Desert Sun: Hillary Clinton- the Right Choice in Historic Election | Trump espouses failure, except through him

(Desert Sun Editorial Board) — Rarely does the race for the presidency pit candidates with such vastly different backgrounds and dissimilar visions for America.

One sees failure, except through him.  One sees success, working together.

With Donald Trump, we know too much about the things we shouldn’t – Playboy parties and the size of his ego. We don’t know nearly enough about the things we should – tax returns, trade policy, foreign affairs and domestic programs.

With Hillary Clinton, we hear too much about conspiracy theories and not enough about her significant lapses in judgment. Fortunately, there is an enormous record of her positions on trade and energy, immigration and health care, and her roles in Libya and Iran.

The pressure of the presidency breaks lesser beings.  That’s why, along with policy, we look to character.

Great leaders tap our better angels. And greatness requires “vision, integrity, courage, understanding, the power of articulation, and profundity of character.” So advised one our most respected desert neighbors, Dwight D. Eisenhower.

By these measures, there is no other choice for president this year than Hillary Clinton. Though demonized by her critics, Clinton is supremely qualified to lead, especially compared to Trump.

We have come to this decision with tremendous respect for history and The Desert Sun’s role in this community. In 90 years, we have never endorsed a Democrat. The editorial board opposed Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy and endorsed Thomas E. Dewey twice, Richard M. Nixon three times and the likes of Wendell Willkie and Alfred Landon.

Close readers of The Desert Sun will know that our opinions have moderated over the years. Vision, policy and strength of character matter more than political party.

It is unrealistic to expect perfection from our leaders. Thoughtful citizens shift with new information and changing circumstances. So, while we differ on some issues, we appreciate that Hillary Clinton has evolved with a politician’s cautiousness.

No doubt many LGBT voters would have liked her to take bolder action on same-sex marriage, which she opposed for many years but now supports.

Clearly, though, she has come a long way from 20 years ago when her husband signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage for federal purposes as between one man and one woman. It took the U.S. Supreme Court to abolish that law.

In the Senate, Hillary Clinton fought for legislation to protect LGBT employees from workplace discrimination, and as Secretary of State she led the United Nations to pass its first-ever resolution on LGBT human rights, as she declared to the world, “Gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.”

In regard to the Clinton Foundation, claims have been debunked that the charitable organization, which funds Third World crop support and access to low-cost AIDS drugs, has served as a slush fund enriching the former first family. But, concerns that donors used the Foundation to gain access to the secretary of state are valid. She should have been more diligent at distancing herself and the office from undue influence.

More generally, the Clinton obsession with secrecy that led to her use of a private email server while secretary of state brought self-inflicted, highly public wounds. Her credibility has paid a price despite countless high-level investigations that have revealed mistakes, belatedly acknowledged, but no law breaking.

Still, as the target of a decades-long crusade by political enemies, Clinton has emerged amazingly well and is a tougher, better leader for the wear.

Her efforts to help women, children and all Americans in a public life that ultimately took her on the global circuit as America’s spokeswoman make her the right choice to become our first female president.

Clinton has a record that appeals to broad swaths of Coachella Valley voters.

As first lady, she was President Bill Clinton’s main voice in trying to create a new system that would have ensured health care access to every American. Though that push ultimately failed, Clinton has worked through the years on efforts to bring better care to many different segments of society – from first responders suffering from exposure to the smoldering toxic site that was ground zero after the 9/11 attacks, to millions of children who are covered under the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Clinton’s ability to work across the aisle in the Senate – evidenced by praise she’s received from colleagues in both parties – was reflected on a broader scale during her tenure as secretary of state. The “most-traveled” diplomat tirelessly worked to bolster America’s prestige on the international scene. There’s little doubt that this experience will help her in dealing with global leaders and the nation surely will benefit from those already established relationships.

Closer to home, Coachella Valley voters should see many things to like in proposals she’s made during the long campaign. Here are four proposals most relevant to our area:

  • Pushing to install 500 million solar panels across America in her first four years in office, with the goal of having enough renewable energy to power all of America’s homes within 10 years. The potential job creation and economic benefits for our area, a key solar innovation zone, are encouraging.
  • “Comprehensive” immigration reform with a path to citizenship, including working to make more of the estimated 9 million green card holders full citizens and full participants in our democracy.
  • Pushing passage of the Equality Act to add gender identity and sexual orientation to the list of protected classes in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • A $350 billion “College Compact” plan that gives states grants to ensure students can attend four-year public institutions without going into debt. The funds would also enable lower interest rates for those who need to borrow to cover living expenses or costs for private college tuition. Under the proposal, students would be expected to work to help pay their education costs and their parents would be expected to contribute, too.

