As I have noted a number of times in the past, I lived in Alabama many years ago and compared to how the state is nowadays, things were far more sane three decades ago. Now, much to my surprise, even the Mobile Press Register - typically a reactionary newspaper - has endorsed Hillary Clinton and described Donald Trump as too dangerous to be permitted to win the White House. I agree with the assessment which ought to be read in full by Republicans still waffling and contemplating voting for Trump. Perhaps there is hope for Alabama after all. Here are editorial highlights:
Donald Trump must not be president.Alabama has voted for every Republican candidate since Ronald Reagan, a man that captured our imagination with a hopeful view of America as a shining city upon a hill. Nearly 40 years later, Donald Trump offers a deeply cynical view of an America in ruin, an America that seems to exist only in his own dangerous mind. Even before the revelation of video evidence of Trump making lewd, demeaning comments advocating sexual advances on women against their will, we knew that he was unfit to lead this country. We unite with people across this nation — people of all parties, including an increasing number of Republicans — to reject the pessimism of his candidacy.
But 2016 isn't a normal election cycle, and Donald Trump isn't a normal presidential candidate. Nor is he a normal Republican. He is a man who is frighteningly unfit to be president. And she is his only roadblock.
Any endorsement of Clinton will be a bitter pill to swallow for many in our state. For some, her lifelong record of public service is the mark of a career politician, rather than a public servant. We've all watched her struggle to defend her emails, her charitable foundation and her record on foreign policy. Still, Hillary Clinton is more than qualified to be president, and in winning her party's nomination has reinforced the promise that our democratic process is equally open to all.
Like her husband, President Bill Clinton, she has built a political career out of triangulating to the center. She's less liberal than President Barack Obama and less conservative than President George W. Bush — and after 16 years of volatility, she is likely to maintain the slow growth of the status quo.
We could do worse than four years of a stable hand that understands how government works and is willing to compromise with the Republican opposition. Donald Trump, in contrast, is an unstable force that would do lasting damage to America, at home and abroad.
The list of Trump's disqualifications is lengthy. And he adds new ones daily.
Clinton has been caught in lies, but Donald Trump trashes truth far beyond the standards that even our broken political system accepts.
He is a narcissistic, childish bully who has mocked women, Americans with disabilities, veterans, Gold Star families, judges, immigrants, the working poor, people of faith, Muslim Americans, Jewish Americans, refugees, people with weight issues and any other group that challenges his inflated view of himself. A Trump presidency could send the Republican Party down a dark, exclusionary path, that would be tough to recover from.
Alabama may have been host to many of Trump's largest crowds during the Republican primary, but it has become clear that his policies would hurt many here.
Rather than bring jobs home, Trump's pledge to break trade agreements such as NAFTA and to implement a tariff on goods coming from Mexico and China could ignite a trade war, crippling port cities like Mobile and stunting growth in emerging economies in Birmingham and Huntsville.
Trump shows a staggering ignorance of world affairs and the issues the next president faces. He dismisses our obligations to NATO; he invites China to "go into" North Korea and settle things in that part of the world, and he has a disturbing infatuation with Vladimir Putin. For all his talk about demonstrating American strength, he constantly undermines our troops.
Trump embodies the worse tenets of disgraced former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard, suspended Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, and humiliated Gov. Robert Bentley. Trump is a man that will ignore the rule of law, use his office for personal gain, and has a history of lascivious affairs and lewd comments caught on tape. Even his campaign is self-serving, with millions in campaign donations spent on his family companies.
The 2016 election is not a choice between two candidates equally fit to serve, or a choice between the ideology of two parties. Trump is a unique threat and in an election where supporting third party candidates splits a national vote, we see but one option.
Clinton may be the second least popular major party candidate in 50 years but she is also one of the most qualified candidates in history. And ultimately, if it isn't her, it's him. And that would be a disaster for America and the world.