It’s a year for firsts. First time the two major party candidates have both been this unpopular and disliked. The first time a GOP candidate with Democrat values has spent most of the campaign mocking the appearance, disability, or family members of opponents. The first time millions have agreed to pretend that multiple criminal and negligent acts relating to our very national security is just no big deal. And now, it’s the first time in their 34 years that the USA Today editorial board has anti-endorsed someone for president.
In an editorial titled “Trump unfit to lead,” the board, which despite every hysterical reaction you’ll hear from the Trump boosters tonight, does have some conservatives, blasts Donald Trump and urges people to “resist the siren song of a dangerous demagogue.”
Here’s an excerpt:
This year, the choice isn’t between two capable major party nominees who happen to have significant ideological differences. This year, one of the candidates — Republican nominee Donald Trump — is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency.
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.
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.
You may be wondering why Hillary is not also “unfit” for the presidency. So is Steve Deace, who will be on the air tonight with Deputy Editorial Page Editor David Mastio to discuss the anti-endorsement as well as the Hillary question.
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) September 29, 2016
You may also wonder “does this even matter?” To the Trump loyalists, certainly not. As Trump himself noted, he could commit cold-blooded murder and they would still cheer him on and try to explain why that is actually a good thing (along with a healthy dose of “but Hillary” you can be sure). To the board itself, absolutely. It matters to be on record against something which you vehemently oppose. To the election? Inasmuch as it is yet another newspaper breaking tradition to oppose Trump, it ought to give any thinking person pause. Especially if you bother to read the devastating article in its entirety. So yes, it does matter in that way.
Not every act of opposition to Trump is a matter of positioning or Hillary-boosting. It’s both sad and inexplicable to me that so many otherwise intelligent conservatives can’t seem to grasp that simple fact.
But that’s just my two cents. Hear it straight from the key author tonight at 9 eastern on Steve’s show, which you can find here.