The editorial board of USA Today weighed in on the presidential elections for the first time in the newspaper’s 34-year history on Thursday, arguing that Donald Trump represented a unique threat to American democracy and that readers should vote for anyone but him.
“This year, the choice isn’t between two capable major party nominees who happen to have significant ideological differences,” the board writes. “This year, one of the candidates—Republican nominee Donald Trump—is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency.”
The scathing non-endorsement runs through a laundry list of reasons why the board opposes the real estate mogul: his “uninformed” and “incoherent” foreign policy pronouncements, “appeals to bigotry and xenophobia,” “checkered” business career, “irresponsible” comments and “serial” lies.
The editorial reads like a summary of the headlines from the past 15 months, touching on Trump’s attacks on a Gold Star family, the fraud allegations against Trump University, and his call for Russian hackers to release Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Yet despite this blistering takedown, the board stops short of urging USA Today’s 3 million daily readers to support Clinton, citing a lack of consensus among the board members.
Instead, the editorial urges voters to “stay true to your convictions.”
“Whatever you do, however, resist the siren song of a dangerous demagogue,” the board concludes. “By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump.”