After 148 Years, The San Diego Union-Tribune Endorses A Democrat For President

The editorial board fears that Donald Trump could be America’s Hugo Chávez.

The historically conservative San Diego Union-Tribune has endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over her “vengeful, dishonest and impulsive” Republican opponent, Donald Trump.

The Union-Tribune announced Friday morning it would support a Clinton presidency, despite having never endorsed a Democrat in the paper’s 148-year-history.

The change in course stems from the high stakes of this election, the editorial board said in its endorsement.

“Terrible leaders can knock nations off course. Trump could be our Chávez,” it wrote, referring to Hugo Chávez, the controversial former president of Venezuela. “We cannot take that risk.”

(Others have drawn parallels between Trump and Chávez, including Venezuelan author Alberto Barrera Tyszka, who wrote this month in The New York Times that Trump and Chávez are both “expert provocateurs.”)

Instead, The Union-Tribune has chosen to back Clinton because she is “the safe choice for the U.S. and for the world, for Democrats and Republicans alike.”

In its full endorsement, which you can read here, the editorial board envisions a Trump presidency that “ruins U.S. trustworthiness” and has “an open enemies list.”

“Imagine that,” the board implores. “Imagine President Trump.”

The Union-Tribune is the latest in a wave of conservative newspapers abandoning precedent to endorse a Democrat. The Dallas Morning News, The Arizona Republic and The Cincinnati Enquirer have each endorsed Clinton for president.

Other conservative newspapers that could not stomach a Trump administration have instead thrown their support behind Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

On Friday, The Chicago Tribune became the largest newspaper to endorse Johnson, joining a list that includes The New Hampshire Union-Leader and The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

For now, only a handful of papers, including The New York Post and National Enquirer, are poised to endorse Trump for president. Even so, the weight of newspapers’ editorial-board endorsements may not change the outcome on Election Day.

CORRECTION: This article initially said the Richmond Post-Dispatch endorsed Johnson; in fact, it was the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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