No one fit to endorse this year

Published 5:26 pm Saturday, November 5, 2016

We realize an endorsement by this newspaper will have zero impact on Tuesday’s presidential election. Generally speaking, that’s not why most small newspapers endorse presidential candidates.

Endorsements are often made so that a newspaper’s readers know where the publication stands on important issues, and stating its preference for president is often the best way to do that.

But this year, it’s impossible for us to recommend that voters choose either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Both are simply unfit to serve as president.

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Trump will likely win Mississippi’s six electoral votes, and Lincoln County will likely vote overwhelmingly for Trump. This is a Republican county in a Republican state.

But that doesn’t mean the newspaper that serves this county will agree with a large number of its readers.

Trump appears to us to be an unrepentant, narcissistic liar. Clinton, who on paper is more qualified, is no better when it comes to character, morality or decency. Neither of these people appear to subscribe to any particular set of principles or beliefs, except what benefits them in any given situation.

“It’s all about Supreme Court appointments,” many of our fellow Lincoln Countians will say about their support for Trump. We understand that.

But a conservative appointee will mean little in a country where the First Amendment has been trampled under an authoritarian Trump presidency. It seems unwise to us to ignore all of Trump’s offenses simply because he has pledged to appoint a conservative justice. His record on keeping his word isn’t sterling.

Clinton, on the other hand, will most certainly make an appointment that will tilt the court more liberal than it has been recently. That’s troubling, especially when it comes to abortion and religious liberty issues.

We realize there are other options for voters, but it will be Clinton or Trump who wins. If a third-party candidate had a real chance, we might encourage voters to choose him/her. As it stands, that’s not the case.

But we can’t in good conscience recommend that readers choose either of the two major party candidates. In this election, we can only recommend that readers vote.