All of these ideas, especially the massive college program, will require tough negotiations with Congress. Even many of her supporters will raise eyebrows at the price tags of these items. But having a strong, effective champion for these causes, especially one who was lauded in the Senate as supremely prepared by members from across the aisle, is something needed in Washington.

Raising these issues with sincere effort at compromise is the only way to end gridlock on Capitol Hill.

Historians will not hold this campaign in high regard.

Trump has struggled to demonstrate a “presidential” temperament despite efforts by various campaign chiefs to add polish to the erratic, boorish, belittling candidate who blustered his way through the GOP primaries.

History will not forget that Trump avoided deep policy debate through deflection, demeaning rivals in childish fashion: “Little Marco” Rubio, “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz, “Low Energy” Jeb Bush, “Crooked” Hillary Clinton.

Name-calling demeans the office he seeks, yet it’s just one unsettling aspect of the xenophobic, nativist campaign Trump has waged. He has pricked the worst impulses of a frustrated American electorate.

In the first head-to-head debate, the newly stage-managed Trump avoided pitfalls for about 20 minutes, but couldn’t resist whining about the Clinton campaign’s attack ads and Rosie O’Donnell. He backhandedly credited himself for not launching a vicious, personal attack on Bill Clinton.

“I’m really happy I was able to hold back on the indiscretions in respect to Bill Clinton. Because I have a lot of respect for Chelsea Clinton. And I just didn’t want to say what I was going to say, which is, I’ll tell you maybe at the next debate,” Trump told CNN.

That he rolled through the primaries and commands the support of so many is a sobering commentary on society. The idea that voters often act against their own interests is not new, but the Trumpian phenomenon is a perversion of this syndrome.

While Trump’s misogyny and demonization of Hispanics and Muslims has ushered him to the threshold of the White House, a coalition built on “us vs. them” bodes ill for the nation’s future. The world will be a much more dangerous place if our next president is motivated by personal vendettas conveyed through vile, monosyllabic utterances

The next most recent candidate who promised to make America great again, Ronald Reagan, was able to articulate a coherent strategy. Trump has not, and is quite possibly unable. Trust him, he urges, to cut better trade deals, trick Mexico into building a wall, convince U.S. companies to brings jobs back home.

We can’t possibly trust someone who can neither control his Twitter finger nor summon intelligible arguments.

Reagan and Trump were aided by circumstance.

In 1980, the Iran hostage crisis and stagflation (high unemployment and high inflation) weakened the country’s resolve. Middle class workers, many longtime Democrats, abandoned President Jimmy Carter to lift Reagan into the White House.

Today, ISIS and the unease we feel about random acts of terror, has created space for a candidate who preys on fear. The current economic recovery, unable to save blue-collar jobs, contributes to our impatience with the White House and Congress.

But Reagan, like President Barack Obama, took office after the economy cratered. Today, employment rates have rebounded and economic expansion, while slow, is steady.

The next president of the United States will take the reins of a country in much better shape than when Carter or George W. Bush left office.

There are enormous challenges ahead. The U.S. Supreme Court still lacks a ninth member. Conservatives fear Clinton will tip the court to the left. Unfortunately, the Senate is obstructing a centrist jurist appointed by Obama, Merrick Garland.

The great irony of this election is Clinton is a centrist, pulled left by Bernie Sanders, and Trump is anything but a reliable conservative.

We need a president who can deliver a clear message at home and abroad.

Racial divisions are feeding unrest, which the next president must calm not inflame. Overwhelming odds face U.S. interests abroad. Non-state sponsored terrorism has destabilized the Middle East, continues to threaten Africa and Asia, and has disrupted the European Union.

We need a president who doesn’t court dictators or undermine NATO.

We need to protect the American workforce while educating and training the next generations for a global economy that is smarter, faster and technologically superior to any before.

America can be so much better, but it remains great.

Chicago Sun-Times: Vote for Clinton and Avert a Train Wreck | She is fit for the job and she has earned it

(Sun-Times Editorial Board) — Let’s get right to it:

Hillary Clinton has the potential to be an excellent president. She is eminently qualified by any measure — experience, knowledge, character or temperament.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, has the makings of a miserable, even dangerous, president. There is no getting around it. In every way Clinton is strong, Trump is weak. In every way she has earned the job over a lifetime of public service, he has disqualified himself, serving nobody but himself.

Today, we endorse Hillary Clinton for president, and we endorse her early. The best way to avert a train wreck is to wave a warning flag as soon as possible.

