In the list of recommendations made by The Sun News editorial board, our views on the better choice for president is undoubtedly the least important (though, perhaps understandably, one of the most argued over). As we wrote last week, we very much doubt that it will change anybody’s vote or mind. There’s enough information out there on the presidential election that we have no illusions that anybody has been waiting with bated breath for what The Sun News editorial board thinks.
That’s one reason our editorials almost always steer clear of national issues to focus more on local and state issues that don’t receive the same attention elsewhere. And in offering our thoughts, we’re almost certain that we will be angering some of our readers, those who ultimately pay our salaries. In 2008, Horry County backed McCain over Obama 62%-37%. Georgetown County did the same, 52%-47%. In other words, tens of thousands of residents are on both sides of the political fence. No matter which candidate we chose, there will be a lot of upset readers.
So why bother writing it at all? Many newspapers decided this year to forgo writing about the presidential election altogether. We didn't. Why share our opinion? Because frankly we feel it would simply be disingenuous and -- dare we say -- cowardly of us not to. After sharing our thoughts on issues throughout the year, we cannot stay silent on one of the most important decisions most of will make this year simply to avoid hurt feelings.
Does this mean the newspaper is a biased liberal rag that blatantly favors Obama in its news coverage? Of course not. Our news decisions and editorial opinions are kept separate and should be kept separate. Anybody visiting The Sun News will find me hidden away in a corner while the rest of the journalists go about their work unbothered by whatever it is I'm doing that day. I don't know the political views of most of the people in our newsroom and I have no reason to.
More practically, most of the work our local reporters do has little to nothing to do with national politics. It's much more focused on issues such as local crime, figuring out when the road down the street will be paved, filling readers in on the high school football game they missed or keeping readers informed on what's going on in their public schools.
We certainly harbor no ill will toward those who support Mitt Romney or the candidate himself and we hope that his supporters will show us the same courtesy. Our decision was extremely close and arrived at only after much discussion. In the end we all want the same things: a better life for our children, a secure future, prosperity and the opportunity to succeed. We only differ on the path we feel will best help us reach that goal. If, four years from now, it's clear we made the wrong decision, we'll happily admit it. In the meantime, don't forget to vote on Tuesday, whatever candidate you're supporting.