Clinton in a landslide _ in endorsements: Do they matter?


NEW YORK (AP) — “A clear and present danger to our country.” ''Xenophobia, racism and misogyny." ''Beneath our national dignity."

Those aren’t excerpts from attack ads by Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Those are longtime Republican newspapers disavowing Donald Trump.

If newspaper endorsements equaled victory, Clinton would be in line for a historic landslide. She has been endorsed by dozens of papers ranging from such expected backers as The New York Times to such once-certain GOP advocates as The Dallas Morning News, the Arizona Republic and the Cincinnati Enquirer, which on Sept. 23 called for “a leader who will bring out the best in Americans, not the worst.”


I am one of those who pays no attention to endorsements, but that might be uncommon.

I don’t trust the mainstream media at all. And I realize there are some erstwhile conservatives who think somehow that in aiding Hillary Clinton they are forging a “purer” party. But I pay no attention to them either, because to me, defeat is simply defeat, and they might never be able to dig themselves out of the avalanche of executive power takeovers they’re going to see if Hillary Clinton is elected.

Maybe they’re all afraid if Hillary is elected, they’ll all get aggressively audited by the IRS or perhaps investigated by the FBI for some inadvertent mistake they made unless they help her win election. And if that’s what they fear, they’re probably right in having that fear. The Clinton organization plays for keeps.

I have given a thought or two about that myself. I donated to Trump, I have contributed to prolife causes, and if this government can infect Iran’s computers with Stuxnet, they can sure find out who’s posting on CAF. My hope is that I’m too small-time for them to bother with.


I voted no. Somebody posted on another thread that an Arizona newspaper which hadn’t endorsed a Democrat in its 126 years of existence endorsed Hillary Clinton. Doesn’t change my mind.


On the contrary, it seems that Trump is the one who has problems with freedom of the press and has issued threats:

The Hill:
Freedom of the press: Is Trump the next Erdoğan?

From the article:

While Trump doesn’t have the ability to throw a reporter in jail — yet — a look at his actions in this campaign suggest that such a thing might not be off the table in a Trump administration.

Right now, the Trump campaign is denying press credentials to The Washington Post, The New York Times, POLITICO, The Daily Beast, BuzzFeed, and many other large media outlets (except the ones who have been happy to carry his every utterance, regardless of their basis in fact, to boost ratings). Even if you don’t like the media, one has to wonder how many other news outlets will be banned before the campaign is over in November because Trump thinks they’re somehow jeopardizing his ability to garner support?

Last week, Trump staff had a Washington Post reporter physically escorted from a public event where Mike Pence was speaking because Trump revoked their press credentials to his events. Washington Post staffer Jose DelReal tried to enter the rally but was refused press credentials. He then tried to enter as a citizen, rather than as press, and was told he couldn’t attend if he had a cell phone. After putting his phone and computer into his car, he tried to enter through the public line again, when security guards called for sheriff’s deputies to pat him down and physically escort him away from the event.

So much for the First Amendment.

One thing strongmen and demagogues have in common … they hate the Fourth Estate because they can’t control them. All politicians try to manage their messages, but barring journalists from legitimate news events isn’t about staying on message; it’s about keeping voters from knowing all the facts about a candidate, especially the nuanced ones that most of us only have access to through reporters whose jobs are to cover candidates at events that aren’t programming opportunities like political conventions or phone in interviews with friendly news outlets.

It’s a tool that’s long been favored by demagogues of the worst kind — Hitler, comes to mind. We don’t even have to go back that far in history to find our own example of what happens when a paranoid leader decides to crack down on his media coverage in order to save his own hide. Richard Nixon tried his damnedest to control what was written about him and his administration. Can you say the Pentagon Papers? We all know how well that worked out for Nixon, and his how fear of and desperate need to control the press brought our country to a Constitutional crisis.

