‘The Onion’ Is Withholding Our Endorsement For President Until Both Candidates Respond To Our Questionnaire

Illustration for article titled ‘The Onion’ Is Withholding Our Endorsement For President Until Both Candidates Respond To Our Questionnaire

The American people are faced with a momentous choice in this election, one that this newspaper, with its 260-year record of reportage, believes to be among the most crucial in the history of our republic. Our nation is beset by grave threats, both at home and abroad. Our population is fractured and teeming with antagonism. Our economy continues to languish. Now, more than ever before, this country needs a strong and capable leader.


This year, as in every election cycle, the citizens of the United States have been waiting with great anticipation for the presidential endorsement of our editorial board. This is an awesome and sober responsibility, and rest assured, it is one whose far-reaching impact we understand full well.

Which is why we cannot in good faith offer a presidential endorsement until both Hillary Rodham Clinton and Donald J. Trump mail back completed copies of the 10-part questionnaire we sent them over two months ago.

We know that millions of Americans will make their decision based on our recommendation. Thus, it would be much too careless—reckless, in fact—to offer an endorsement without a rigorous tabulation and analysis of the results of these questionnaires. While lesser publications may be perfectly satisfied to publish their electoral recommendations based on nothing more than individual observation and subjective opinion, our editorial board refuses to let the candidates’ public appearances, debate performances, campaign speeches, published statements, or advertisements sway our decision in any way.

We believe the appropriate manner by which to make such a vital choice for our country is to directly compare the candidates and their beliefs on a series of identical, meticulously crafted multiple-choice questions. It is the only sensible option when so much is at stake.

The Onion editorial board spent considerable time and effort devising a slate of queries that would, with scientific precision, expose the candidates’ most heartfelt beliefs and individual characters, allowing us to accurately ascertain their competence and fitness to lead. We cannot and will not endorse either nominee until we have such information. Indeed, it would be a shameful disservice to this country if we did anything but reserve our judgment.

Below, you will find The Onion’s 2016 Presidential Preparedness Questionnaire. We ask that if Mr. Trump or Secretary Clinton has happened to misplace the copies of this questionnaire that were sent to their campaign headquarters, they print out the following questions on standard 8.5 x 11–inch paper, answer each with the utmost care and candor, and mail the completed document via overnight express to our offices.



Name (please print):

1. What do you consider to be the most important issue facing our nation?

  1. Coal prices
  2. Other

2. How can the debt of the U.S. government be eliminated?

  1. Cut funding for public education after grade 2
  2. Purge all federal monuments of salable marble
  3. Incentivize taxpayers with immediate implementation of the Taxation Or Sterilization Choice Act
  4. Retake the senselessly ceded Panama Canal Zone

3. How will you address the problem of homelessness in this country?

  1. Rebuild the nation’s infrastructure to better conceal those living beneath it
  2. Provide them with gainful employment opportunities as ship ballast
  3. Instruct the U.S. Mint to use small coins as vectors for a potent new virus
  4. All of the above

Please indicate how strongly you agree with the following statements:

4. Foreigners living within the borders of the United States, and anywhere else in the world, must be made to learn and speak English.


Strongly disagree / Disagree / Neither agree nor disagree / Agree / Strongly agree

5. Popular entertainment in this country has gone too far in the direction of excluding strong male figures, and can be blamed for much of the country’s moral decline.


Strongly disagree / Disagree / Neither agree nor disagree / Agree / Strongly agree

6. The welcoming of Hawaii into the Union was a grave mistake.

Strongly disagree / Disagree / Neither agree nor disagree / Agree / Strongly agree


7. What can be done about the violence and strife in America’s major cities?

  1. Funnel heavy arms and munitions to the peaceable among them so they may assert their peaceful will
  2. A walled compound with the mission of teaching the youth of these areas the value of hard work and humility shall be installed therein
  3. It is not the role of the government to intervene in personal arguments

8. What is the place of a woman in American society?

  1. The home

9. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your preparedness for the highest office in the land?


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

10. Select the attributes that describe you (circle all that apply):

Cunning / Stolid / Unmerciful / Retaliatory / Hardened / Strong (physically) / Barbarous / Formidable / Strong (manipulatively) / Punctual / Invulnerable / Unyielding / Clean-shaven / Baronial / Aryan





We ask that the candidates pay close attention to each question and give their responses the thought they deserve. We remind them that they must mark their answers with a full and complete circle. IF YOU DO NOT CLOSE YOUR CIRCLES FULLY, WE WILL NOT ENDORSE YOU. We cannot stress this enough.


We also ask that Governor Johnson not contact us again, as we have received five separate completed copies of his questionnaire, and do not require any more information from him.

The editors of this publication understand that a presidential candidate’s time is precious, but Mr. Trump’s and Secretary Clinton’s failure to return our questionnaire by the stated deadline, which was written prominently in bold on each mailing, is unacceptable. The Onion is providing a great and selfless service to the voting public, and it is imperative that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump act with haste to submit their questionnaires for the good of this nation.


We hope that by allowing both candidates an additional seven-day grace period, we may still be able to make an endorsement before Election Day. Otherwise, Americans will have no choice but to head to the polls directionless and ignorant, without the crucial guidance from The Onion they so desperately require.

Tu Stultus Es

The Onion Editorial Board

Illustration for article titled ‘The Onion’ Is Withholding Our Endorsement For President Until Both Candidates Respond To Our Questionnaire