The Gazette Editorial Board is not endorsing in the presidential election.
There’s nothing new we could say about Donald Trump or Joe Biden that hasn’t been said, no points we could illuminate that haven’t already been under blazing scrutiny, no fresh information we’ve gathered to enlighten our readers.
That’s different from the local elections we’ve written about.
For all the other races and referendums about which we’ve written endorsements this election season, The Gazette Editorial Board, which represents a cross section of the company, first interviewed the candidates for 30 minutes, asked them the same questions and debated their responses before deciding on a position.
We can’t bring that to the presidential race. We didn’t meet with the candidates. We don’t have fresh information about either of the candidates that would let us provide context for an endorsement.
It’s not the first time The Gazette hasn’t endorsed in the presidential election. The first time was in 2016, when we could stomach neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton.
On Nov. 5, 2016, we wrote, in part: “The Gazette Editorial Board shares the tortured feelings of many voters about the two candidates, but we tried, in the name of longstanding tradition, to get behind one of them.
“We ventured into this electoral morass in search of a path to an endorsement.
“We never found it.
“These two candidates are worse than a disappointment. They are an embarrassment to this nation, and we can only imagine how people around the world are shaking their heads that one of these two will end up leading America.”
And now, four years later, the political teapot is not just boiling, it has boiled dry and is beginning to melt. The country is polarized like never before.
Families are divided. Neighbors are opposed.
There’s no more talking about this race. There’s only screaming.
Part of the role of the Opinion Page is to encourage conversation, but we don’t want to add to unhealthy conflict playing out across the nation.
Will we endorse in a presidential election in the future? Perhaps. Maybe someday we’ll have a local candidate running for president.
This time, though, all we can do is encourage people to vote. Just about everybody has made up their minds, so exercise your duty as American citizens and cast your ballots.