We are recommending Democrat Hillary Clinton for president of the United States, but we do so grudgingly.
The presidential race between Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump is the most discouraging political contest we have ever weighed in on.
While Clinton and Trump each have their strong supporters, many Americans find it difficult to accept either candidate. We fall in with that latter camp.
The choice, it appears, is between an untrustworthy, longtime politician and a volatile megalomaniac.
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We decided it comes down to picking the person who in all probability will do the least amount of harm while in office.
That person is Clinton. She has political experience on a national scale, after all.
Clinton has served as secretary of state and as a U.S. senator. She has sat at the same table as world leaders, knows how to work with stubborn lawmakers and understands the scope of the executive branch.
She also is capable of thinking beyond the moment.
Trump, on the other hand, is downright frightening.
The billionaire entrepreneur is unpredictable, too easily provoked into tirades and, at times, completely irrational. His temperament is simply unsuitable for the presidency.
Trump thinks he can run the nation like he runs his businesses (which have not all been successful), but he would soon find out that isn’t possible. The presidency is not a dictatorship, and Trump would not have the power to control the country the way he controls his corporate empire.
Bullying tactics do no good when delicacy is required, but Trump does not appear to be a man who understands that concept. His insults and instability would be disastrous at an international level.
Trump’s appeal, however, to Americans dissatisfied with the current state of affairs is an indication that life under the Obama administration has been extremely frustrating for millions of people.
Wages for countless workers have not kept up with the rising cost of goods and services, especially health insurance and prescription drugs.
And if elected, Clinton likely won’t make much of a course correction.
It is no wonder so many people are disheartened.
Trump’s popularity has been fueled by discontent and anger among an electorate that is on the verge of exploding. Already, there are concerns that Trump supporters may riot if Clinton wins the election.
We saw a hint of that earlier this month when the Arizona Republic endorsed Clinton in its traditionally deep red community.
It was the first time in the newspaper’s 126-year history that its editorial board backed a Democrat for president, and the backlash was fierce. Journalists and other staff members even received death threats.
This kind of rage doesn’t flare out of nowhere — it has been smoldering for a long while. Trump’s candidacy has just given it a way to burst forth.
When the two political parties have spent the last decade vilifying each other, it is no surprise when that disdain infects the populace.
If Clinton is elected, she must not take the victory as a mandate. She should go out of her way to understand what made a Trump candidacy attractive to so many voters in the first place, and then address those issues if she can.
But that likely won’t be easy for her.
She has a reputation for being less-than transparent, and too many Americans don’t trust her.
When she was secretary of state and chose to use her personal server for government-related emails, she put her own convenience above national security. Not only was it irresponsible, she made the situation worse with her initial, sketchy response when the blunder was found out. The scandal continues to shade her campaign.
Still, despite her dubious history and her entrenched politics, Clinton is a better choice than Trump.
He is so unqualified to be president, even members of his own party refuse to support him. That in itself is telling.
We are not happy about it, but — The Tri-City Herald recommends Hillary Clinton for president of the United States.
A full list of our election recommendations can be found on the Tri-City Herald website.