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.