Tribune’s Endorsement Leaves Us Wondering

October 4, 2016

The 2016 election season has been far from ordinary in terms of Presidential candidates. The unpredictable rise of GOP nominee Donald Trump has drastically altered the landscape of this election. Trump’s ascension, paired with the anticipated Democratic nomination of Sec. Hillary Clinton, has presented Americans with the choice of two incredibly flawed candidates.

Newspapers around the country have struggled to willingly endorse either Trump or Clinton this election season. With the hope of appealing to a divided America, the Chicago Tribune has opted for third party candidate Gary Johnson. Johnson, 63, is running under the Libertarian platform. Along with the Tribune endorsement, Johnson has secured support from five newspapers including: the Detroit News, the New Hampshire Union-Leader, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Winston-Salem Journal.

The Tribune endorsement has our editorial board perplexed. Why would one of the nation’s most prestigious newspapers offer their support to a third party candidate? Let’s examine their explanation. The editorial board of the Chicago Tribune called GOP nominee, Donald Trump, “a man not fit to be president of the United States.” They referred to his rise to candidacy as a “mystery and shame.” On the democratic side, the Tribune board calls Sec. Hillary Clinton someone who is “undeniably capable of leading the United States.” However, they denounce her vision of “ever-expanding government” and call for “vast expansion of federal spending.”

After a detailed critique of both candidates, the Tribune board offered their endorsement for Libertarian Gary Johnson. Johnson, a former construction mogul, presents Americans with what the board calls a “candidate who voters can admire.” What makes him admirable? The Tribune backs Johnson based on his desire to, “expand global trade, boost economic growth, decrease government spending, raise retirement age and apply a means test to on benefits to the wealthiest.” His platform seems consistent with what the Tribune has promoted throughout the years.

Although Johnson does offer a candidacy grounded in the middle of the political spectrum, our editorial board greatly questions their endorsement. The Tribune claims they, “would rather recommend a principled candidate for president” but we feel that they are settling. They have not convinced us in their choice.