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For president: Clinton – with much apprehension

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

It will come as no surprise to regular readers of The Vindicator’s Editorial Page that we view Donald J. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, with a great deal of uneasiness. Trump is a self-absorbed rich man whose attitude toward women, minorities, the disabled and the press makes him clearly unqualified to be the leader of the greatest country on earth. He lacks the temperament, the vision and the understanding of the role the president plays in domestic and international affairs. He does not possess the steady hand of leadership that is demanded in times of upheaval and uncertainty.

Donald Trump fails to realize there’s a vast difference between being the unchallenged head of a private company and the leader of a nation that is more diverse racially, religiously, socially and economically than any other industrialized country.

Indeed, Trump’s public attack on the press and his contention that it should be easier for Americans to sue reporters are assaults on the very foundation of democracy. It is noteworthy that one of the first acts in a military coup is the immediate takeover of newspaper offices and television stations. The reason: Control the messenger, and you control the message.

In contrast, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president, has a solid understanding, through her long record in government, of what it means to be a participant in the greatest expression of human freedom in the history of the world.

Clinton’s involvement in the business of United States, both as a private citizen and a public servant, makes her qualified to occupy the office of president.

That said, we do have major concerns about her character.

We had questions relating to her judgment even before last week’s revelation that the FBI is reviewing a new batch of emails that could be connected to her use of a private email server while she was U.S. secretary of state. Clinton explained that she used a private server for convenience, and the FBI after its initial investigation found no criminal behavior and no basis for criminal charges to be filed against her. Instead, FBI Director James Comey concluded that Clinton had been “extremely careless” in her handling of the government emails.

Huma’s emails

Today, however, with the revelation that the FBI is reviewing the emails of one of her closest advisers, Huma Abedin, the issue of Clinton’s judgment is again commanding headlines.

Clinton has called on Comey to make public the details of the FBI review of Abedin's emails. They were found on a laptop computer she shared with her now estranged husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner. The FBI is conducting a sexting investigation of Weiner.

Beyond the email controversy, we have major concerns about the Clinton Foundation that she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, appear to have used to further their personal and political agendas. Reports of individuals who donated to the foundation being given access to the State Department lead us to believe that she is willing to cross the line that must divide a high-ranking government official’s public and personal life.

We are also offended by Clinton’s two-faced attitude toward Wall Street. Transcripts of her speeches show her telling the barons of business and industry that she is sensitive to their concerns, but then she turns around and promises the American people that she will fight Wall Street.

Thus, in this election for president, the American voters are faced with the reality of choosing between the lesser of two evils.

From our vantage point, we believe that Hillary Clinton, despite all her flaws, would be better suited than Donald Trump to lead the country. While Clinton is not ethically fit to be president, given her lapses in judgment, a Trump presidency is inconceivable. He could easily do permanent damage to this nation, especially in the international arena.

It should be clear by now that neither party’s presidential nominee inspires us. There is no feeling of pride.

However, we find Clinton less objectionable than Trump.