Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Atlantic endorses Hillary

When The Atlantic was founded in 1857, they issued a statement that said they would be "the organ of no party or clique." Since then they have endorsed only two candidates for President, Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson. Actually they more un-endorsed Barry Goldwater than endorsed Johnson; they excoriated Goldwater's positions on nuclear weapons and Civil Rights, and wrote:
We think it unfortunate that Barry Goldwater takes criticism as a personal affront; we think it poisonous when his anger betrays him into denouncing what he calls the “radical” press by bracketing the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Izvestia. There speaks not the reason of the Southwest but the voice of Joseph McCarthy. We do not impugn Senator Goldwater’s honesty. We sincerely distrust his factionalism and his capacity for judgment.
Now they have endorsed for a third time. And just as in 1964, they are mostly un-endorsing Trump:
Today, our position is similar to the one in which The Atlantic’s editors found themselves in 1964. We are impressed by many of the qualities of the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, even as we are exasperated by others, but we are mainly concerned with the Republican Party’s nominee, Donald J. Trump, who might be the most ostentatiously unqualified major-party candidate in the 227-year history of the American presidency. . . .

Donald Trump, on the other hand, has no record of public service and no qualifications for public office. His affect is that of an infomercial huckster; he traffics in conspiracy theories and racist invective; he is appallingly sexist; he is erratic, secretive, and xenophobic; he expresses admiration for authoritarian rulers, and evinces authoritarian tendencies himself. He is easily goaded, a poor quality for someone seeking control of America’s nuclear arsenal. He is an enemy of fact-based discourse; he is ignorant of, and indifferent to, the Constitution; he appears not to read. . . .

If Hillary Clinton were facing Mitt Romney, or John McCain, or George W. Bush, or, for that matter, any of the leading candidates Trump vanquished in the Republican primaries, we would not have contemplated making this endorsement. We believe in American democracy, in which individuals from various parties of different ideological stripes can advance their ideas and compete for the affection of voters. But Trump is not a man of ideas. He is a demagogue, a xenophobe, a sexist, a know-nothing, and a liar. He is spectacularly unfit for office, and voters—the statesmen and thinkers of the ballot box—should act in defense of American democracy and elect his opponent.
Will the profound rallying of the American elite around Hillary make any difference? Honestly I think it will sway very few votes. Too many Americans simply don't care what the nation's allegedly wise men and women think. Fortunately 84 million did tune into the first debate to judge for themselves, and that seems to have helped.

1 comment:

pithom said...

"Since then they have endorsed only two candidates for President, Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson."

-So they're a Vermonter paper. Worthless.