Staff Editorial

The Gazette's endorsement for president: End the carnage

One candidate has comforted white supremacists, skyrocketed the federal debt and caused thousands of unnecessary deaths. We endorse the other candidate.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on September 11, 2020 in New York City. (Am
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on September 11, 2020 in New York City. (Amr Alfiky - Pool/Getty Images/TNS)

On Inauguration Day 2017, President Donald Trump raised the specter of “American carnage” that his presidency would remedy. Instead, he unleashed it.

Four years later the nation is gripped by a pandemic that’s killed more than 200,000 people. Trump publicly downplayed the virus while conceding its deadly threat to the country only in private. His delayed response cost thousands of lives needlessly. His erratic forays into virus misinformation confused and confounded efforts to control the spread. He shunned the advice of medical experts and made decisions aimed more at boosting his reelection chances than protecting Americans’ health.

And when his administration’s cavalier attitude toward COVID-19 led to a White House outbreak, the president emerged from the hospital to give Americans a rambling, insulting admonishment to not let the virus “dominate” them, as if its victims somehow lacked the will to survive.

Faced with historic crises, Trump has failed, again and again.

- The Gazette editorial board

And because the virus has not been controlled, the economy continues to suffer severe side effects. Just this past week, Trump abruptly broke off negotiations with congressional Democrats on a new package of economic aid for struggling businesses, workers and local governments. So much for the art of the deal. The outlook for winter is bleak as the pandemic continues and a new wave of cases looms.

In a nation where appalling police misconduct has prompted calls for racial justice and for stamping out systemic racism in the justice system and beyond, Trump only has fanned the flames of hatred and division. He’s repeatedly refused to condemn white supremacists who have found comfort in his sympathy to their cause and his incendiary anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Trump’s steady diet of inflammatory remarks, personal attacks and constant efforts to undermine democratic institutions have become equivalent to never-ending nails on a chalkboard, with Americans being divided rather than united.

Amid all this, the president has cast doubts on the legitimacy of the election by making false claims about the propriety of mail-in voting. He’s also refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power should he lose.

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Faced with historic crises, Trump has failed, again and again. And that’s why we’re urging Iowans to vote for Joe Biden and pull the nation back from the precipice.

The Gazette’s endorsements for Iowa’s 2020 U.S. House and Senate races

The Gazette’s endorsements: Clear choices in Iowa House and Senate races

Gazette endorses candidates for supervisor in Linn and Johnson

The former vice president has taken the pandemic seriously as a candidate and will continue to do so as president. He’ll seek the advice of public health experts and steer our ongoing response toward a course of sanity and science.

Speaking of science, Biden doesn’t believe climate change is a hoax, and has a plan to deal with the crisis and its consequences. He will rebalance the nation’s effort to protect the environment, rather than recklessly opening up our refuges, preserves and wetlands to exploitation. The Environmental Protection Agency will protect the environment again.

Biden will seek progress on racial justice, his economic policies will look beyond simply enacting tax cuts that primarily benefit the wealthy, and he can restore the nation’s credibility on the world stage after Trump shredded relations with our longtime allies.

He’s an honest and competent man ready to serve at a time when honesty and competency are in short supply. The lie-counters will catch a break.

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We also understand Trump carried Iowa easily in 2016. But even for conservatives, Trump has failed to deliver on almost every meaningful policy priority.

He ravaged the farm economy by unilaterally reversing decades of bipartisan progress on free trade and granting special treatment to oil refiners at the cost of ethanol producers. He did not fully repeal, much less replace, the Affordable Care Act when he had a Republican House and Senate. He has increased federal spending faster than his Democratic predecessor, even before pandemic-related expenses came up.

When Trump was confronted by advisers in 2017 about the threat presented by the ballooning national debt, Trump reportedly said, “Yeah, but I won’t be here.” We hope he’s proven right when he’s ousted from office in this election. (319) 398-8262; editorial@thegazette.com

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