Allow us, as well, a special shout-out to those who understand what a danger Trump represents but are cool to Clinton: A vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, a man who could not even pass a basic world geography test, is not a principled protest gesture. It is a retreat to the sidelines. So, too, would be a vote for Green candidate Jill Stein. Neither can win. A vote for either of them would be a cop-out that cuts in Trump’s favor. Let’s not pretend to any false equivalencies between Clinton and Trump.

We endorse the real Hillary Clinton, flawed but upstanding, not the caricature created by her detractors over 30 years. Spare us the manufactured scandal of Benghazi. Spare us the baseless questions about her health. We endorse the Hillary Clinton who grew up in Park Ridge wanting to change the world, who worked for the welfare of children in Arkansas, who worked effectively across party lines as a senator from New York and who gave her all as a globetrotting secretary of state. The importance of her deep experience in foreign affairs cannot be overstated in these perilous times.

Hillary Clinton would be a fine choice for president in any year, though the stakes are so much higher this year because the alternative is abysmal. She sees America for what it is and where it is going — an ever-richer tapestry of race and ethnicity — and she embraces it. For all its many problems, she understands, America is great right now.

Donald Trump is disgusted by our nation as it is. He and his most fervent supporters yearn for an idealized past. When life was better and certain people knew their place. Think “Happy Days” with an angry and intolerant edge.

Hillary Clinton famously has her faults and failures. While secretary of state in the Obama administration, she failed to anticipate the fallout from toppling Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The casual manner in which she allowed her family’s Clinton Foundation to accept money from foreign governments while she was secretary of state was unwise. She accepted millions of dollars in fees for speaking behind closed doors to powerful groups, but she will not reveal what she said.

Clinton showed poor judgment, as well, when she used a private email service as secretary of state and failed to properly preserve records. The FBI found no grounds for criminal charges, but her cavalier disregard for the rules of national security was indefensible. As secretary of state, she dealt with sensitive information whose unintended release could have had serious ramifications around the world.

But Clinton did apologize for that, for what it’s worth, while Trump appears incapable of apologizing for anything. She also has apologized for her initial support for the war in Iraq, while Trump continues to insist he did not support the war, though he did.

Clinton is an imperfect candidate, to be sure, but Trump is an order of magnitude worse. In American history, has there ever been a less fit major party presidential candidate?

We live in unsettling times. We must contend with savagery overseas by the likes of ISIS and with the threat of terrorism at home. Chicago knows all too well the problem of gun violence in our cities, and mass shootings occur with a regularity that dulls our outrage. Global competition threatens American jobs, higher education grows unaffordable, millions of undocumented immigrants continue to live in the shadows, refugees bang at our door, mothers and fathers work two or three minimum-wage jobs to support their families, and eight years after the election of our first black president, race relations remain a mess. Our police feel unappreciated and scapegoated, even as protesters fill the street after every new police-involved shooting.

What kind of president should we elect to take all this on? A president determined to build economic partnerships and security alliances around the world. A president determined to work for justice and unity here at home.

Clinton, who visited 112 countries in four years as secretary of state, has learned to see the world through others’ eyes. She understands the strategic importance of American support for NATO and the Iran nuclear pact. She has made clear the United States’ unwavering support for Israel, and she has pushed back against autocrats like Russian President Vladimir Putin.

As our world grows ever smaller and both threats and opportunities leap across oceans in the blink of a tweet, we would welcome an American commander-in-chief who knows dozens of world leaders on a first-name basis and appreciates their needs — but is not easily taken in. Clinton was a member of the inner circle that advised President Barack Obama to take out Osama bin Laden.

Donald Trump, in contrast, talks about NATO like it’s a country club that charges too much. He is clueless as to how such alliances safeguard the security of the Western world. He is blasé about rogue nations such as North Korea developing nuclear weapons — what the heck.

Trump is a big fan of Putin. He admires a strongman who runs his country the way Trump imagines running the United States, curtailing free speech and bullying critics with the tools of government. Mostly, though, Trump likes Putin because Putin says “nice” things about him, the coin of the realm in Trump Land.

Clinton has specific and realistic programs, such as a mild shift in taxes toward the wealthiest Americans, premised on pulling people up, not putting people down. We can’t stress that enough. Solving the problem of undocumented immigrants takes more than building a wall; creating new jobs takes more than cutting taxes on the wealthy and putting up barriers to trade; reducing gun violence takes more than dispatching cops to stop and frisk young men — usually black or Hispanic young men — at will.

