I looked it up. The last time the New York Times Editorial Board endorsed a Republican nominee for president it was Dwight D. Eisenhower over Adlai Stevenson in both 1952 and 1956.
So, it’s little surprise that the Times’ Sunday editorial, titled “End Our National Crisis,” was subtitled “The Case Against Trump.”
The more important thing about the editorial was the first sentence, which read:
Donald Trump’s re-election campaign poses the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II.
And the second paragraph, summarizing the board’s reasons:
Mr. Trump’s ruinous tenure already has gravely damaged the United States at home and around the world. He has abused the power of his office and denied the legitimacy of his political opponents, shattering the norms that have bound the nation together for generations. He has subsumed the public interest to the profitability of his business and political interests. He has shown a breathtaking disregard for the lives and liberties of Americans. He is a man unworthy of the office he holds.
The Times has a special place in American journalism, although obviously less influential that it once was, when newspapers were the dominant media. Those who rely on Fox News, or Facebook, or Twitter for their information may never hear a whisper, or, if they do, care a whit whom the invisible Times editorial writers think Americans should support, nor why.
Of course, I’ll provide a link to the full editorial below, and you can and should read it.
But, for me, the most important thing is in the first sentence and the second paragraph, above.
This, they say, is not about who would be the better president over the next four years, Donald Trump or Joe Biden. It’s about whether, for all its creaky problems about which I regularly inveigh, the system of elections, less democratic than it should be because of the ridiculous Electoral College system, etc., will survive. If Trump wins, and even more so if he loses but nonetheless succeeds in stealing the election, as he has all-but-promised to attempt, democracy in America will either be over, or, at best, suspended for an indefinite period.