Major Kansas Newspaper Endorses Joe Biden

A major Kansas newspaper has endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden with only eight days remaining until Americans finish casting their ballots.

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“Joe Biden should be the next president of the United States,” The Topeka Capital-Journal, which in 2016 endorsed candidate Donald Trump, wrote on Saturday. “Biden should be the next president of the United States because he is caring, trustworthy and experienced. He should be the next president of the United States because he has committed to following the science and leading our country out of this pandemic.”

More than 225,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus since the pandemic began in March, largely due to Trump’s denial of science and decision to mislead the public about how dangerous COVID-19 is.

The editorial board urged Kansans to set party politics aside and vote to keep each other safe, and to usher in a return to decency:

Everyone knows that Kansas is a red state. We’ve reliably cast our votes for Republican presidential candidates for decades upon decades. But we’re also not a hopelessly partisan state. We have elected Democratic governors and U.S. representatives. We have elected many problem-solving moderate Republicans to the Statehouse.

That’s because we value the old-fashioned civic values and virtues. We value decency, the kind seen in legendary politicians like Nancy Landon Kassebaum and Bob Dole. We value watching out for our neighbors, no matter the color of their skin, their religion or their sexual orientation. We value putting in a hard day’s work. We value the opportunities this country has brought us, as we know that so many of us are immigrants.

When the paper endorsed Trump in 2016, the authors wrote, they, like so many others on the American center-right, believed that Trump would grow into the job and that his acumen as a businessman would prove useful to the economy. But, the editors said, they like millions of other Americans who voted for Trump, were duped:

In the person of incumbent President Donald Trump, we have someone profoundly indecent, accused of sexual assault by nearly 20 women and captured on tape bragging about it. We know he doesn’t look out for his neighbors, as he’s routinely insulted other nations who have traditionally been our strongest allies. As for putting in hard work, the president’s lengthy days watching cable news or golfing should suggest how little he’s interested in doing the traditional labors of president.

Finally, of course, Trump has been anti-immigrant. Not just in addressing illegal immigration, an issue about which reasonable people can disagree. But he has cut the numbers of refugees allowed in the United States and sought to decrease the numbers of those in the country through legal means.

This newspaper endorsed President Trump in 2016. At the time, under different ownership and in different circumstances, we understood the risks. But it seemed as though Trump’s no-nonsense persona and business record could shake up Washington, D.C., for the better.

Biden, meanwhile, “has nearly five decades of documented public service, as a senator and vice president,” the newspaper continued. “He has served ably and honorably over that time. We do not agree with all of his proposals or actions over those years. We doubt that he does either. But he has always been open and forthright with the American people. He has always appealed to our better selves.”

Biden, the editorial board wrote, will bring a much-needed “steady hand to Washington” to begin to undo the damage Trump has wrought upon the country. “We endorse Joe Biden as the next president.”

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