We were particularly struck by Clinton’s reply at last Monday’s debate when she was asked about police bias against minorities. “Implicit bias is a problem for everyone, not just the police,” she said. “Too many of us in our great country jump to conclusions about each other.”

That is the simple truth, and it goes to the heart of what separates Clinton from Trump, beyond of course Trump’s appalling lack of character. Clinton has campaigned to be the president of all Americans, while Trump has exploited our divisions, playing on fears and resentment. That’s all he’s doing when he blathers on about “the wall” and stop-and-frisk and patrolling Muslim neighborhoods.

This is not what anybody should wish for America for the next four years.

Here, then, is where we find ourselves: In a normal endorsement editorial, we might now turn to a more detailed review of our preferred candidate’s policies and priorities — the nuts-and-bolts stuff. But this is not a normal presidential race. In this election, issues of character and temperament have taken center stage because one candidate, Donald Trump, has little character and a bratty temperament.

Trump tells falsehoods so often that journalists have stopped using euphemisms — now they just call them lies. We could cite dozens of examples, but one shameless whopper — Trump’s continued insistence that he did not feed the racist “birther” smear about Obama — illustrates our point perfectly.

Trump stiffs people in business, runs a self-dealing charity, preys on the gullible with scams like Trump University, attacks the parents of a Muslim-American soldier who died for his country, and talks about women as if they were nothing but an assemblage of body parts.

Trump was in telling form at Monday’s debate, attacking Clinton in a classic sexist way, interrupting her 51 times, raising his voice to drown her out, and grimacing at everything she said. How well would he work with German Chancellor Angela Merkel?

But Clinton would not be bullied. She remained focused and even-keeled — you might say presidential. She waited him out and got under his skin with hard facts and cool disregard. She prepared for this debate, as she said, just as she has prepared all her adult life to be president.

We endorse Hillary Clinton for president. She is fit for the job, and she has earned it.

Trump and Women

Hell hath no fury. . .

Enquirer: It Has to be Clinton | There is only one choice when we elect a president in November

The Cincinnati Enquirer, one of Ohio’s largest newspapers, is backing Hillary Clinton after supporting Republican presidential candidates for nearly a century.

“The Enquirer has supported Republicans for president for almost a century — a tradition this editorial board doesn’t take lightly. But this is not a traditional race, and these are not traditional times,” the editorial board of the Enquirer published Friday. “Our country needs calm, thoughtful leadership to deal with the challenges we face at home and abroad. We need a leader who will bring out the best in all Americans, not the worst.”

“That’s why there is only one choice when we elect a president in November: Hillary Clinton,” the editorial reads.

The paper said Clinton was a “competent” secretary of state who made “mistakes” in Benghazi that were “tragic” but called Republicans’ assessment of her actions a “diabolical conspiracy.”

“Clinton, meanwhile, was a competent secretary of state, with far stronger diplomatic skills than she gets credit for. Yes, mistakes were made in Benghazi, and it is tragic that four Americans lost their lives in the 2012 terror attacks on the US consulate there,” it wrote. “But the incident was never the diabolical conspiracy that Republicans wanted us to believe, and Clinton was absolved of blame after lengthy investigations.”

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is more interested in his self that the country, the paper concludes.

“Trump brands himself as an outsider untainted by special interests, but we see a man utterly corrupted by self-interest. His narcissistic bid for the presidency is more about making himself great than America,” the board said. “Trump tears our country and many of its people down with his words so that he can build himself up. What else are we left to believe about a man who tells the American public that he alone can fix what ails us?”

While the editorial board are sympathetic to voters interest in the change that Trump could bring, the Enquirer concludes that not all change is good.

“Our country needs to seek thoughtful change, not just change for the sake of change. Four years is plenty of time to do enough damage that it could take America years to recover from, if at all,” it wrote.

Detroit News Endorses Gary Johnson | Trump stirs the populace by stoking their fears and prejudices

(Detroit News Editorial Board) — Today this newspaper does something it has never done in its 143-year history: endorse someone other than the Republican candidate in a presidential contest.

Since its founding in 1873, The Detroit News has backed a Republican every time it has made a presidential endorsement (three times we have sat on the sidelines — twice during the Franklin Roosevelt elections and in the 2004 Bush/Kerry contest).

We abandon that long and estimable tradition this year for one reason: Donald J. Trump.

The 2016 nominee offered by the Republican Party rubs hard against the editorial board’s values as conservatives and Americans. Donald Trump is unprincipled, unstable and quite possibly dangerous. He can not be president.

His Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, has an impressive resume and a presidential bearing. And although we disagree with her nearly across the board on the issues, we acknowledge she has the temperament to be commander-in-chief and leader of both a diverse nation and the free world.

But character matters. Her career-long struggles with honesty and ethics and calculating, self-serving approach to politics trouble us deeply.

So we find ourselves in the same position as a vast number of voters in looking for an option other than skipping the presidential portion of the ballot.

Gary Johnson meets that need. We recognize the Libertarian candidate is the longest of long shots with an electorate that has been conditioned to believe only Republicans and Democrats can win major offices.

But this is an endorsement of conscience, reflecting our confidence that Johnson would be a competent and capable president and an honorable one.

Fit for the presidency

Gary Johnson has excelled at public service. In his eight years as the Republican governor of New Mexico, he cut taxes while balancing the budget, and left the state in better fiscal shape than when he arrived. He also was a champion of school choice, and the state under his guidance made great strides in improving education.

Johnson is joined on the ticket by William Weld, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts, who likewise posted a record of good government and fiscal discipline. Johnson says he and Weld will govern as a team. That is encouraging. These are two honest, principled politicians who would put the interests of the nation first.

With a few significant exceptions, the Libertarian candidate shares our views on the important issues.

Like this newspaper, he holds that an individual should have maximum freedom to navigate his or her personal decision-making, with little meddling from the government.

His position on trade is the most responsible of any of the candidates in the race. He voices a healthy respect for free markets, and recognizes that unrestricted trade — absent crony capitalism — is a boon to the economy. He is the only candidate who would sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal negotiated by President Barack Obama.

“Ultimately (the TPP) is going to result in more and higher paying jobs for the United States,” Johnson told The News’ editorial board. “China is not a part of this, and that is an advantage to the U.S.”

Johnson extends his free market philosophy to immigration, taking a position we’ve long advocated that immigration policy should match the demands of the economy.

“Make available to anyone who wants to come into this country a work visa,” Johnson says. “And a work visa should entail a background check and a social security card so that applicable taxes get paid. Don’t put the government in charge of quotas. That’s one of the reasons for 11 million undocumented workers.”

Those undocumented immigrants, he says, should have a path toward legal status.

Our apprehension about Johnson rests with foreign policy. He holds to conventional libertarian non-interventionism. But he understands America’s position in the world, and we are certain that once the weight of leadership is on his shoulders, he will meet that responsibility.

He pledges to honor all existing treaties and obligations, and supports NATO, though he wants the European nations to live up to their commitment to pay 2 percent of GDP for the common defense; a reasonable expectation.

Trump divides America

Now consider again Donald Trump, and why this conservative newspaper with an established affinity for Republican presidential candidates can not consider supporting him.

For starters, Trump is not a conservative. From his protectionist position on trade to his penchant for buying votes with high-price new social programs to his soft spot for hiking taxes, Trump does not meet any true conservative standards.

Except, of course, of those who wrongly e­quate conservatism with racism, sexism and xenophobia. Trump has attracted support from too many of those who represent the worst of human nature.

Evidence of Trump’s bullying side was presented during Monday night’s debate when Clinton recited his many crude and devastating put-downs of women. Few groups have been spared from his bile.

We have seen no hint that Trump has a guiding set of principles. He changes positions hour to hour, as he demonstrated on immigration. He seems to develop policy on the fly, without thinking through the consequences, as witnessed by his early threat to abandon NATO, which sent our allies into a panic.

But the most worrisome thing about Trump is that he is willing to stir the populace by stoking their fears of sinister forces at work from within and without to tear down their traditions, values and families. He has found profit in dividing Americans from each other, and from the rest of the world.

His sort of populism has led to some of history’s great tragedies. The recklessness of his rhetoric can too easily translate into action. He is a braggart who boasts he can tame the world by tossing around bombs, and poses as a Putin-style strongman. In fact, Trump gushes more glowingly about the Russian dictator than he does many of his fellow Republicans.

Under Trump, America would stand alone in the world. Our allies could not embrace his flamethrowing foreign policy.

A vote not wasted

In abandoning the GOP nominee, The News has plenty of company among traditional Republicans and conservatives. In this decision, we join such longtime GOP luminaries as the Bush family, the 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, the party’s mega-funders Charles and David Koch, and many, many others.

We anticipate our decision not to support either of the major party candidates will bring charges that we are throwing away our endorsement. Our contention is that an endorsement based on conscience is never wasted.

We urge readers who share our disillusionment with the presidential ballot and disdain for the GOP nominee to join us in casting a conscience vote for Gary Johnson.


