To our readers: In today’s deeply divided election climate, we respect one thing above all else: our readers’ freedom to vote for the candidate of their choice. As you make up your mind, we offer four perspectives on the presidential race as seen through the eyes of our editorial board and its diverse members. Please vote.
Below is the Star-Telegram Editorial Board’s recommendation as well as three editorial members’ perspectives: Sara Pintilie with the millennial viewpoint, Juan Antonio Ramos with a pro-Clinton stance and Cynthia M. Allen with a conservative’s outlook.
The dominating image and personality of Republican nominee Donald Trump have defined the 2016 presidential race, and for some of what he has shown us we should be thankful.
The fact that millions of Americans have joined his anti-establishment, anti-government, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-free-trade, anti-news media message must open our eyes to how truly unhappy many of our neighbors are.
Many sincerely believe our economy and our leaders have not and will not treat them fairly. They are angry. Our next president, no matter who it is, must change that.
Still, most of what Trump has shown us has been so dark, so negative, so lacking in the knowledge and demeanor essential in our president that we must urge our readers to reject him.
He has said and done so many things during the course of his campaign, from outright bullying his GOP rivals (“little Marco” and “lyin’ Ted”) to fanning the flames of bigotry (“rapist” Mexicans) to truly repugnant comments about women, that we have taken his measure and found it not only lacking in moral standards but profoundly dangerous to our nation and its highest office.
Should his mouth, so unfettered by reason or humility, be loosed on the world with the power of the Oval Office behind it, we could hardly blame friendly nations for withholding trust or unfriendly ones for raising their guard.
We should have known. It’s not like Trump’s TV reality show personality has changed. We just didn’t think it would get this far – and clearly, the Republican Party didn’t either.
Trump announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015. Before the year was out he would say Mexican immigrants are criminals, that John McCain is not a war hero because he was captured and that he knows more about ISIS than our generals. He mocked a handicapped reporter, called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” and aligned himself with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He was just getting started.
In the next few months he would favor torture, comment on the size of his genitals on national TV, demean the wife of Sen. Ted Cruz, insult the president and people of Mexico by insisting they would pay for a wall between our two countries despite their objection, cast doubt on our NATO commitments, lashed out at the parents of a Muslim U.S. soldier killed in Iraq, hinted that “Second Amendment people” could eliminate Hillary Clinton and, as we all know, was exposed as bragging about assaulting women.
There’s a reason the real issues about running our country have taken a back seat in this election campaign.
It’s Trump’s inability to devote more than brief and shallow attention to those issues before diverting the conversation to absurdity — like saying if he wins Clinton will be jailed or claiming the election is rigged and balking when asked whether he will accept its ultimate result.
Trump may say this election is about “America First,” and we all must learn from that. We must pay attention to the millions of Americans who have rallied to that message.
But we need a president who is more than a slogan. We need a leader.
Many of his followers say they like Trump because he makes no attempt to be “politically correct.” In a troubled world, a troubled economy and a nation that needs sound domestic policy, Trump is not correct for anything.
The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends rejecting Donald Trump for president.
Editorial board members add personal perspectives
Want #NeverTrump? Then vote
“In this election, we cannot sit back and hope that everything works out for the best. We cannot afford to be tired, or frustrated, or cynical.”
— Michelle Obama
It’s hard for millennials to care about this election.
They feel like their voice is muted in the political noise, and the ballot offers only candidates they don’t trust, hate or think won’t win.
It doesn’t matter how many celebrities urge them to vote, millennials feel disillusioned, disenfranchised, disinterested and reluctant to cast a ballot.
They feel like they are voting for the lesser of two evils. Some even want to vote third party out of spite.
But they also believe Hillary Clinton will win, so why even bother voting?
Thinking that common sense will prevail is dangerous. Nothing about this election should lead to this conclusion.
Millennials, we know you don’t trust Clinton. You haven’t seen her to be anything other than a House of Cards character, and that’s scary.
But having Donald Trump as president is terrifying.
You think your future is bleak now? Wait until Trump becomes president.
You can’t just do nothing in this election.
You will regret it if Trump gets elected. There aren’t any do-overs.
The same inaction would cause us to be stuck with Trump’s hate, racism and intolerance.
Millennials, go vote. Make sure this election ends with #NeverTrump.
Sara Pintilie, a member of the millennial generation, is a Star-Telegram editorial writer.
Hillary Clinton, ready to lead
The name Hillary Clinton is enough to stir the passions of voters across the country. In a long career, she has garnered a strong following but also intense opposition.
For a long time, her name has shown up on both ends of the political discourse: On one side, her energy and dedication to numerous causes over 40 years have earned her admiration and praise; on the other side, a series of controversies and scandals have, in the eyes of many, tainted her aspirations for higher office.
But it is precisely her seasoned experience in public office, gleaned in a series of high-profile posts, that gives her a distinct edge over her opponents.
A history of weathering adversity, a deep understanding of socioeconomic issues that affect the world and a clear path forward place Clinton at the forefront of the race for president.
From her early days as a college student working on migrant worker issues, to her years as a senator and later as secretary of state, Clinton’s career encompasses a wealth of practical knowledge that allows her to confront challenges with confidence.
Whether she is advocating for national security policies, immigration reform or education initiatives, Clinton has spent decades formulating policies in an effort to improve the lives of Americans.
Her work as senator for the state of New York, in which she reached across the aisle to pursue bipartisan support for legislative proposals, has prepared her to press ahead with a strong national agenda.
It is a formidable task, but one that Clinton is prepared to tackle. She’s a fighter with steadfast calm and determination who has the vision to forge ahead with the nation’s urgent affairs and the ability to set aside the acrimonious months that have divided us all.
Juan Antonio Ramos is editorial director of La Estrella, the Star-Telegram’s weekly bilingual publication.
Where is the GOP after Trump?
It’s been said fire is cleansing.
That is little consolation to conservative Republicans watching their party self-immolate in the spectacular dumpster fire that is the Donald Trump campaign.
Hillary Clinton almost certainly will win the White House, not because of her experience or popularity but because the GOP wasted its best opportunity in years to elect a new kind of conservative leader.
No one anticipated the confluence of events that led to the nomination of Trump.
But party leaders did not react quickly when Trump’s crude populism began taking hold, and they’re left with a candidate who shares none of the party’s core values.
As the primary season began, with a field full of youth, diversity and promise, it appeared the GOP would march straight up Pennsylvania Avenue.
Instead, it will struggle to hold its majority in Congress while public policies move ever-left.
Many conservatives fear that nothing will be learned from the Trump fiasco and nothing will change.
That’s a reasonable assumption, one that presages the eventual self-destruction of the party.
But Republican leaders have to change — not their core values and beliefs, but how they respond to the shifting landscape of America.
They must pursue public policies that marry conservatism with an increasingly diverse nation.
And they must craft a message of inclusion for communities with deteriorating families and declining economic mobility, which together have increased dependency on government.
It’s time to listen, allow them to lead and leave the ashes of the Trump train behind.
Cynthia M. Allen, a conservative, is a Star-Telegram columnist and editorial writer.
Election Day will be here before you know it. To see a sample ballot, go to the Tarrant County elections website. To ask for a ballot by mail, call the Tarrant County Elections Office at 817-831-8683. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is Oct. 28. For more information about candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot, go to the Voters Guide.