The Journal Failed to Defend Democracy

by | Jan 20, 2021 | Editorials and Opinions

By Judy Gordon

The Trump-incited insurrection that took place to prevent Congress from certifying the Electoral College vote for President-elect Biden was appallingly predictable. Since he began campaigning in 2015, Trump has been a threat to American democracy. He has inflamed the Republican base with violent rhetoric, stated he would consider both the 2016 and 2020 Presidential elections rigged should he not win, and would never commit to a peaceful transfer of power.

Yet, last October, when it came time for the Journal to make an endorsement, the editorial board could not make up its mind and ultimately endorsed neither candidate. The Journal lauded purported Trump successes, singing the praises of a growing economy fueled by regressive tax cuts that have enriched the wealthy and swelled the deficit. It described Trump’s handling of COVID-19 as “a major policy misstep,” a tepid criticism in the face of mass disease, suffering, and death throughout New Mexico and the rest of the country.

Clutching its pearls, the Journal saw fit to raise the specter of Biden’s capitulating to the “radical wing” of the Democratic Party despite his nearly 50-year record of centrism and moderation. As the Journal should be well aware, labelling Democrats as “radical,” parrots a Republican talking point that was first advocated decades ago by Newt Gingrich for the express purpose of smearing and delegitimizing Democrats.

In their vile attempt to undermine a free and fair election, the fomenters and participants, including New Mexico Rep. Yvette Herrell must face accountability. But where is the accountability for New Mexico’s newspaper of record? The Journal’s editorial board is entitled to its opinion, but Journal readers deserve a newspaper with the integrity and courage to defend our precious but fragile democracy.

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