At this point in the 2016 election cycle, it is no longer a difficult question which candidate the Collegian Editorial Board will endorse for President — we endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States of America.
The editorial board strongly believes Hillary Clinton is the only candidate this year who has the ability, both in personality and qualifications, to become the president.
In writing this, though, we acknowledge that Clinton is far from a perfect candidate.
Hillary Clinton has been in politics for more than 25 years, since before she became the First Lady of President Bill Clinton. Over that time, she has accomplished and been associated with a wide variety of accusations – some substantiated, but most utterly false.
Clinton has proven herself over time to be an effective leader, organizer and politician, as First Lady, Senator from New York and Secretary of State.
She said she will work to create a fairer tax for the wealthy after her opponent in the Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders, ran a campaign critical of the ultra-wealthy. She criticised the justice system for excessive incarceration rates and for not fixing racial profiling, and has said that everybody deserves the right to vote – including ex-felons.
Unlike Trump, she believes climate change is real, not a hoax perpetuated by China.
But we agree with Clinton most strongly not on her foreign or economic policies, but on her social policy.
She is for marriage equality and is a supporter of transgender rights.
She said that police are not the only ones who can be biased against minorities, and that everyone can have implicit bias, but that she would address police brutality.
Not to mention, if she is elected the first female President, it will be a massive leap for women’s rights movement in the country.
Clinton recognizes the privileges she has been granted in life and she has said over and over again that she wants to be a president for America – even for people who do not want to vote for her.
Whether you agree with her ideas or not, she shows time and time again that she is willing and able to fight until the bitter end while maintaining a clear and diplomatic demeanor, even when she is accused of being too sickly to become President while suffering from pneumonia.
At the end of the second presidential debate, even Trump said something similar to this, calling her a “fighter” and someone who “doesn’t give up.”
However, it is important to note that Clinton is far from a perfect candidate, as evidenced by a historically high unfavorability rating for a democratic candidate.
She has had close ties to Wall Street in the past – several transcripts of private speeches she gave were released last week where she said it is important for politicians to have a public and a private policy stance.
Clinton is still embroiled in controversy surrounding a private email server she used as Secretary of State, and has had issues with her own privacy, including a couple of months where she did not hold a single press conference during much of the primary season.
She has been accused of much worse and much less substantiated things as well, such as being responsible for the deaths of four Americans during an attack on an American embassy in Libya in the Benghazi scandal. She has also been accused of harassing women who claim to have been sexually assaulted by President Bill Clinton, both claims which have never been substantiated.
This was not a unanimous decision. However, Donald Trump was not our second choice – not one member of the editorial board said they could support him in November. Gary Johnson, the presidential nominee from the Libertarian Party, would be our second choice for President.
Donald Trump is arguably the single worst presidential candidate from any party in the history of the United States, a truly disgusting man who the Republican party should disavow and cast aside. A man who says he “grabs them (women) by the pussy” because he is famous, allows his daughter to be called “a piece of ass,” and called Mexicans rapists and murderers. He has woken some of the worst islamophobic, homophobic, transphobic and xenophobic tendencies of this country, and has embarrassed America abroad. We do not need to make America great again – it is already great.
Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, on the other hand, are both unprepared to lead and are without the same level of organization that their Democratic and Republican opponents have. Johnson was unable to locate Aleppo, one of the most war-torn cities in Syria, and was unable to name a single foreign diplomat he respected. Stein’s policies are whimsical and not based in reality, and Stein herself seems unable to effectively defend her stances in a public setting.
Traditionally, we expect Presidential candidates to promise us the world while on the campaign trail, and to keep those promises while in office. This is unrealistic, however, and a successful candidate is one with a chance to complete some of their campaign objectives while in office – not all of them. The American presidential race is protracted and dramatic; we believe that Hillary Clinton is the best candidate for the role of Commander-in-Chief in part because the caricature-like arguments that have been made against her fitness for office are based on a system bloated with expectations and oppression, and a populous starry-eyed by big talkers.
Hillary is the best candidate for the job because she is a dignified, level-headed political veteran who is more than capable of handling the Oval Office. She takes strong positions on issues that matter to many Americans, but has shown an ability to change those stances as times change.
To this realistic, and humanistic, approach, her opponents do not even come close.