The Atlantic endorses Hillary Clinton

November 30, 2016 19:54
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Hillary Clinton. | AP Photo/John Locher The Atlantic endorses Hillary Clinton

For only the third time in the publication’s more than 150-year history, The Atlantic has endorsed a presidential candidate, calling Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton “among the most prepared candidates ever to seek the presidency.”

The editorial also condemned Republican candidate Donald Trump, calling him “a demagogue, a xenophobe, a sexist, a know-nothing, …a liar,” and “the most ostentatiously unqualified major-party candidate in the 227-year history of the American presidency.”

“We are confident that [Clinton] understands the role of the United States in the world; we have no doubt that she will apply herself assiduously to the problems confronting this country; and she has demonstrated an aptitude for analysis and hard work,” the editors wrote. “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.”

The Atlantic likened its endorsement of Clinton to its endorsement of Lyndon B. Johnson for president in 1964, which largely came about in an effort to denounce Johnson’s opposition, former Arizona senator Barry Goldwater.

“As a publication whose founders declared it to be ‘of no party or clique,’ we don’t make political endorsements lightly,” Atlantic editor Scott Stossel wrote in a statement about the decision to endorse Clinton. “We have historically only endorsed a president when we felt that the stakes had been elevated to a true national emergency, or an existential threat to the republic. We believe that the election of Donald Trump poses such a threat, which is why we’ve decided to endorse Hillary Clinton.”

This is The Atlantic’s third-ever endorsement of a presidential candidate. The magazine, which was founded in 1857, first endorsed Abraham Lincoln in 1860; it endorsed Johnson more than 100 years later.

Several other publications this year have made the unconventional choice to make the case against Trump in their endorsements. Last week, USA Today, which has throughout its history declined to endorse presidential candidates, called Trump “unfit for the presidency” and urged readers to vote against him. In January of this year, conservative magazine National Review ran “Against Trump,” an entire issue devoted to making the case against him as a presidential nominee.

Several reliably Republican editorial boards around the country, including the Arizona Republic and the San Diego Union-Tribune, have, like The Atlantic, endorsed Clinton over Trump.

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