Endorsement: Why Hillary Clinton is the safe choice for president
Sixteen months into his campaign, Donald Trump remains Donald Trump. Despite constant counsel from GOP advisors and insiders to adopt a decorous public persona, Trump continues to lash out at critics, to insist complex problems can be solved with little effort and to depict an America that’s been “ripped off by every single country in the world,” as he said in this week’s debate.
For millions of Americans upset with the status quo, it’s an entertaining show, and a convincing one.
But if Trump is elected president, he will no longer just be putting on a show. Upon inauguration on Jan. 20, he would be in charge of the executive branch of a global superpower and possess enormous authority, operating with no coherent worldview besides “I alone can fix it.” Military leaders have said Trump will face pushback if he orders them to do illegal things, such as torturing the families of terrorists, but in many crucial parts of the government, a President Trump will be able to people his administration with individuals whose jobs depend on keeping him happy. Imagine that. Imagine President Trump.
Based on what Trump has said, we could see an administration that’s friendlier to ruthless Russia — which is waging a cyberwar against America — than to such democracies and historic partners as Great Britain, Germany, Canada, Japan and Australia.
We could see an administration that reneges on its treaty commitments to dozens of nations, throwing the world into turmoil and increasing tensions in regions that historically have relied on the United States to be a stabilizing force.
We could see an administration that ruins U.S. trustworthiness in international finance by seeking to refinance terms with debt-holders, putting a singular economic power in the same basket as Greece.
We could also see an administration that launches a trade war by abandoning Republican tradition and abrogating international trade deals, destroying a framework that has greatly enriched our nation and the world, even if its benefits haven’t been as well-distributed as one would hope.
And we could see an administration with an open enemies list, starting with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, his Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN and more.
Now consider President Hillary Clinton. We understand the lack of enthusiasm for her candidacy, the anger over her private email server, family foundation and income from Wall Street speeches, and the questions about how America fared in foreign affairs when she was secretary of state. But despite Trump’s insistence otherwise, she has the better temperament to be president — and the experience, background and relationships with world leaders that we need in a president.
As secretary of state, she traveled nearly a million miles and visited a record 112 countries. As a U.S. senator, the Democrat showed she can collaborate with Republicans, using what Roll Call labeled an “incremental approach” that “could help restore a working relationship between the White House and Capitol Hill that has been in tatters” for years. As first lady, she expanded health coverage to millions of lower-income children after her husband’s administration lost the battle over universal health care and Democrats lost the Senate and the House.
Diplomacy. Collaboration. Patience. Mitt Romney, whom we endorsed for president in 2012, exhibited those same traits as the moderate governor of Massachusetts and the business-savvy savior of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Vengeful, dishonest and impulsive, Trump is no Romney. This is why Hillary Clinton is the safest candidate for voters to choose in a complex world.
Terrible leaders can knock nations off course. Venezuela is falling apart because of the obstinance and delusions of Hugo Chávez and his successor. Argentina is finally coming out of the chaos created by Cristina Kirchner and several of her predecessors.
Trump could be our Chávez, our Kirchner. We cannot take that risk.
This paper has not endorsed a Democrat for president in its 148-year history. But we endorse Clinton. She’s the safe choice for the U.S. and for the world, for Democrats and Republicans alike.
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To read all the Union-Tribune editorial board’s endorsements and candidate interviews this election season, visit sdut.us/endorsements.