One voter recently said in an NPR interview that while he worries about whether Trump is fit for office, he has faith that the Republican Party and other elected officials will be able to advise him and rein him in. That’s a dangerous assumption to make, in light of the fact that party leaders tried and failed to do that for over a year. There is nothing in Trump’s history or his current actions to suggest that he will back off from his attempts to control the media for his own benefit.

At least during the Nixon years, we had reporters like the Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein who were given the time and space to dig and investigate Nixon.

In a Trump presidency, there won’t be a “Woodstein” to do that kind of work, because we live in an era of quick hit 24/7 cable news media, where most of the stories that get attention are ones that are easy and require little time or thought.

Trump is a man used to running things his own way, and having people do his bidding whether they agree with him or not. He is not accustomed to any dissent and we know from his actions to date that he will go to whatever lengths possible to prevent journalists from telling us about the real Trump.


But obviously you trust some kind of media, because you are getting your facts from somewhere, not first hand, right? So the question is, on what basis do you decide which media to trust and which not to trust?

  1. One way this is often done is to form an opinion or position - before one has sufficient facts - and then to qualify all subsequent media based on how well it conforms to those positions. This is the least reliable way of qualifying media.

  2. Another way is to look for consensus. When virtually every media outlet agrees on a point, it is very likely that point is true. The only time to reject this approach is when one has first-hand knowledge that contradicts the consensus, such as when national media reports on an event that happened inside you own home. In that case you may be the expert.

  3. Yet another approach is to analyze past performance. If a newspaper has a long history of being accurate in its reporting, it is not certain is will continue to be accurate, but it is more likely than not.

  4. Another approach people think they are using is to analyze the character of the principals involved and decide what is true and what is false in light of that evaluation. This is not really a separate approach. It is just another form of method 1, because for people in the news, the way one gets information about someone’s character is through the media. Depending on which media outlet you listen to, that information may paint a very different picture of someone’s character. So the only way one can use this method is if they have already established a criteria for reliable media. Therefore it cannot be used as a method to qualify media further without just becoming another instance of method #1.

Do you use any of these methods? Or do you use some method not listed here?

I think one would have a hard time finding a source of current information that is more reliable in the long run than mainstream media. “Alternative” media sources have not had a great track record, except in confirming the beliefs of their devotees.



That’s the crux of the matter.


It does matter. Several weeks ago, I believe 80-90 former military generals signed a letter supporting Trump.

Trump, republicans, right wing media, and those who are conservative here on CAF saw that as a big deal. I don’t see how that can be a big deal, bc they support you. But everything else isn’t. I don’t think it works that way.


Not quite, I would surmise that these ‘erstwhile’ conservatives are banking on the fact that whoever wins in 2016, out of a choice between the two most flawed and unpopular candidates ever fielded in a U.S. electoral race, is likely to be a one-term President and get defeated in 2020 by a more charismatic and durable successor.

Trump is humiliating the GOP brand and is widely recognised – most recently by the Arizona Republic newspaper (which has stoically backed Repubs since the nineteenth century) - as not being classically ‘conservative’ in his policies.

The logic, to my distant gaze from across the Atlantic, seems to be along the lines of (if I may paraphrase Herman Melville):“Better to sink in boundless deeps with Clinton, than float on vulgar shoals with Trump”.

Or in other words…lets stomach centrist, bland but predictable Hillary and her “same old same old politics as usual” for four years and then come back gunning with a strong Conservative candidate in 2020, rather than “float” the Conservative brand under a false dawn on the “vulgar shoals” with Trump.

Just like Clinton, Trump is more likely than not to be soundly defeated in 2020 and to have utterly disgraced the GOP root-and-branch before he falls, such that the party’s current predominance in Congress and at the state-level - which could prove far more promising than the Democrats’ future, given that their strong suit has been the presidency for the past 8 years and their luck in this regard will be long over due for ending by 2020 - is in danger of being totally revoked, peeled back and all hitherto progress reversed.

