It was the intention of this newspaper to publish its editorial endorsement for the presidency after the second debate, but we accelerate that process today.
The compelling need to become an advocate for Hillary Clinton was demonstrated in Monday night’s debate at Hofstra University. There is no time to waste. The difference between the candidates is too stark.
THE DONALD TRUMP DISASTER
Every election is important, but this year, the Republican Party has been hijacked by an insurrectionist who preaches hate, not humility; division, not democracy. Donald Trump has proved himself to still be a spoiled little brat; a rich kid without class or grace, dignity or demeanor.
Trump’s candidacy not only brings out white supremacists, racists and divisive voices in America, but he embraces these hateful warriors. From David Duke to birthers challenging Barack Obama, Trump gives life to those who would mock the disabled, discriminate against gays, or suppress the working class. His candidacy is vile and vitriolic.
This is a man who takes credit for starting a racist movement challenging the birthplace of our first black president. And he cannot be given a pass just because he decided last week he now accepts the fact that Obama was born in Hawaii.
For years, even after Obama released his birth certificate, Trump continued to attempt to delegitimize Obama by insinuating it was fake. On the debate stage he boasted about getting Obama to produce his birth certificate, as if it were something to be proud of. It is not. It is a disgrace.
To use his own words, he is a disaster, a huge, frightening disaster, and he has become the worst presidential candidate in modern history. The debate Monday was a disqualifying event, revealing his madness and misogyny, his misrepresentations and meanness. From the words that he chose, to the immature way he interrupted Clinton more than 26 times, he revealed himself to be rude and reckless, inarticulate and irresponsible.
He is a bully, but it did not work Monday night, as he himself appeared nervous, shaking, discombobulated, and unstable, sniffling and sniping his way through the debate. The man who made fun of Marco Rubio for sweating through a national speech reached for water to clear his dried throat how many times?
Today, Trump stands alone as the Republican nominee for President, on a debate stage 270 electoral votes away from the Oval Office. From former presidents to world leaders, from past military chiefs to present United States senators in his own party, voices have risen to expose this charlatan once and for all. More need to still.
You get the feeling this man would rather go horseback riding with Vladimir Putin then stand up to him for invading Ukraine. In Trump’s mind, the man who doped his Olympians and hacked our computers, is a hero for his leadership. Yes, and Mussolini got the trains to run on time.
Frankly, the thought of handing off the nuclear briefcase to this self-righteous and self-indulgent man is utterly chilling. Donald Trump is a threat to the safety and security of the future of this world.
In the face of these realities, the Democratic Party has nominated Hillary Rodham Clinton, the first female American candidate to wear the mantle of a presidential nominee. We brag about our country having been in the forefront of human rights, but scores of countries all over the world have had women as their political leaders. No male opponent ever questioned the stamina of Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, or Indira Gandhi. Yes, it is long overdue for Americans to hear the words, ‘Madam President.’ But that alone is not enough to have someone take the Oath of Office on January 20, 2017.
Clinton’s life has been marked by decades of public service, from her early days as the First Lady of Arkansas to her recent achievements with the Clinton Foundation. Let’s look at that history factually.
In 1972, while her Republican opponent was being investigated for invidious discrimination in refusing to allow his apartment buildings to be made available to African Americans, Clinton, a law school graduate, was exposing institutional racism in housing.
Even then, Clinton became an early voice for the needs of children and women. Her opponent ran beauty contests mocking women and their weight or their looks. In 1977, when Donald Trump was building casinos that uprooted low-income families in Atlantic City, Clinton founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. In 1978, she was appointed the first female chair of the Legal Services Corporation. Trump was making the rounds of Playboy Clubs.
When Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992, Hillary did not remain on the sidelines cutting ribbons. She played an active role in the administration. After leading an unsuccessful effort to advance a national health care plan in 1993, she turned her attention again to children and women’s health issues, helping create a statewide children’s insurance program. Almost 8 million children are covered by the program today.
How many of you remember that 21 years ago, as the First Lady of the United States of America, that Hillary Clinton, went to communist China and Beijing, and declared that “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights”? Her opponent? He was in Beijing too- exploiting their repressed factory workers to make and market ties in order to line his own purse. She was not off building golf courses in Europe or bragging about how smart you are if you don’t pay taxes.
In 2000, Hillary Clinton became the first female United States senator elected from New York. Serving in that capacity, she was there for the 9/11 attacks, meaningful because while Trump was issuing phony diplomas for a sham university, Clinton was voting on issues of war and peace, life and death. She wasn’t giving interviews about Miss Universe. Nor, the day after a debate on national security, should a presidential candidate be on Fox News talking about that person’s weight.
