This election is about more than the two candidates seeking the presidency. This is about the office itself. It’s about restoring a sense of higher purpose and professionalism to the White House.
America needs a leader who can lead again — someone with a vision for our nation that unites and moves us forward.
President Donald Trump has spent too much time dividing people during the last four years. His chaotic approach to governing has weakened his administration’s ability to get things done. His White House staff and Cabinet have suffered unprecedented and distracting turnover. He has insulted and waged trade wars with our allies, which has hurt Wisconsin farmers and manufacturers who rely heavily on exports. His impulsive tweets are often crude and contradictory.
America needs more stability, civility and respect for democratic institutions.
Democratic challenger Joe Biden isn’t flashy or charismatic. But he is solid and experienced. He served eight years as vice president and more than three decades in the U.S. Senate. He will assemble a strong team of advisers and respect their expertise. Biden will approach the job of being the most powerful person on the planet with the seriousness it deserves.
The Wisconsin State Journal editorial board endorses Biden in the Nov. 3 vote.
That won’t surprise anyone who has been reading our editorial page for the last four years. The State Journal, which has endorsed both Republicans and Democrats for the presidency over the last quarter century, has faulted Trump for his reckless behavior, denial of basic facts, soaring debt and dismissive approach to climate change.
Yet we understand that roughly half of Wisconsin will disagree with our recommendation. Trump narrowly won Wisconsin in 2016, and polling suggests he’s not far behind Biden in the Badger State now. We don’t fault or judge those who support Trump. Democracy is best when everyone gets their say on our nation’s priorities. And when this campaign is finally over, America must try to pull together, no matter who wins. That’s the most important outcome of all.
Neither of these candidates is the best his party has to offer. This race, unfortunately, will force many Americans to choose the candidate they dislike the least. Many will vote for Biden because they are fed up with Trump and his turmoil. Many will vote for Trump because they fear the Democratic agenda, with the far left demanding the defunding of police and sweeping government regulations.
But a vote for Biden is not a vote for everything his political party stands for. Nor is it an embrace of socialism, the destruction of the suburbs or a desire to “close down the whole country,” as Trump contends.
Biden has developed friendships with Republican senators over decades, which should help him build consensus. He ranks 47th out of 250 senators over the last 25 years for working across the partisan divide in Congress, according to the Lugar Center, a good-government think tank started by former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind. That’s a pretty good score, and refreshing amid the hyper-partisan gridlock that dominates Washington.
We urge everyone to vote early, if you can, by requesting an absentee ballot by mail. Go to myvote.wi.gov. Voting before Election Day helps reduce congestion and potential transmission of the novel coronavirus at the polls. You can drop off your ballot at the post office or a government-sanctioned site.
Voting in person Nov. 3 should be safe, too, if everyone stays 6 feet apart and wears a mask indoors.
Please engage in the Democratic process and make your choice.
We strongly recommend casting your ballot for Biden.