reprint here a presidential proclamation issued on Nov. 11, 1954, after Congress renamed Armistice Day as Veterans Day. It seems particularly fitting that the President at the time, Dwight D. Eisenhower, had 10 years earlier commanded the troops that freed Europe from Hitler.