The Atlantic Endorses Biden

Is hating Trump enough? Is disapproval of a president’s personality sufficient reason to transfer power to Joe Biden and the Democratic Party?

Daniel Henninger, Trump, Biden, Hunter, Chaos - WSJ.

That’s a crappy and tone-deaf formulation of the question that faces voters. The Atlantic did a far better job:

As The Atlantic stated in its October 2016 endorsement of his opponent, Hillary Clinton, Trump traffics in conspiracy theories and racist invective; he is appallingly sexist; he is erratic, secretive, and xenophobic; he expresses admiration for authoritarian rulers, and evinces authoritarian tendencies himself … He is an enemy of fact-based discourse; he is ignorant of, and indifferent to, the Constitution; he appears not to read.”

What we have learned since we published that editorial is that we understated our case. Donald Trump is the worst president this country has seen since Andrew Johnson, or perhaps James Buchanan, or perhaps ever. Trump has brought our country low; he has divided our people; he has pitted race against race; he has corrupted our democracy; he has shown contempt for American ideals; he has made cruelty a sacrament; he has provided comfort to propagators of hate; he has abandoned America’s allies; he has aligned himself with dictators; he has encouraged terrorism and mob violence; he has undermined the agencies and departments of government; he has despoiled the environment; he has opposed free speech; he has lied frenetically and evangelized for conspiracism; he has stolen children from their parents; he has made himself an advocate of a hostile foreign power; and he has failed to protect America from a ravaging virus … [T]hrough his avarice and ignorance and negligence and titanic incompetence, he has allowed tens of thousands of Americans to suffer and die, many alone, all needlessly. With each passing day, his presidency reaps more death.

But let us lay all of this aside for the moment. Let us even lay aside the extraordinary fact that Donald Trump has been credibly accused of rape. Compelling evidence suggests that his countless sins and defects are rooted in mental instability, pathological narcissism, and profound moral and cognitive impairment.

The Atlantic has endorsed only three candidates in its 163-year history: Abraham Lincoln, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Hillary Clinton. The latter two endorsements had more to do with the qualities of Barry Goldwater and Donald Trump than with those of Johnson and Clinton. The same holds true in the case of Joe Biden. Biden is a man of experience, maturity, and obvious humanity, but had the Republican Party put forward a credible candidate for president, we would have felt no compulsion to state a preference. Donald Trump, however, is a clear and continuing danger to the United States, and it does not seem likely that our country would be able to emerge whole from four more years of his misrule. Two men are running for president. One is a terrible man; the other is a decent man. Vote for the decent man.

Jeffrey Goldberg, on behalf of the editors of The Atlantic.

The bolded portion reflects my fundamental disposition toward Trump. The ellipses elide the President’s proximity to the nuclear button. The rest is color commentary, or perhaps I should say cumulative evidence of mental instability, pathological narcissism, and profound moral and cognitive impairment.”

October 22, 2020

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