EDITORIAL: Vote, and say 'good riddance'

York Dispatch
  • Clinton clearly has the intelligence, experience and temperament to be an outstanding president
  • In other words, she is everything her Republican challenger is not
  • Trump is so unfit for the presidency that he represents a threat to our country and our values

As the long, surreal presidential campaign mercifully nears its end, it is clearer than ever that voters have only one real choice on Nov. 8.

Hillary Clinton speaks at Zembo Shrine in Harrisburg, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. Clinton urges Pennsylvanians to register to vote with only one week remaining before the Oct. 11 deadline. Dawn J. Sagert photo

On the one hand is an intelligent woman who is eminently qualified to lead our country — and on the other is an ignorant buffoon most decent Americans would be ashamed to have in their own homes, much less send to the White House.

Over four decades, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, has dedicated her life to public service, starting with a stint right out of Yale Law School as staff attorney for the Children’s Defense Fund, a nonprofit that continues to protect children and help lift them out of poverty.

As first lady in the 1990s, Clinton shrugged off the more traditional, ceremonial White House duties in favor of leading a major policy initiative: health care reform.

EDITORIAL: Ban us, you big baby

While that early effort failed, she continued to make affordable health care a priority as a senator from New York in the 2000s, when she served on the Budget, Armed Services, Environment and Public Works and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committees.

Clinton was secretary of state and had a front-row seat in 2010 when the Affordable Care Act became law. As America’s chief diplomat from 2009 to 2013, she traveled abroad to defend our interests and spread our values in a sometimes hostile and violent world.

When she stepped down from the State Department, praise for Clinton’s tenure was bipartisan. Sen. John McCain was one of the many Republicans applauding her efforts, calling her an “outstanding” secretary of state.

EDITORIAL: Drop out, you big baby

One doesn’t have such a long and productive career without some missteps, and Clinton has made her share. But they pale in comparison to her qualifications.

Clinton clearly has the intelligence, experience and temperament to be an outstanding president of the United States and leader of the free world.

In other words, she is everything her Republican challenger is not.

Donald Trump actually is so unfit for the presidency as to represent a threat to our country, our values and our way of life.

From the moment he launched his campaign more than a year ago by labeling Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers, he has made one indefensible comment after another — any single one of which should be disqualifying.

EDITORIAL: The deplorable Trump effect

A revolving cast of handlers have tried to rein Trump in, focus him, but the thin-skinned narcissist can’t contain his abuse, which at various times during the campaign he’s also directed at the family of a fallen soldier; a respected judge of Mexican heritage; a beauty pageant winner he fat-shamed; a reporter with a disability; fellow Republicans, including McCain, whom he mocked for being captured during the Vietnam war …

The list really does go on and on.

Many in Trump’s own party — from voters to rank-and-file lawmakers to former presidents and cabinet members to governors — can’t stomach the fool and have announced they won’t be voting for him.

That group of  Americans grew larger earlier this month (better late than never) after the release the sickening video Oct. 7 in which he spouted vile, predatory remarks about women. A line of women soon formed to accuse him of just the type of behavior he's heard bragging about.

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during a speech in Virginia Beach, Va., Monday, July 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

It is shameful that the condemnation is not unanimous, but it’s not surprising: Trump’s hard-core supporters have excused everything else he’s done, so why not this? And they’re not just excusing his behavior; people like West York’s racist Mayor Charles Wasko are emulating it.

We suspect it will take a long time to recover from the deplorable Trump effect on American society and politics.

But a good start would be delivering not just victory for Clinton, but a historic landslide that buries Trump once and for all.

Let your voice be heard on Election Day — and say good riddance loud and clear.