In 23 years of publishing, we have never made a political endorsement at Metro Weekly. But consider this issue a change in that editorial policy.
We are officially endorsing Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.
This is no ordinary election. Hillary Clinton is no ordinary candidate. Her opponent is no ordinary threat. The decision is almost ludicrously simple. In Clinton we have possibly the most qualified presidential candidate in history, someone who has dedicated her life to public service, to improving lives both in America and abroad, to wielding her sharp intellect and commanding presence in an age when women are often still told they need to smile more and desire less.
Is she perfect? Far from it. We wish she’d supported marriage equality earlier and her emails, Iraq war vote and certain other decisions show someone entirely fallible. But in the grand scheme of things, if the worst we can say about Clinton is that she’s human and thus capable of mistakes, we’re more than happy to throw our support behind her. Our country — and the LGBT community — will be in good hands with Hillary Clinton.
The same cannot be said of her opponent.
Listening to a Trump rally last weekend on CNN, I was overcome by a sense of nausea. It was a half hour of innuendo and lies, all bluster, no substance — propaganda designed to stoke followers into chilling chants of “Lock her up” whenever Clinton’s name was mentioned. I am both a gay man and a Jew, and I finally understood what it must have been like in Nazi Germany before the war. What Donald Trump continues to recklessly stoke in this nation is genuinely, absolutely terrifying. He is planting seeds that, even if he doesn’t win, will ensure that our democracy will be forever horribly altered. Hate has taken center stage.
Maybe it’s over the top to equate Trump’s rise to that of Hitler’s, but the similarities are there. He yearns to be an all-powerful dictator, and those who don’t see things his way — well, while demagoguery is theoretically not possible in America given our checks and balances, who knows? A few years ago, Donald Trump running for president was tossed aside as a joke. Never underestimate the power of a joke.
Trump’s threats to prosecute Clinton should he win, the bile aimed at any media source that doesn’t report favorably on him, the bone-chilling insinuation that the Second Amendment may be a solution to a Clinton win, the appalling reinforcement of xenophobia, misogyny, and racism, the very revelation that the KKK sees him as a heroic figure to be admired — if none of these are sufficient warning, I don’t know what is. It’s enough to give any sane person pause. Donald Trump is the very personification of evil, of all that’s bad. When Hannah Arendt wrote about the “banality of evil” in 1961, while covering the trial of renowned Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, she might as well have been writing about Trump. Except that he’s too loud and tantrum-prone to be banal. He’s dangerous. Point blank.
Some may say Trump is not an evil person. Maybe not in the traditional sense, but his willingness to say whatever it takes to move himself forward to the highest office in our land, his willingness to flout tradition by refusing to disclose his taxes, his hateful imitation of a disabled reporter that, to this day, he refutes having done despite video evidence otherwise, points to a man who cares for little else other than himself. He cannot be trusted to have a Twitter account, let alone the nation’s nuclear codes.
Do we really want to entrust America — which is already great — with this reality TV star, this charlatan, this monster, who has encouraged the worst side of America to reveal itself?
Last week, we ran an online survey taken by almost 500 people. We asked people to optionally comment. Hundreds weighed in.
While the responses, which came from more than half the states in the union, weren’t surprising — most were gay Democrats — they gave us heart that at least there’s a sensible collective who, while acknowledging Hillary Clinton’s flaws, fully understand what a powerful, effective, world-respected leader she would be. Nevermind the fact that she’s a woman — historic enough in itself. She understands the nature of politics. She understands how the world works. She’s thoughtful, intelligent, informed, and maybe should forgo a personal email server for the next eight years.
Much of the survey was taken before the FBI’s James Comey stirred up a maelstrom that feels unabashedly partisan in its timing. But we’re hopeful that, come election day, reason will prevail. If you’re undecided as to how you are going to vote on Tuesday, November 8, consider this:
Electing Donald Trump would be a mistake of historic proportions.
Electing Hillary Clinton would be historic.
It’s that simple.
We know who we’re with. We’re with her.
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