Editor’s note: We agree with the anti-Trump sentiment of the Detroit News, but believe that the only certain way to stop Trump is by casting a meaningful vote against him.  That means a vote for Clinton.

USA TODAY’s Editorial Board: Trump is ‘Unfit for the Presidency’ | By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump

The Editorial Board has never taken sides in the presidential race. We’re doing it now.

In the 34-year history of USA TODAY, the Editorial Board has never taken sides in the presidential race. Instead, we’ve expressed opinions about the major issues and haven’t presumed to tell our readers, who have a variety of priorities and values, which choice is best for them. Because every presidential race is different, we revisit our no-endorsement policy every four years. We’ve never seen reason to alter our approach. Until now.

This year, the choice isn’t between two capable major party nominees who happen to have significant ideological differences. This year, one of the candidates — Republican nominee Donald Trump — is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency.

From the day he declared his candidacy 15 months ago through this week’s first presidential debate, Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he lacks the temperament, knowledge, steadiness and honesty that America needs from its presidents.

Whether through indifference or ignorance, Trump has betrayed fundamental commitments made by all presidents since the end of World War II. These commitments include unwavering support for NATO allies, steadfast opposition to Russian aggression, and the absolute certainty that the United States will make good on its debts. He has expressed troubling admiration for authoritarian leaders and scant regard for constitutional protections.

We’ve been highly critical of the GOP nominee in a number of previous editorials. With early voting already underway in several states and polls showing a close race, now is the time to spell out, in one place, the reasons Trump should not be president:

He is erratic. Trump has been on so many sides of so many issues that attempting to assess his policy positions is like shooting at a moving target. A list prepared by NBC details 124 shifts by Trump on 20 major issues since shortly before he entered the race. He simply spouts slogans and outcomes (he’d replace Obamacare with “something terrific”) without any credible explanations of how he’d achieve them.

He is ill-equipped to be commander in chief. Trump’s foreign policy pronouncements typically range from uninformed to incoherent. It’s not just Democrats who say this. Scores of Republican national security leaders have signed an extraordinary open letter calling Trump’s foreign policy vision “wildly inconsistent and unmoored in principle.” In a Wall Street Journal column this month, Robert Gates, the highly respected former Defense secretary who served presidents of both parties over a half-century, described Trump as “beyond repair.”

He traffics in prejudice. From the very beginning, Trump has built his campaign on appeals to bigotry and xenophobia, whipping up resentment against Mexicans, Muslims and migrants. His proposals for mass deportations and religious tests are unworkable and contrary to America’s ideals.

Trump has stirred racist sentiments in ways that can’t be erased by his belated and clumsy outreach to African Americans. His attacks on an Indiana-born federal judge of Mexican heritage fit “the textbook definition of a racist comment,” according to House Speaker Paul Ryan, the highest-ranking elected official in the Republican Party. And for five years, Trump fanned the absurd “birther” movement that falsely questioned the legitimacy of the nation’s first black president.

His business career is checkered. Trump has built his candidacy on his achievements as a real estate developer and entrepreneur. It’s a shaky scaffold, starting with a 1973 Justice Department suit against Trump and his father for systematically discriminating against blacks in housing rentals. (The Trumps fought the suit but later settled on terms that were viewed as a government victory.) Trump’s companies have had some spectacular financial successes, but this track record is marred by six bankruptcy filings, apparent misuse of the family’s charitable foundation, and allegations by Trump University customers of fraud. A series of investigative articles published by the USA TODAY Network found that Trump has been involved in thousands of lawsuits over the past three decades, including at least 60 that involved small businesses and contract employees who said they were stiffed. So much for being a champion of the little guy.

He isn’t leveling with the American people. Is Trump as rich as he says? No one knows, in part because, alone among major party presidential candidates for the past four decades, he refuses to release his tax returns. Nor do we know whether he has paid his fair share of taxes, or the extent of his foreign financial entanglements.

He speaks recklessly. In the days after the Republican convention, Trump invited Russian hackers to interfere with an American election by releasing Hillary Clinton’s emails, and he raised the prospect of “Second Amendment people” preventing the Democratic nominee from appointing liberal justices. It’s hard to imagine two more irresponsible statements from one presidential candidate.

He has coarsened the national dialogue. Did you ever imagine that a presidential candidate would discuss the size of his genitalia during a nationally televised Republican debate? Neither did we. Did you ever imagine a presidential candidate, one who avoided service in the military, would criticize Gold Star parents who lost a son in Iraq? Neither did we. Did you ever imagine you’d see a presidential candidate mock a disabled reporter? Neither did we. Trump’s inability or unwillingness to ignore criticism raises the specter of a president who, like Richard Nixon, would create enemies’ lists and be consumed with getting even with his critics.

