For only the third time in its long history, The Atlantic magazine has endorsed a candidate for president. Actually, it’s not so much a “vote for Clinton” piece as a “vote against Trump” essay. Excerpt:
In its founding statement, The Atlantic promised that it would be “the organ of no party or clique,” and our interest here is not to advance the prospects of the Democratic Party, nor to damage those of the Republican Party. If Hillary Clinton were facing Mitt Romney, or John McCain, or George W. Bush, or, for that matter, any of the leading candidates Trump vanquished in the Republican primaries, we would not have contemplated making this endorsement. We believe in American democracy, in which individuals from various parties of different ideological stripes can advance their ideas and compete for the affection of voters. But Trump is not a man of ideas. He is a demagogue, a xenophobe, a sexist, a know-nothing, and a liar. He is spectacularly unfit for office, and voters—the statesmen and thinkers of the ballot box—should act in defense of American democracy and elect his opponent.
I think they’re basically right in their assessment of Trump’s character, so I’m not bothered by this endorsement, even though I can’t bring myself to vote for Clinton (I’m planning to leave that . Not bothered, but puzzled. Why would a magazine like The Atlantic do this? Again, it’s certainly their right to endorse, but isn’t it the case that the kind of people who would be influenced by this endorsement, or even know about it, are the people who are already #NeverTrump?
Question to the room: Do the endorsements of magazines or newspapers ever sway your vote? I can easily imagine that they would have done in the past, when the media had more authority, but today? I am likely to consult a newspaper for its guidance on how to vote on state and local races, and take it or not — but that’s it. How about you? Did they ever? If so, but they don’t now, what changed?
Question to any political professionals in the readership: Do candidates care about endorsements? Under what conditions do they care, and under what conditions do they not?
(Note to Readers: TAC does not endorse political candidates because we are a 501c3 organization. No commentary or images on this website should be taken as endorsement of any candidate or cause.)