USA Today’s editorial board has for the first time publicly declared its position in a presidential election, saying that with polls indicating a close race it has to “spell out” that Republican nominee Donald Trump is categorically “unfit for the presidency".
In a lengthy article published today (30 September), USA Today outlined the many reasons why it has revisited its no-endorsement policy.
“From the day he declared his candidacy 15 months ago through this week’s first presidential debate, Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he lacks the temperament, knowledge, steadiness and honesty that America needs from its presidents,” it read.
“Whether through indifference or ignorance, Trump has betrayed fundamental commitments made by all presidents since the end of World War II. These commitments include unwavering support for NATO allies, steadfast opposition to Russian aggression, and the absolute certainty that the United States will make good on its debts. He has expressed troubling admiration for authoritarian leaders and scant regard for constitutional protections.”
The article lists every damaging attribute it believes Trump to have, saying he is erratic ill-equipped, “traffics in prejudice”, reckless and a serial liar whislt also pointing to his “checkered” business career.
However, it has not offered resounding support for Hilary Clinton, who it says “has her own flaws (though hers are far less likely to threaten national security or lead to a constitutional crisis)".
“The Editorial Board does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement,” it said. “Some of us look at her command of the issues, resilience and long record of public service — as first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of State — and believe she’d serve the nation ably as its president. Other board members have serious reservations about Clinton’s sense of entitlement, her lack of candor and her extreme carelessness in handling classified information.”
It ended by urging voters to “stay true to their convictions”, whether that means voting for Clinton or a third-party candidate but “Whatever you do, however, resist the siren song of a dangerous demagogue.”