Usually the only time you see three red X’s in a row is if you’re watching "Family Feud" and the family up to bat just struck out.
This time, however, a newspaper in Virginia has used the symbols to declare their endorsement of gubernatorial candidates. As in: none of them. Not the Republican candidate, current Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli; not the Democratic candidate, Terry McAuliffe; and not the Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis.
It’s a first for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which recently outlined in an editorial the newspaper’s move not to endorse anyone in the upcoming race for the state’s highest office. The reasons the editorial board gave were broad: for instance, “The major-party candidates have earned the citizenry’s derision. The third-party alternative has run a more exemplary race yet does not qualify as a suitable option. We cannot in good conscience endorse a candidate for governor.”
Read the full editorial for more on the three candidates in the race and the newspaper’s decision.
There are a few themes, however, in the article that are worth highlighting. One such theme: the Democratic candidate lost out on the nomination for the same office years prior, when he and his opponent “spent the campaign spitting on each other.” For that reason, the editorial board notes that he “is not the conciliator necessary in times as nasty as these.”
Hear that refrain that is so prevalent on the national level these days? Refusing to compromise for the greater good – it sounds so familiar.
Then there’s the take on the Republican candidate. The newspaper takes issue, offense actually, at the man’s social issues, such as abortion and homosexual rights. The focus on social issues is also a common source of frustration for the (increasing number of) Americans that consider themselves moderates.
“Cuccinelli’s hostility to marriage equality offends. The rights applying to human beings by definition apply to homosexuals. The concerns relating to Cuccinelli do not relate to McAuliffe and Sarvis.”
And then there’s the Libertarian candidate. The newspaper notes that he has no experience that would parlay into a governorship of a state (even though the candidate was kept from participating in any of the televised debates so far, so how he stacks up against the other two is mostly a mystery). Instead, the editorial goes on to mention that it takes issue with the libertarian ideology and that the candidate would “be in over his head.”
Smart political candidates will take heed of this clear example of what Americans are fed up with and stay away from the paltriness, pigheadedness and cronyism that is so prevalent in politics these days.
All I can say is: Good luck, Virginia.