He’s a serial liar. Although polls show that Clinton is considered less honest and trustworthy than Trump, it’s not even a close contest. Trump is in a league of his own when it comes to the quality and quantity of his misstatements. When confronted with a falsehood, such as his assertion that he was always against the Iraq War, Trump’s reaction is to use the Big Lie technique of repeating it so often that people begin to believe it.

We are not unmindful of the issues that Trump’s campaign has exploited: the disappearance of working-class jobs; excessive political correctness; the direction of the Supreme Court; urban unrest and street violence; the rise of the Islamic State terrorist group; gridlock in Washington and the influence of moneyed interests. All are legitimate sources of concern.

Nor does this editorial represent unqualified support for Hillary Clinton, who has her own flaws (though hers are far less likely to threaten national security or lead to a constitutional crisis). The Editorial Board does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement.

Some of us look at her command of the issues, resilience and long record of public service — as first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of State — and believe she’d serve the nation ably as its president.

Other board members have serious reservations about Clinton’s sense of entitlement, her lack of candor and her extreme carelessness in handling classified information.

Where does that leave us? Our bottom-line advice for voters is this: Stay true to your convictions. That might mean a vote for Clinton, the most plausible alternative to keep Trump out of the White House. Or it might mean a third-party candidate. Or a write-in. Or a focus on down-ballot candidates who will serve the nation honestly, try to heal its divisions, and work to solve its problems.

Whatever you do, however, resist the siren song of a dangerous demagogue. By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump.

Former GOP Senator from Virginia Endorses Clinton | John Warner: “I will, when I go into the booth, cast a vote for the Clinton/Kaine ticket”

(Los Angeles Times: Sarah D. Wire) — Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has gained another endorsement from a prominent Republican: retired Sen. John Warner of Virginia.

Appearing Wednesday with a fellow Virginian, Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, Warner praised Clinton’s preparation and experience.

“I will, when I go into the booth, cast a vote for the Clinton-Kaine ticket,” Warner said.

Warner, 89, a World War II veteran, former secretary of the Navy and former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has endorsed Democrats before. He supported Democrat Mark Warner to replace him in the Senate.

In his remarks, Warner mentioned Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, only once, referring to his training during WWII, when he had “loose lips sink ships” drilled into him.

“Got that Trump? Loose lips sink ships!” he said.

Polls indicate that Clinton has a significant lead in Virginia. A heavily contested battleground in the past several elections, the state has trended steadily toward Democrats since 2004.

Hillary Trumps Donald

The winner of the debate is . . .

Hillary Clinton!

Endorsement: Hillary Clinton is the Only Choice to Move America Ahead | Arizona Republic endorses Democrat for very first time

Since The Arizona Republic began publication in 1890, they have never endorsed a Democrat over a Republican for president. Never. This reflects a deep philosophical appreciation for conservative ideals and Republican principles.

This year is different.

The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified.  That’s why, for the first time in its history, The Arizona Republic will support a Democrat for president.

Here is what they have to say:

What Clinton has (and Trump doesn’t)

The challenges the United States faces domestically and internationally demand a steady hand, a cool head and the ability to think carefully before acting.

Hillary Clinton understands this. Donald Trump does not.

Clinton has the temperament and experience to be president. Donald Trump does not.

Clinton knows how to compromise and to lead with intelligence, decorum and perspective. She has a record of public service as First Lady, senator and secretary of state.

She has withstood decades of scrutiny so intense it would wither most politicians. The vehemence of some of the anti-Clinton attacks strains credulity.

Trump hasn’t even let the American people scrutinize his tax returns, which could help the nation judge his claims of business acumen.

Her flaws pale in comparison

Make no mistake: Hillary Clinton has flaws. She has made serious missteps.

Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of State was a mistake, as she has acknowledged. Donations to the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of State raise concerns that donors were hoping to buy access. Though there is no evidence of wrongdoing, she should have put up a firewall.

Yet despite her flaws, Clinton is the superior choice.

She does not casually say things that embolden our adversaries and frighten our allies. Her approach to governance is mature, confident and rational.

That cannot be said of her opponent.

Clinton retains her composure under pressure. She’s tough. She doesn’t back down.

Trump responds to criticism with the petulance of verbal spit wads.

That’s beneath our national dignity.

When the president of the United States speaks, the world expects substance. Not a blistering tweet.

Whose hand do you want on the nuclear button?

