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Endorsement watch: Not wasting any time

The Chronicle has seen enough.

Hillary Clinton

On Nov. 8, 2016, the American people will decide between two presidential contenders who represent the starkest political choice in living memory. They will choose between one candidate with vast experience and a lifelong dedication to public service and another totally lacking in qualifications to be president. They will decide whether they prefer someone deeply familiar with the issues that are important to this nation or a person whose paper-thin, bumper-sticker proposals would be dangerous to the nation and the world if somehow they were enacted.

The Chronicle editorial page does not typically endorse early in an election cycle; we prefer waiting for the campaign to play out and for issues to emerge and be addressed. We make an exception in the 2016 presidential race, because the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is not merely political. It is something much more basic than party preference.

An election between the Democrat Clinton and, let’s say, the Republican Jeb Bush or John Kasich or Marco Rubio, even the hyper-ideological Ted Cruz, would spark a much-needed debate about the role of government and the nation’s future, about each candidate’s experience and abilities. But those Republican hopefuls have been vanquished. To choose the candidate who defeated them – fairly and decisively, we should point out – is to repudiate the most basic notions of competence and capability.

Any one of Trump’s less-than-sterling qualities – his erratic temperament, his dodgy business practices, his racism, his Putin-like strongman inclinations and faux-populist demagoguery, his contempt for the rule of law, his ignorance – is enough to be disqualifying. His convention-speech comment, “I alone can fix it,” should make every American shudder. He is, we believe, a danger to the Republic.


We could go on with issues, including her plans for sensible gun safety and for combatting terrorism – her policy positions are laid out in detail on her campaign web site – but issues in this election are almost secondary to questions of character and trustworthiness. We reject the “cartoon version” of Hillary Clinton (again to borrow her husband’s phrase) in favor of a presidential candidate who has the temperament, the ability and the experience to lead this nation.

These are unsettling times, even if they’re not the dark, dystopian end times that Trump lays out. They require a steady hand. That’s not Donald Trump.

The times also require a person who envisions a hopeful future for this nation, a person who has faith in the strong, prosperous and confident America we hope to bequeath our children and grandchildren, as first lady Michelle Obama so eloquently envisioned in Philadelphia. That’s not Donald Trump’s America.

It is Hillary Clinton’s, who reminded her listeners Thursday night that “When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.”

America’s first female president would be in the Oval Office more than a century and a half after a determined group of women launched the women’s suffrage movement, almost a century after women in this country won the right to vote. It’s a milestone, to be sure. Few could have imagined it would be so consequential.

Naturally, I agree with the choice. I’d gladly vote for Hillary Clinton over any of those other Republicans as well, but I agree that there would be room for debate with most of them. The decision here could not be clearer. Donald Trump is uniquely awful, singularly unqualified, and as someone who grew up in New York and knew who he was long before reality TV existed, absolutely not the kind of person you want to have in a position of power. If you’re a Republican and you just can’t bring yourself to vote for Hillary Clinton, then the least you can do is not vote for Trump. Skip the race, vote for Gary Johnson, write in Ronald Reagan, I don’t care. Just please, don’t stain your soul. If you’re not a Republican then this should be easy. I’m voting for Hillary Clinton because I believe she will make a fine President, and she is not only far and away the best candidate in this race but the only truly qualified one. She’s also the only candidate who can beat Donald Trump, and the only way to make sure she beats Donald Trump is to vote for her. I don’t know what else there is to say.

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  1. PDiddie says:

    There is one more thing to say, and I’ll go ahead and write it.

    Your vote for Clinton (if you live in Texas, or Louisiana, or New York or California or roughly forty other states,) will do nothing to elect Clinton. Or Trump, for that matter.

    Absolutely nothing. See, there’s this thing called the Electoral College …

    But if you want to send a message, as a voting American, that neither of these two candidates nor their parties come close enough to representing your values, you can do better than leaving the top race on your ballot blank, or writing someone’s name in, or refusing to show up at the polls at all.

    One of your outside-the-box options is holding its presidential nominating convention in Houston next weekend. Those who may be feeling a little disgust about Clinton/Trump might consider stopping by, taking a different party for a test drive.

    Can’t hurt to take a closer look, can it?

