I do my best to stay informed on the political candidates and the issues. But honestly, most of my attention goes to the races for the major offices. Few of us have the time to be conversant with every single race that appears on the ballot. So a big shout-out to the editorial boards of the major newspapers who do the footwork so that the rest of us can at least consider their recommendations.
This morning my daughter and I happened to be voting at the same time. I asked her if she wanted to see the list of endorsements I’d brought along from one of the papers. She asked a logical question: “How do you know you can trust them?”
I said I knew some of the people on the editorial board, thought they were smart, and had given this a lot of thought. I also said I wasn’t accepting all their endorsements, but I took their advice seriously on some of the races I hadn’t studied well–and was certainly voting as they recommended on the judges who should be sacked. She accepted the clipping.
As newspapers struggle to stay afloat financially, let’s not forget this important role they play every election. They inform, they prod, they question. We citizens are the beneficiaries. With so much un-vetted racket in the blogosphere, it’s a remarkable service to have a group of smart, known people giving us the benefit of their brains, insights, and political philosophy. It’s like a group of grown-ups giving you advice–you don’t have to take it, but are better for having heard them out in the first place.