The Arizona Republic newspaper has never, in its 126-year history, endorsed a Democrat for president—until Tuesday. The staunchly conservative editorial board of the reliably red state daily stressed its “deep philosophical appreciation for conservative ideals and Republican principles” before it noted “this year is different” and declared its support for Hillary Clinton for president. “The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified,” the endorsement reads. “That’s why, for the first time in our history, the Arizona Republic will support a Democrat for president.”
The endorsement, while not a full-throated backing of Clinton’s left-leaning policy prescriptions for the country, does not read as a reluctant or half-hearted declaration of support. The editorial board eviscerated Trump, much the same way the Union-Leader and some mainstream Republicans have criticized his bigoted run for the presidency as showing “a stunning lack of human decency, empathy and respect” and for being “beneath our national dignity” before cataloging its unprecedented support for Clinton. The thrust of the editorial board’s support is based on Clinton’s character, decency, temperament, and experience:
The challenges the United States faces domestically and internationally demand a steady hand, a cool head and the ability to think carefully before acting. Hillary Clinton understands this. Donald Trump does not. Clinton has the temperament and experience to be president. Donald Trump does not. Clinton knows how to compromise and to lead with intelligence, decorum and perspective. She has a record of public service as First Lady, senator and secretary of state. She has withstood decades of scrutiny so intense it would wither most politicians. The vehemence of some of the anti-Clinton attacks strains credulity.
The unusually lengthy endorsement only briefly touches on Clinton’s well-covered mistakes, but then offers a comprehensive point-by-point comparison between the candidates that decimates Trump’s temperament and decision-making, as well as his unhinged foreign policy proposals. The paper also disavowed Trump’s immigration rhetoric and ideas. “Arizona went down the hardline immigration road Trump travels,” the editorial reads. “Arizona understands that we don’t need a repeat of that divisive, unproductive fiasco on the national level.” Here’s the kicker:
In a nation with an increasingly diverse population, Trump offers a recipe for permanent civil discord. In a global economy, he offers protectionism and a false promise to bring back jobs that no longer exist. America needs to look ahead and build a new era of prosperity for the working class. This is Hillary Clinton’s opportunity. She can reach out to those who feel left behind. She can make it clear that America sees them and will address their concerns. She can move us beyond rancor and incivility. The Arizona Republic endorses Hillary Clinton for president.
The whole thing is worth a read really. Check it out here.