  2. voter_worker says:

    PDiddie, what you’re suggesting has been an option in Texas since the 80s, and I along with others chose that alternative for several consecutive presidential elections. My bookend elections voting for a major party candidate are Carter in ’76 and Kerry in ’04. Yet here we are. What a vote does is add one more digit to someone’s total, and gives the voter some form of self-expression. I don’t think there’s much more to the story if you’re not a party activist. FWIW, the Greens seem to me to be borderline anti-science (vaccines and GMOs) and the Libertarians are anti-safety net and public ownership, all of which are deal breakers for me here and now. That puts me in roughly the same position as the Chronicle editorial board.

  3. Paul Kubosh says:

    PDiddie, what party and where? Details?

    Also as to the Chronicle……

    SURPRISE SURPRISE they endorsed the democrat.

  4. Jen says:

    Paul, the Chron also endorsed Ted Cruz. Do I need to inform you he is a dangerous ultra right wing extremist? Perhaps he seems normal to you.

  5. voter_worker says:

    Paul, I didn’t double-check, but a Chronicle commenter on the endorsement points out that
    it has only endorsed 3 Democrats for president since 1960: LBJ in 1964, Obama in 2008, and Clinton in 2016. It may be a canary in the coal mine, but the pro-Trump commenters are getting trounced in the “thumbs up or down” count if my casual scanning of the comments is any guide.

  6. Mainstream says:

    I am hearing a lot of GOP support for Libertarian Gary Johnson, despite the isolationist platform and other quirky issues. Both Johnson and his running mate William Weld got good reviews for their service as governors at the time.

  7. General Grant says:

    Couldn’t really say it better myself. Trump is so awful he fails to rise the level where he can be judged politically….he fails more basic tests. Hence, why I as a Republican have zero compunction in actively opposing him.

  8. Paul Kubosh says:

    O.K. I was wrong. I have spent to much time talking off the kuff. 🙂

    Well all of you Republicans who follow the Ted Cruz recommendation so be it. At least you didn’t take a pledge to support the nominee.

  9. If you don’t live in a swing state that uses the electoral college and you don’t like trump or clinton.

    There is reason you shouldn’t vote libertarian or green.

  10. PDiddie says:


    On the chance that you’re just misinformed from the various screeds about it online — and not advancing a debunked smear — Snopes is here to help you out.

    By the way, the AntiVaxx Caucus isn’t significant enough to be pandered to by anybody (which is why this smear failed in the first place).

    Take comfort in the fact that your candidate should skate easily to election … provided there are no more timebombs of the October surprise variety.

  11. Michael says:

    PDiddie:Your vote for Clinton (if you live in Texas, or Louisiana, or New York or California or roughly forty other states,) will do nothing to elect Clinton. Or Trump, for that matter.

    It’s worth being aware that the state parties do keep track of what regions vote for their candidates and what regions don’t. In 2008, I benefitted from my congressional district’s support of Kerry in 2004, because my CD was given extra delegates at the state convention compared to the Valley districts, which largely stayed home. This was a surprise to the Clinton campaign, who hadn’t read the rules and had banked on the Valley to keep them in the game in Texas.

    I’m pretty sure that Texas Dems have streamlined that process, but don’t think it doesn’t matter at all if you sit the game out or go vote for some D-list candidate.

    Oh, and one of the ways the Clinton campaign got more savvy between 2008 and 2016 is that they learned that they needed to know how the delegate were apportioned in each state. I like that her campaign actually learned from their mistakes.

  12. voter_worker says:

    PDiddie, point taken on vaccines, but from jill2016, the “Power to the People Plan” in the section entitled “Protect Mother Earth” it’s stated “Label GMOs, and put a moratorium on GMOs and pesticides until they are proven safe. Protect the rights of future generations.”

    What would such a GMO moratorium look like, how would it be achieved, and what would be the unintended consequences? This reminds me of Trump’s way of making pronouncements with not a shred of an indication of how to achieve the objective, and ignoring questions about the objective itself. The science on GMO safety is right up there with climate change science in validity, so forgive me if I harbor a few doubts about Stein’s policy recommendations.

  13. PDiddie says:

    You’re forgiven.

  14. PDiddie says:

    Michael , helping county Democrats take over the absentee voting polls, and the other things as you relate, has nothing to do with the presidential election.

    If that’s why you want to vote for Clinton in Texas, even as a former Democrat there’s no reason for me to hold that against you. But it’s not to the point I made.

  15. voter_worker says:

    PDiddie, no worries. I’m a gmo apostate, as in I used to be sympathetic to the opposition movement. I’m always good with dispelling incorrect memes, so thank you.