EDITORIAL: Trump and Gardner are unelectable; Colorado primary voters will decide the next leaders

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Colorado voters who want a meaningful voice in who will be the nation’s next president and the state’s next senator will lose that chance by waiting until Election Day.

Those decisions will be made in two Democratic primary elections coming fast.

Despite current angst, only the complicit or the hopeless believe Americans will re-elect President Donald Trump, a voracious liar, a dangerous narcissist, a cruel bully and a cunning racist.

We have more faith in the nation an its citizens.

Editorials by this newspaper, and almost every other in the nation, proffered reams in 2016 about the dangers of electing Trump. Since then, front pages across the country have detailed how those warnings unfolded as predicted. Trump has provably lied tens of thousands of times. His injurious falsehoods are not just meaningless rhetoric.

Last fall, surpassing his deceptions about immigrants, the military, his sordid past — even the weather — Trump lied repeatedly about the Ukraine scandal. His schemes and mendacity jeopardized America’s security, the lives of Ukrainian allies and the foundation of our constitutional government. Trump is a manifest blight, and — barring the abject moral bankruptcy of American voters — he will be replaced in November.

Likewise, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner has essentially forfeited his candidacy for re-election. He, too, has earned the reputation of being duplicitous and self-serving. He has been repeatedly unfaithful to promises made to voters regarding protecting women’s reproductive rights, health-care reform and continuing Colorado’s history of being responsible guardians of public lands and the environment.

Gardner has become a servile sycophant of Trump. He has repeatedly abandoned his constituents when they needed him most by succumbing to the fear of the political consequences of invoking the wrath of the president.

Gardner has behaved as the worst type of coward, scheming against constituents and then offering only word salad or cheerful deflection in a shameless attempt to deceive the public.

He ended any hope of righting his re-election campaign just days after conspiring with the president’s team during the Trump impeachment trial.

Gardner agreed with other Republicans to suppress critical evidence of Trump’s crimes from the trial. Then, after months of dodging the media, Gardner offered the most dishonest and dangerous of all excuses for excusing Trump’s impeachable crimes. He told local reporters that Trump was accused of unimpeachable “policy” matters.

Colorado needs protection from this president’s malfeasance, not a senator who helps inflict it.

An honorable politician would resign now, allowing another Republican to help restore faith in the Republican Party and the nation’s government. Gardner has proven himself to be anything but an honorable public servant.

With both Trump and Gardner tying themselves to anchors of lies, corruption and infamy, it’s clear that Democratic nominees for both those offices will win the two contests in November. Primary voters in the presidential and senate primaries will effectively decide those races.

The Democratic Party will choose their presidential nominee this summer.  Colorado, however, will have a big voice in the decision by participating in the Super Tuesday primary chorus March 3.

The June 30 state primary election will decide who among Democratic contenders will face off with Gardner in November. If Gardner remains in the race, his chicanery makes it an impossible contest for him.

Given the unique political reality this year, Sentinel Colorado will, for the first time, endorse in these two primary contests.

We encourage all Democratic and unaffiliated voters to take part in these two defining elections so as to have a voice in who helps lead Colorado from the Senate and the White House.

Colorado is an unusual state in that unaffiliated voters can join Democrats, or Republicans, in selecting a party nominee during the primary election — without joining any political party. Realistically, Democrats and unaffiliated voters across Colorado will be deciding those two races for all state voters.

Not only can unaffiliated voters choose among Democrats in both primary elections, residents qualified to vote can do so right up to the end of primary or general election days, even if they’re not registered. Anyone qualified wanting to vote in Colorado can register at the same time they cast a ballot.

It has never been more important that the best possible leaders take the reins of government from Trump and complicit Republicans. Colorado voters should make ever effort to raise their voices in these primary elections and decide who will bring the nation back from the edge.