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, January 17, 2021
Friday, January 15, 2021

Sorry, but we don’t buy the New Hampshire GOP’s “cutting the line” complaint against our two U.S. senators for getting vaccinated last week anymore than we buy the Democrat response that the Republicans had “crossed the line” by “viciously attacking female members of Congress.”

The state’s electronic message boards along our highways can be helpful in emergencies and when traffic backups warn that a different route might be in order. When not used for traffic information, however, things can get confusing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Sunday, January 10, 2021

We don’t know about the students, but the Manchester School Board and district officials have real trouble with numbers. Just over two years ago, they paid an outside consultant to tell them they were going to need more space at the elementary level because those schools were overcrowded. Le…

The lack of proper security at the U.S. Capitol last week was frightening and appalling. Some called Jan. 6 a day, like Pearl Harbor, that will live in infamy. We agree. It should also invoke the equally historic phrase of “never again.”

Friday, January 08, 2021

Wednesday’s rioting and insurrection in Washington, D.C., underlined the importance of yesterday’s inaugural ceremonies in Concord being a public event. Indeed, the Washington spectacle makes it all the more vital that such business be conducted in public. Regrettably, Gov. Chris Sununu had …

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

At the Derryfield Country Club, he was known to many simply as “Mr. Golf,” and for good reason. From his earliest years on a standout Manchester High School West team, through his competitive years in city and state events, to his play in the Profile Seniors circuit, Billy Conway was known a…

Sunday, January 03, 2021
  • Updated

We have no sympathy for the loud and foul-mouthed individuals who feel they have the unqualified right to harass and disrupt the peace and privacy of public servants in their own homes. Recently, it has been Gov. Chris Sununu and his young family who have been targeted. But it could be any p…

If you don’t think the First Amendment and the Right to Know law are key to an informed public, consider recent events in Bow and Salem. Bow residents have recently learned that 10 of the 11 officers of their police department voted no confidence in their police chief. They also learned that…

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

It has been noted that the 2020 pandemic has had the salutary effect of getting more people pursuing more outside activities, be it hiking, biking, climbing, or just perambulating in the fresh air. Alas, it has also brought out the witless few who bespoil nature even as they walk through it.