In Our View: Clinton for President

Democrat has her flaws, but her vision, experience trump unqualified opponent

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Despite a dark and divisive presidential campaign, a glimmer of light is shining through: There is one candidate who has the experience, demeanor, and uplifting vision necessary to shepherd this nation toward a successful future. Democrat Hillary Clinton clearly is the best choice for president of the United States, and The Columbian’s Editorial Board recommends that voters support her.

As always, this is merely a recommendation designed to add to the discussion. The Columbian has faith in the desire and ability of voters to examine the candidates and the issues before casting an informed ballot.

Such an examination will reveal that Clinton has decades of experience in assessing and developing policy. She has served as secretary of state and as a United States senator. And while critics suggest that her accomplishments have been negligible, she has played starring roles in creating the Children’s Health Insurance Program; in securing funds for New York City in the wake of 9/11; in imposing sanctions that brought Iran to the negotiating table; in authoring the Pediatric Research Equity Act; and in leading a State Department that helped track down and assassinate Osama bin Laden.

Equally important is the contrast that is evident between Clinton and her main opponent, Republican nominee Donald Trump. In addition to offensive comments about women and minority groups, Trump has persisted in presenting a vision of a dystopian America while suggesting that he is the only one who can fix it. His narcissism and the ease with which he can be provoked into sophomoric Twitter wars clearly demonstrate that he does not have the temperament necessary to lead the world’s most powerful nation.

A 16-month presidential campaign has exposed Trump as somebody who has little understanding of world affairs, puts forth paper-thin policy ideas, and possesses the demeanor of a schoolyard bully. No, we do not believe that half of Trump’s supporters can be classified as deplorables; but we do believe that he has tapped into a level of xenophobia and misogyny that reflect the worst of American society rather than enhancing our best traits.

In the process, we recognize and acknowledge that many people have negative views of Clinton. Much of this is due to self-inflicted errors, including but not limited to the handling of her personal email server; her reaction to a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, when she was secretary of state; and her penchant for secrecy and a lack of transparency. But many other criticisms lobbed toward her are simply the inevitable result of being a partisan figure in the public eye for a quarter-century. If every move is critiqued for 25 years, your opponents are bound to find faults.

Yet while Clinton once railed about a “vast right-wing conspiracy,” colleagues on both sides of the aisle have praised her for a businesslike, inquisitive approach during her time in both the Senate and at the State Department. Despite her missteps along the way, Clinton has clung to a vision of what America is and what it can be. That vision, at its heart, is not a nation that castigates entire religions and entire genders; it is one that believes in the strength of the American character and the power of American exceptionalism.

By measures of experience, accomplishments, demeanor and policy, Clinton is a far superior candidate than her uniquely unqualified opponent. The Columbian recommends a vote for Hillary Clinton as president of the United States.