We Were Wrong.
Newspapers occasionally print erroneous information. Many, including this one, find that the best way to handle an error is for the editor to quickly and simply say “we were wrong”, and to print the correct information.
We were wrong. We misled our readers in subtle ways to believe that Hillary Clinton was the inevitable choice of the American electorate as our 45th President. We reported plenty on the Democratic Convention, the volunteers and local politicians who rubbed shoulders with Democratic leaders, the Democratic Party’s campaign activities in Swarthmore and elsewhere nearby. I regret helping create the impression of destiny surrounding Clinton’s candidacy.
In fact, Donald Trump was destined to be elected to the office. For all our good qualities, Swarthmorean readers may conduct their political conversations in an echo chamber. I regret that in covering the views and activities of our cozy communities, I contributed to the amplification of those views, drowning out the sounds of dissatisfaction expressed by neighbors elsewhere in Delaware County and Pennsylvania.
Now begins the job of correction. Mr. Trump has much work to do to “bind the wounds of division” and “be President for all Americans,” as he pledged in his victory speech. His constituency includes women, Hispanic Americans, African Americans, veterans and their families – all groups whose members Mr. Trump has offended during his campaign. His plans for dealing with economic growth, military intervention, public education, infrastructure – all inchoate at this point – will develop over the coming months, and must reflect the interests of all Americans.
We in Swarthmore, Wallingford and beyond have taken part in the election of a President with an outsider’s contempt for government, its traditions and obligations, and little experience working pragmatically and evenhandedly in collaboration with other leaders. I believe we were wrong. I pray it turns out all right in time.