Jacksonville's small but vocal left-wing community is having a communal meltdown today with the newspaper's endorsement of Donald Trump for president.
Liberals, who know everything, see it as evidence the paper is slipping into the slough of conservatism.
I know a bit about this. After 12 years as editorial page editor, the last editorial I ever wrote was the paper's endorsement of George W. Bush for re-election.
Here's what happened this time around: the owner of the paper made the decision. He is a conservative. It is his prerogative.
When Barack Obama ran against John McCain, the local publisher, a liberal, decided to endorse Obama without consulting the owner -- over the warnings of experienced people who understood that the owner preferred to call the shots in presidential elections.
So they wrote a syrupy editorial endorsing Obama because of his superior blackness. The next week, after a phone call from corporate headquarters, they wrote one explaining that they had reconsidered and had decided McCain was the better candidate -- making complete fools of themselves.
Today the left-wing newsroom editor is making a complete fool of himself by disavowing the paper's endorsement. If I were the owner, he would be fired.
Communist/socialist/liberal/progressives in Jacksonville are venting on social media that the paper has become conservative.
Despite today's endorsement, the paper is not conservative and hasn't been for about 10 years. Before that, it was conservative for about 150 years.
Like most newspapers, it suffers from a newsroom nearly full of nutty kids and aging libs, but the opinion section was solidly conservative -- like the majority of Jacksonville residents -- until the shift.
That shift happened because the owner of the chain that includes the local paper is losing interest in his business and has turned it over to his kids, who somehow turned out liberal. They have been hiring liberal editors and publishers.
The corporate ethos has been to allow local publishers to decide editorial policy -- except in presidential elections. I expect that will change after the owner dies.
In the meantime, fear not liberals. The paper will be as loony as you are except for one day every four years. Is that too much for your sensitive, tolerant psyches to endure?
And think about this: if you think it was a terrible day for the left wing in Jacksonville today, imagine what it will be like if Trump wins Tuesday and the nation is given a chance to recover from the eight years of misery and decline it has endured.