Clinton has argued America’s case before friendly and unfriendly foreign leaders with tenacity, diplomacy and skill. She earned respect by knowing the issues, the history and the facts.

She is intimately familiar with the challenges we face in our relations with Russia, China, the Middle East, North Korea and elsewhere. She’ll stand by our friends and she’s not afraid to confront our enemies.

Contrast Clinton’s tenacity and professionalism with Trump, who began his campaign with gross generalities about Mexico and Mexicans as criminals and rapists. These were careless slaps at a valued trading partner and Arizona’s neighbor. They were thoughtless insults about people whose labor and energy enrich our country.

Trump demonstrated his clumsiness on the world stage by making nice with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto only a few hours before appearing in Phoenix to deliver yet another rant about Mexican immigrants and border walls.

Arizona’s been there on immigration (it doesn’t work)

What’s more, Arizona went down the hardline immigration road Trump travels. It led our state to SB 1070, the 2010 “show me your papers” law that earned Arizona international condemnation and did nothing to resolve real problems with undocumented immigration.

Arizona understands that we don’t need a repeat of that divisive, unproductive fiasco on the national level. A recent poll shows Arizonans oppose both more walls and the mass deportations Trump endorses.

We need a president who can broker solutions.

Clinton calls for comprehensive immigration reform, a goal that business, faith and law enforcement leaders have sought for years. Her support for a pathway to citizenship and her call for compassion for families torn apart by deportation are consistent with her longtime support for human rights.

Clinton’s equality vs. Trump’s lack of respect

As secretary of state, Clinton made gender equality a priority for U.S. foreign policy. This is an extension of Clinton’s bold “women’s rights are human rights” speech in 1995.

It reflects an understanding that America’s commitment to human rights is a critically needed beacon in today’s troubled world.

Trump’s long history of objectifying women and his demeaning comments about women during the campaign are not just good-old-boy gaffes.

They are evidence of deep character flaws. They are part of a pattern.

Trump mocked a reporter’s physical handicap. Picked a fight with a Gold Star family. Insulted POWs. Suggested a Latino judge can’t be fair because of his heritage. Proposed banning Muslim immigration.

Each of those comments show a stunning lack of human decency, empathy and respect. Taken together they reveal a candidate who doesn’t grasp our national ideals.

A centrist or a wild card?

Many Republicans understand this. But they shudder at the thought of Hillary Clinton naming Supreme Court justices. So they stick with Trump. We get that. But we ask them to see Trump for what he is — and what he is not.

Trump’s conversion to conservatism is recent and unconvincing. There is no guarantee he will name solid conservatives to the Supreme Court.

Hillary Clinton has long been a centrist. Despite her tack left to woo Bernie Sanders supporters, Clinton retains her centrist roots. Her justices might not be in the mold of Antonin Scalia, but they will be accomplished individuals with the experience, education and intelligence to handle the job.

They will be competent. Just as she is competent.

If a candidate can’t control his words

Trump’s inability to control himself or be controlled by others represents a real threat to our national security. His recent efforts to stay on script are not reassuring. They are phony.

The president commands our nuclear arsenal. Trump can’t command his own rhetoric.

Were he to become president, his casual remarks — such as saying he wouldn’t defend NATO partners from invasion — could have devastating consequences.

Trump has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, a thug who has made it clear he wants to expand Russia’s international footprint.

Trump suggested Russia engage in espionage against Hillary Clinton — an outrageous statement that he later insisted was meant in jest.

Trump said President Obama and Hillary Clinton were “co-founders” of ISIS, then walked that back by saying it was sarcasm.

It was reckless.

Being the leader of the free world requires a sense of propriety that Trump lacks.

Clinton’s opportunity to heal this nation

This is Hillary Clinton’s moment to reach those who feel left behind.
This is Hillary Clinton’s moment to reach those who feel left behind.

We understand that Trump’s candidacy tapped a deep discontent among those who feel left behind by a changed economy and shifting demographics.

Their concerns deserve to be discussed with respect.

Ironically, Trump hasn’t done that. He has merely pandered. Instead of offering solutions, he hangs scapegoats like piñatas and invites people to take a swing.

In a nation with an increasingly diverse population, Trump offers a recipe for permanent civil discord.

In a global economy, he offers protectionism and a false promise to bring back jobs that no longer exist.

America needs to look ahead and build a new era of prosperity for the working class.

This is Hillary Clinton’s opportunity. She can reach out to those who feel left behind. She can make it clear that America sees them and will address their concerns.

She can move us beyond rancor and incivility.

The Arizona Republic endorses Hillary Clinton for president.

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