A recent article by the editors of The Atlantic endorsed a presidential candidate for only the fourth time in the publication’s 163-year history. Two of those four endorsements have been for candidates opposing Donald Trump. The article described President Trump as “a clear and continuing danger to the United States.” It cited his corruption and cruelty, his choice to foment hatred and division, his contempt for American ideals, his abandonment of traditional allies while flattering world dictators, and his undermining of government institutions.
The Wyoming Rising Leadership Team decided to take a similar stand. As a rule, we do not endorse or oppose individual candidates, but we view the 2020 presidential election as a referendum on democracy itself. President Trump has denigrated or dismantled the very institutions he is charged to lead. To wit: he contradicted federal health officials at a time when we urgently needed them to guide us through what has become a pandemic mine field; he weakened the Postal Service at a time when safety-conscious citizens voted by mail in record numbers; and he appropriated the Department of Justice for personal gain, scorning the laws that govern public service.
We are united in our trust that good leadership comes in every stripe. Prominent Republicans like Utah Senator Mitt Romney have challenged Trump’s character and fitness to lead. When Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, Wyoming’s Representative Liz Cheney said it is “enshrined in our Constitution and fundamental to the survival of our Republic.”
We stand with the coalition of nearly 500 former and current national security leaders who endorse the Biden/Harris ticket, including 22 retired 4-star generals and admirals. These expert and dedicated professionals have warned that the Trump administration has shredded the norms for international integrity, left our nation vulnerable to attacks on our election, and alienated our allies.
As a non-partisan organization, we have promoted bi-partisan, civil conversations, giving voice to Republicans and Democrats on the same stage. Our webpage provides election information regarding all candidates. Our public information campaign served everyone in the community looking for affordable health care. We partnered with regional homeland security experts in a community preparedness workshop and we provided a forum to consider what immigration means to our local economy. We support scientists, both Democrats and Republicans, who contribute to sound social and environmental policy. We align with people of all political persuasions in promoting racial justice. But this tradition of non-partisanship does not absolve us from taking a stand on the future of American democracy.
– Ronn Smith, on behalf of the leadership team of Wyoming Rising.
Jeffrey Goldberg on behalf of The Editors, “The Case Against Donald Trump.” The Atlantic, October 22, 2020.
The Editors, “Against Donald Trump.” The Atlantic, November 2016 issue.