*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
During any politician’s campaign for office, whether a first-time candidate or a career politician seeking re-election, endorsements from notable sources are important and welcomed. Securing a leading media outlet’s endorsement is all the more important because unlike many special interests, their endorsements are not founded on partisanship or aren’t made unilaterally. As a person who has sat on an editorial board during an election where candidates are pandering for an endorsement, one can say these endorsements are founded on extensive research and often extensive discussions. To say the least, any newspaper endorsement is founded on the facts about a candidate and their ability to serve the people and the city, county, state or national government’s best interests.
It was not really a surprise that the New York Times editorial board endorsed Hillary Clinton for the presidency, and not because the newspaper is regularly criticized by Republicans as being a “left wing” mouthpiece. It is because Mrs. Clinton is the most qualified and the editorial board took the high road and cited her qualifications instead of spending 1,200 words railing on her opponent Donald J. Trump; something the board promised was coming in Monday’s edition. The board justified its motive for giving its attention to Clinton’s achievement rather than assailing Trump by writing,
“Running down the other guy won’t suffice to make that argument. The best case for Hillary Clinton cannot be, and is not, that she isn’t Donald Trump. The best case is, instead, about the challenges this country faces, and Mrs. Clinton’s capacity to rise to them.”
For Americans who have been alive more than a couple of decades and have been witness to Hillary Clinton’s achievements, and foibles, the Times piece is a handy reminder that there is no American better qualified to be president from either party whether it is dealing with economic, foreign, or domestic policy. Every American should take a couple of minutes to read the NYT ed-board’s endorsement, but if it is too taxing or time consuming, this piece will cite a few of the editorial boards prescient points driving its decision to endorse the Democratic candidate; an endorsement that “is rooted in respect for her intellect, experience, toughness and courage over a career of almost continuous public service, often as the first or only woman in the arena.”
Although President Obama garnered major kudos for re-establishing a sense among the rest of the world that American foreign policy was shifting from provocation and war as a first response to any and everything, it was “Mrs. Clinton [who] was charged with repairing American credibility after eight years of the Bush administration’s unilateralism. Her achievements are substantial. She led efforts to strengthen sanctions against Iran, which eventually pushed it to the table for talks over its nuclear program, and in 2012, she helped negotiate a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.” Only Republicans condemn efforts at peace making and it is likely why they are vehemently opposed to a candidate prone to diplomacy instead of incitement towards war.
On national domestic issues, the Times observed that many poor and middle-class Americans are in despair and enraged over the appearance that the “government has done little to ease the burdens that recession, technological change, foreign competition and war have heaped on their families. Over 40 years in public life, Hillary Clinton has studied these forces and weighed responses to these problems. A lifetime’s commitment to solving problems in the real world qualifies Hillary Clinton for this job” as president, “and the country should put her to work.” Whether it was “her record of service to children, women and families [that] has spanned her adult life; including a speech in Beijing declaring that women’s rights are human rights,” Clinton has proven herself to be a formidable politician and likely why Republicans despise her.
Even though her attempt to “overhaul” the broken healthcare system and establish universal healthcare failed, she was undeterred and “threw her support behind legislation to establish the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that provides healthcare for over eight million lower-income young people.” That ability to shift focus and achieve a lesser goal in the face of adversity and opposition is a quality that cannot be understated or underestimated when determining which candidate to support, or endorse.
Her most lasting achievements as a senator include a federal fund for long-term health monitoring of 9/11 first responders, an expansion of military benefits to cover reservists and the National Guard, and a law requiring drug companies to improve the safety of their medications for children. Less publicized was Clinton’s fight to provide funding for “farmers, hospitals, small businesses and environmental projects.”
Her achievements as a senator are all the more impressive because as the Times editorial board noted, “When Mrs. Clinton was sworn in as a senator from New York in 2001, Republican leaders warned their caucus not to do anything that might make her look good.”
Still, facing the exact same opposition that President Obama did beginning on day one, Clinton, as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee earned the respect of Republicans including Senator John McCain “with her determination to master intricate military matters.”
The Times also noted that as a senator “her vote in favor of the Iraq war is a black mark, but to her credit, she has explained her thinking rather than trying to rewrite that history.”
One of the most important points the Times editorial board noted was that Mrs. Clinton has shown herself to be a realist. To that end, although she has “produced detailed proposals on crime, policing and race relations, debt-free college and small-business incentives, climate change and affordable broadband,” Clinton is well aware that all her proposals depend on passage by Congress:
“Mrs. Clinton would need to find common ground with a destabilized Republican Party, whose unifying goal in Congress would be to discredit her.” However, as the board also rightly noted, “despite her political scars, she has shown an unusual capacity to reach across the aisle.”
As political endorsements go, it is apparent that not only did the NYT’s editorial board do its homework; it focused on Clinton’s “real record” of achievements and missteps rather than partisanship or regard for advertising dollars; a serious problem affecting the print media industry. The New York Times editorial board could have easily cited all the reasons why Donald Trump is the most unqualified presidential candidate in modern history and argued successfully that was the reason they endorsed Hillary Clinton, but they took the high road and after carefully examining her lifelong achievements and predilection to pragmatic solutions to the problems facing the nation and American people, they came to the only conclusion possible and endorsed the only person in America uniquely qualified to be president; Hillary Clinton.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.