Endorsements on Parade: For Country, for Commonwealth, for City, for HER…
America. What does it mean?
For all the hullabaloo about a “change” election, the 2016 presidential contest is really question of what exactly this country is.
Ultimately, this is what at stake between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democrat, and real estate tycoon and provocateur Donald Trump, the Republican.
Trump promises to restore the United States’ honor, but he offers nothing but finger-pointing, stoking the darkest of human nature along the way and turning on our fellow man (and woman).
That alone would be enough to pick the alternative, but there is plenty to vote for in Hillary Clinton, whom this blog heartily endorses for President of the United States.
We have not considered the third party candidates. None will become president this year. We believe, in light of the stakes beyond the candidates themselves, Trumpism must be thoroughly rejected for the reasons we lay out below. That is best done by voting for Clinton, whatever your feelings about her.
On qualifications, temperament and character, there is no contest.
Trump, as countless articles, documents and interviews have shown, cares only for himself. In business, entertainment, relationships and now politics, Trump’s only concern is his himself and coming out on top. His arrogance—or indifference to truth—leads him to lie constantly.
His business “success” is a trail of human wreckage, bankrupted ventures, bad loans and faded, gilded ideas. His branded products, often made with the foreign labor he excoriates, illustrate his hypocrisy. Exhaustive reporting on his charitable contributions have shown flagrant self-enrichment.
Add to this the Access Hollywood video and subsequent allegations of sexual assault. His language and approach is not “locker room talk.” It is predatory. As First Lady Michelle Obama said, such excuses are “an insult to decent men everywhere.”
Clinton, however, is not merely the alternative. She is tough, a scholar, an advocate, and a thinker. Her constellation of life experiences—personal and profession, good and bad—are not a rerun of the past, but a solid foundation for the future.
We would be remiss if we neglected the historic nature of her election as the first female president. Gender is not everything, but still her election would signal the highest barriers have fallen and herald possibility for all people.
But she is eminently qualified: First Lady, senator, secretary of state, all part of a longer life of service dating to her college days.
Clinton embraces the diversity of this country, counting no person out due to their race, religion, sexual orientation or gender.
Make no mistake, Clinton is not perfect. Whether due to 25 years of attacks or not, she often hunkers down and wait out attacks. Some criticisms are unfair. Others are not.
As we said in our primary endorsement, Clinton’s email arrangement was a mistake. That no evidence of wrongdoing came up is beside the point. The barrier between the the State Department and the Clinton Foundation should have been impermeable. It was not. Nothing can or should take away from the Foundation’s life-saving work, but appearances matter.
None of Clinton’s faults compare to Trump’s sins and debauchery.
How do Clinton and Trump compare for our city, commonwealth and country? We list a few.
Cities like our Springfield need help. Tornado dollars have blunted cutbacks. Trump’s reckless tax breaks for the wealthy will bankrupt the US making needed investment in cities impossible. Clinton has proposed a massive investment in infrastructure. That could bring jobs and push countless capital projects off Springfield’s drawing board. Think big: East-West rail or, more dreamily, reclamation of I-91’s land.
Our commonwealth is particularly vulnerable to climate change. The sea already laps at the streets outside South Boston’s gleaming Innovation District. We need a president who will act on climate change, not one who denies its existence as Trump does. Clinton has promised to continue President Obama’s climate moves with the promise of more to come.
Finally, there is the impact on the nation itself. The balance of the Supreme Court is at stake. Voting rights, women’s rights, the environment, LGBT rights…the list goes on and one are all at risk if Trump picks from his garden of medieval nominees to fill the late Antonin Scalia’s seat and vacancies that follow. However, Clinton has also hinted on something else.
Chief Justice John Roberts’s court has been critiqued as being too pro-business. This is not so cleanly a GOP-appointed justice problem. Rather Clinton wants to broaden the diversity of experience and backgrounds of Supreme Court justices. This blog heartily approves of her egalitarian approach.
We could go on about healthcare or civil rights or immigration, but there are even bigger things.
Even before his noxious and false talk about a rigged election, Trump was undermining America values. Sadly, delegitimizing whole swaths of our population is not new for the US, but going right for the democratic gut of our republic is. Disdain for elections and free press—which have prompted personal and disturbing attacks on individual journalists, often through social media—are galling in any case, but especially from a presidential candidate.
Of course, Trump and his minions revere Russian Vladimir Putin, whose Kremlin this blog believes has been hacking Democratic staffers and the national party. That Trump and his minions would want to emulate a man stomping on open debate, free and fair election and an independent press is antithetical to everything good about this country, but not surprising. Like Putin he promises to be mercurial, cold and ruthless on the world stage, bully allies and foes alike.
Clinton represents none of these threats to our democracy.
She is respected on the world stage. Clinton can continue President Obama’s work of restoring our reputation in the world and improving it where he has fallen short. She is capable of careful, tough negotiation and possess an appreciation for the nuance and realpolitik underpinning the global stage and its challenges.
Forgetting whether Trump’s temper and temperament would risk armed conflict, the United States would be a weaker country, a smaller country, a less respected country, a meaner country—within and without—with Trump at the helm.
Much is at stake. A vote for Hillary Clinton is also a vote for all the values Americans say they treasure about our country. It is a vote for an accomplished, capable, driven and compassionate leader.
For president, we endorse Hillary Clinton.