When the international financial market collapsed in 2007 under the stewardship of the Republican administration, Clinton backed President Obama’s plan for re-starting the American economy. Unlike her opponent, she did not brag about how a housing crisis was ‘good for her business.’ She was trying to protect American workers from losing their jobs in real life, not firing them from their fake jobs on a TV show.
A Yale University graduate, Clinton is also the thoughtful author of five books, about public policy, the national spirit, and her life’s lessons. They were not ghostwritten, they don’t talk about exploiting American laws to promote self-interest, or brag about her wealth. They evidence instead a commitment to human rights and an international conscience. They recognize global warming, a universal bond, and a grasp of the world around and about us. They recognize that building a village requires cultivating a community with a conscience.
As for the LGBT community, Clinton is legions and light years ahead of her opponent. In 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland, as she did for women in 1995, Clinton delivered a bellweather speech for the international rights of the LGBT community. About that time, Trump, who says gays should not be married, was probably delivering divorce papers to one of his wives.
But in other cases she just didn’t speak words – she took action. At the State Department she was the driving force behind making it easier for transgender people to change their gender identity on their passports. Under her leadership the department changed the requirement from people having to have gender confirmation surgery to just a doctor’s note. At that time it was arguably the most pro-trans action by the federal government ever.
In more recent years, Clinton, as Secretary of State and a public citizen, has become one of the LGBT community’s strongest advocates. She has fought our cause nationally and spoken for us globally. She has emerged as a candidate who defends our rights, not denies them. That is not so for her opponent.
While so much smoke has been blown the way of the Clinton Foundation and its Global Initiative, so much more has been left out. The truth is that it has been a noble and righteous cause, delivering low cost AIDS medicines to millions of HIV infected persons worldwide. The fact is that the charity has raised funds to help children and women’s causes intercontinentally. That is something no one will ever say about the Trump Foundation, who has used the funds it raises to pay off legal bills it incurred. The crook is Donald, not Hillary.
THE VICE PRESIDENTIAL CHOICE
It’s significant at this juncture to also point out that the Vice Presidential nominee of the Republican party, selected by Trump, has vigorously and actively opposed protecting the rights of the LGBT community. His homophobic history is startling.
As governor of Indiana, he has most recently opposed the Obama Administration directive on transgender bathrooms. As a congressman, he opposed the Employer’s Non Discrimination Act. Ten years ago, as the head of a Republican study group, he said ‘gay couples signal the beginning of societal collapse.’ He has supported a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages. He once supported a bill to divert HIV funding into programs for conversion therapy.
Worse than anything else, culminating years of backing anti LGBT initiatives, last year Governor Pence signed his state’s ‘religious freedom’ law, a mask for anti-gay bigotry. It would allow for businesses and persons to deny goods or services to LGBT individuals. This is the man Trump chose as his running mate. Any LGBT person that supports the Republican ticket has to be chastised and challenged.
What do we have to lose by electing you, you ask, Mr. Trump?
The LGBT community can lose historic gains and advancements for equality that have given us a place at the table, made us partners in the American dream. You would turn the clock back.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, Governor Kaine has advocated for LGBT rights, prison reform, taxpayer equity and a host of progressive and enlightened causes. He is a gentle spokesman for human rights who has brought opposing factions together in a swing state.
While Donald Trump was mocking a reporter with disabilities in a national forum, Tim Kaine, a Harvard educated lawyer, was winning a $100 million verdict in a courtroom for clients discriminated against for race and disability. As governor, he has invested millions of dollars in mental health reforms and programs to stem gun violence. Kaine is bilingual, an expert on trade, an advocate for the disabled and was once a social worker volunteering in Honduras with missionaries. He represents diversity and the future.
Less than 24 hours after the first debate, the whining crybaby that is Donald Trump has already complained that the moderator was biased and the microphone did not work. No, Donald. Neither was true. Nor is the system rigged or the media biased. They are just catching up to your frauds and fictions, your deceit and deviousness. The culprit, Trump, is not anyone else. The guilty party is you.
What the debate showed and what this editorial articulates is that you are woefully unprepared to be the President of the United States. You have no moral center, no compass, no basic fundamental sense of decency or core values. You are sexist and repulsive, still sadly racist and irredeemable. For a lack of a better word – you are deplorable. Your candidacy needs to be rejected, your voice repudiated.
Fortunately, America has a historic choice.
We can choose a woman who has been tested over time, who has weathered scrutiny and stood tall.
We can choose a woman who has advocated for our community, children, and women for decades.
We can choose a progressive candidate who has raised a family, and who has stood for the working and middle class.
We can choose a candidate who has been married only once, and has no objection to you being married either.
We can choose a candidate who not only has the stamina and strength to be president, she has a partner who can offer her a little bit of experience and wisdom on how to weather the Oval Office.
We do choose Hillary Rodham Clinton.