Oops.

I’m not surprised, actually. Another reliably conservative, Republican-favoring organization has looked at Donald Trump and said, “I just can’t…”

The Richmond Times-Dispatch has changed course.

Though the second largest Virginia newspaper has endorsed Republicans for president for the last 36 years, the editorial board found that they just couldn’t this time for Donald Trump. Nor could they endorse Hillary Clinton.

They started to reach that conclusion “several weeks ago, as scandal continued to engulf the Democratic nominee while the Republican candidate’s statements and behavior daily piled distress upon puzzlement.”

This is the year that the paper goes Libertarian.

I honestly don’t see the appeal of the Libertarian party, perhaps because I’m a devoted conservative, both fiscally and socially, but many are being painted into that corner by the obnoxiously bad choices at the top of the two major parties.

After a meeting with Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson last Monday, however, the editorial board of the paper made their decision to endorse.

That meeting went well for Johnson. The editors “found him to be knowledgeable but unscripted, reasonable and good-humored, self-assured but free from arrogance, willing and able to address every question, consistent in his beliefs without being dogmatic, even tempered, curious — and in all respects, optimistically, realistically presidential.”

He still has to get on the debate stage, however, and he realizes that if he can’t make that happen, his climb to the top becomes much more difficult.

With this in mind, the Richmond Times-Dispatch printed an open letter to the Commission on Debates.

“[Johnson] is, in every respect, a legitimate and reasonable contender for the presidency — but only if the voters give him a fair hearing. And that can happen only if he is allowed to participate in the presidential debates that begin on Sept. 26 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

“If the Commission on Presidential Debates wants to perform a real service to its country, it will invite Gary Johnson onto the big stage,” the paper wrote.

Again, I can’t see myself getting behind Johnson, as many of his ideas are far too liberal for my comfort. I can, however, get behind his right to be heard by the voters.

For that matter, the 15% threshold should be dropped to a more reasonable number and other party nominees should be allowed equal time to be heard, not for their sakes, but for the voters.

This season has, if nothing else, highlighted the need to make the public aware of other options.