If the GOP “sinks” in 2016, it can “float” in 2020 with its integrity still in tact against an unpopular president in Ms. Clinton. Alternatively, if the GOP “floats on vulgar shoals” in 2020, these Repubs appear to regard that prospect as a false dawn under a man entirely unfit for office who will disgrace the ‘brand’ beyond all repute, leading to inevitable catastrophe in 2020 when the Dems re-group under a leader not anywhere near as unpopular with the general public as Clinton.

To go down temporarily with Clinton, therefore, may be to save Conservatism in the long-run - as opposed to leaping into the funny-farm with Trump and losing all semblance of a connection with the original ideals of the movement.

So these folks do not see themselves as “erstwhile Conservatives” but rather as genuine, devoted Conservatives leading a tactical insurgency against an alien infiltrator destined to trade away their cherished principles on the altar of unthinking populist nativism, with Clinton serving as a proxy (“necessary evil”) for four years while the big offensive on the front is prepared.

2016 is probably going to be a poisoned chalice for the Victor. The real trophy is in 2020.

A difficult calculation, not betrayal or duplicity.


The more that establishment types go against Trump, the more fervently many of his proponents feel the need to have him in. What they want is anti-establishment.


An astute analysis.


Doesn’t change my mind either since there’s nothing that would ever make me want to vote for Trump. But I did find that particular endorsement to be very telling that conservative bastion like the Arizona Republic won’t support Trump. If I was undecided it would definitely give me pause.


You bring up a lot of valid points. I read news from a lot of sources, including NPR, National Catholic Register, WSJ, etc. I read the articles, look at the party platform, and make a decision from there. The gist of the thread says that if newspaper endorsements equaled victory, Clinton would be in line for a historic landslide.

If newspaper endorsements equaled victory, Clinton would be in line for a historic landslide. She has been endorsed by dozens of papers ranging from such expected backers as The New York Times to such once-certain GOP advocates as The Dallas Morning News, the Arizona Republic and the Cincinnati Enquirer, which on Sept. 23 called for “a leader who will bring out the best in Americans, not the worst.”

Obviously endorsements are not affecting the vote as Trump and Clinton are very close in the polls.


The New York Times, no. Very conservative papers like the Sand Diego Union-Tribune who have NEVER in their history endorsed a Democrat but now endorse Hillary Clinton, yes.


Agree with the above edit. :stuck_out_tongue:


Wow my local super conservative fish wrapper endorsed Clinton too? That IS surprising. (in case you haven’t guessed I don’t read my local paper anymore because it’s typically a right slanted snowjob on any issue).


I just wish we could see through all the BS. I get the feeling that the country’s direction is being scripted. Just ask Bernie supporters. If the Arizona Republic supports liberal Hillary more than conservatism, it screams allegiance to The Establishment more than allegiance to conservatism. Same with republicans who support Hillary. They appear to be on the same team.

Who are our tyrants? Do they have our best interests? I can’t decide if I should support our tyrants because they know best, or go against them.


If one is prone to such suggestions then will see the boogeyman everywhere. But a more simple, direct, straightforward conclusion would be these conservatives do not think conservatism is well-served by Trump. As for the words “conservatism” and “establishment”, they have a lot in common. It was once thought that “liberals” wanted too much change. Now “change” is being touted as a hallmark of “conservatism”. Sounds like a bizarro world to me.


Hillary’s had the MSM behind her from the get go. Nothing new in that. Something new that’s come to light in this election cycle is how much both establishment parties are out for themselves and are only concerned with getting re-elected.
I’m disgusted with most of the people in the gov’t. on both sides. Trump is an alternative to the good ol’ boy mentality. He’s far from perfect but at least he doesn’t owe favors to lobbyists and foreign governments such as Saudi Arabia.
All that aside I would never vote for a party (read that the Dems) that has the desire to do away with the Hyde Amendment. It’s there in their party’s platform. If Hillary gets in, we’ll all be paying for abortions with our tax dollars.


We live in the same town - I read the Post-Dispatch endorsements only to decide who to vote for based on voting against their recommendations. I love when they pretend to help me pick out the best republican on a primary ballot!


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