Defining A Movement: Conservative Paper Endorses Clinton, Receives Death Threats

The Arizona Republic Editorial Board

"Que no hayan novedades". May no new thing arise. In the Spanish speaking world, this old benediction is a blessing for safety and happiness, conferred upon pilgrims on their journeys, as well as those who stay at home. It's a simple wish, and in today's novelty seeking culture, it may seem quaint or even unrealistic; but deep down, most of us know that any new unknown could turn out to be the antithesis of stability and security.

Arizona's oldest and highest circulation daily newspaper The Arizona Republic was founded in Phoenix in 1890, during a Wild West era when there were still gunfights in the streets between renegade cowboys and ruthless lawmen. Throughout its 126 year publishing history, straddling three centuries and into the modern age, it has never backed a Democratic candidate for president. That editorial stance was unsurprising, and expected, given the traditionally deeply conservative views held by a majority of Arizona's population, and the newspaper itself.

Last month, when The Arizona Republic's editorial board broke with long standing custom and made an unprecedented endorsement of Hillary Clinton, it was expected that there would be subscription cancellations and many irate letters to the editor. Unfortunately, that has been accompanied over the past weeks by more than a few threats of violence, including very specific death threats, against the newspaper's editors and staff. For a quick review, CNN Money has a run down on this story, and there's an article on The Republic's website detailing how the paper is responding to the threatening behavior directed at them.

The Arizona Republic isn't the only major conservative leaning daily newspaper to endorse Clinton; so have The Columbus Dispatch, The Dallas Morning News, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and The Cincinnati Enquirer, among others. What makes the Republic's position unique is the volume of criticism and the number of threats of violence they have received. It's probably no coincidence that Phoenix is also the seat of Maricopa county, whose voters have kept Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has made a career out of racially divisive law enforcement policies, in office for over 26 years.

Getting back to "Que no hayan novedades", we seem to be living in a time when new and previously unheard of things have arisen: Conservative news organizations are endorsing a Democrat for president. The Republican nominee, Donald Trump, regularly engages in rhetoric and behavior that smashes any sense of civility in politics. His supporters have threatened the press, attacking journalists and menacing their children. There have been threats by his fans to blow up the Civil Rights Museum.

This all may be entertaining to those of you who enjoy staring at grisly car wrecks, or see in it a setup for your revelational religious rapture, but most everybody I know are kind of dismayed by the whole scene. After this election is over, can we all just go back to stealing yard signs and yelling at each other?

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This also appeared at Blue Mountain Winter

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