There has never been a presidential election in contemporary American history more important than the one on Nov. 8. The next president must have mental toughness, clear goals, diplomatic skills and the ability to reach across political lines to get things done.
So voters should weigh who is best qualified to work with Congress on critical issues such as national security, immigration, lower health care costs, economic equality, racial injustice, foreign defense and trade agreements, nuclear threats, Russian aggression and more.
We believe Democrat Hillary Clinton is, by far, the best choice.
Clinton has depth and breadth of knowledge and experience on these issues. She has gained the qualifications to be president during her public service as First Lady for eight years, U.S. Senator for eight years and as Secretary of State for four years.
Trump, by contrast, has no public service record. Time and again he has displayed impatience, jarring insensitivity, demagoguery, dissimilation and narcissism. He plays on public fear and anger. He is devoid of background in politics, worldliness and demeanor.
A huge gap exists between Clinton and Trump on government policies and how to improve them for the benefit of all Americans. Here are a couple of examples:
n National security. Clinton’s experience as secretary of state makes her well equipped to deal with terrorist and nuclear threats. She has developed relationships with heads of state, and knows how to deal effectively with aggression by the likes of Iran, Russia, North Korean and China. She can be tough when the situation calls for it, witnessed by her explicit advice to initiate the military mission that killed Osama Bin Laden. She has a record of working to address racism, and distrust between minority communities and police. Trump has shown little understanding for the complexities of domestic and international challenges. His thin skin, impulsiveness and temperament make him a high risk in tense situations. He offers no ideas on how to address increasing racial unrest in urban cities. He cavalierly promises to destroy ISIS with military power and illegal torture. He talks of abandoning NATO and terminating longstanding defense agreements with Japan and South Korea. He would isolate the United States from the world no matter the dire consequences. He does not think rationally before he acts. He is not someone who should have his finger on the nuclear button.
n Immigration. Clinton has called for comprehensive and realistic immigration reform. She supports a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants who are contributing to the nation’s economy and paying taxes. She would not tear apart families. Trump’s unrealistic vow is to build a great wall across the 2,000-mile U.S. border with Mexico and send the multi-trillion dollar bill to the Mexican people. He would massively deport undocumented immigrants without compassion for families or the impact on the economy.
n The economy. Clinton has an achievable strategy that includes reforming the tax code to close loopholes for the rich and big corporations, reducing health care and drug costs, raising the minimum wage, investing in roads and bridges, lowering college costs and student debt, and strengthening oversight of big banks. Trump brashly promises millions of new jobs without specifics, debunks climate change, embraces trickle-down economics with even more tax breaks for the wealthy, opposes a higher minimum wage and threatens to repeal Obamacare completely without offering an alternative, an action that would leave one-third of Americans without health insurance, many with pre-existing conditions now covered.
n Russia. This is another chilling argument for a Clinton presidency. Russia has just dropped out of a 16-year-old agreement to dispose of weapons-grade plutonium, demanding the U.S. pull back its troops and military equipment from those NATO countries that were once part of the Soviet Union. Then there’s Russia’s suspected cyber-attacks on the United States, and its brutish expansion into the sovereign nation of Ukraine. The next president inherits this dangerous situation. Clinton’s experience as secretary of state makes her far more qualified to handle it. She has stood up to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump, on the other hand, genuflects to him. He speaks glowingly of Putin’s “strong leadership” and even suggests Russia hack Clinton’s computers to unearth her emails.
If that’s not enough to scare you, reflect on the first debate between Clinton and Trump. It was a stark portrayal of differences between them. Clinton was prepared, Trump wasn’t. Clinton articulated plans as president, Trump resorted to talking points and, at times, was barely coherent in his stream-of-consciousness responses.
Clinton is not without faults. No candidate with electoral experience ever is. She mishandled the contretemps over her private email server while secretary of state, and her initial public statements on the terrorist raid on the U.S. post in Benghazi. She should have put a firewall between the Clinton Foundation and her office to avoid the perception donors were buying access.
Yet these flaws pale in comparison with the irresponsible conduct demonstrated by Trump during the campaign. His smash-mouth performance has left even some partisan Republicans aghast. He berates a Gold Star family who lost their son in the Iraq war, suggests all Muslims should be banned from entering the U.S., demeans women who criticize him, describes our foreign trade agreements as “stupid,” launches into name-calling when he is called on his factual errors and boasts about being “smart” in running up huge private business debt and avoiding federal income taxes. But he refuses to release his tax returns, rebuking a tradition presidential candidates of both major parties have adhered to since 197 6.
Donald Trump’s checkered resume as a wheeler-dealer real-estate tycoon do not qualify him to be the leader of the free world. He represents a high-risk danger to America and the values for which it stands.
Hillary Clinton’s record of public service and detailed knowledge of the complex and imposing issues the nation will confront in the next four years make her the superior choice to become the next president.