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Editorial: The Daily Northwestern endorses Hillary Clinton

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We know what you’re doing. Probably rolling your eyes. Yes, it may not come as a shock that our editorial board is in favor of electing the only qualified candidate for president.

Yes, it’s no surprise that we favor a policy wonk over a quack. A democrat over a dogmatic megalomaniac. A woman poised to break the highest glass ceiling over a man not only out of touch with our generation but also with millions of Americans who don’t find sexual assault funny.

But we don’t mean to point out the obvious: that Hillary Clinton is a better candidate than Donald Trump. Clinton brings firsthand foreign policy knowledge and has offered concrete proposals to make college more affordable, offer immigrants a pathway to citizenship, combat climate change and more. She is the clear choice. Nonetheless, we write to urge the student body to actually get out (or mail-in) and vote for Clinton.

We know there are dissenters among us. People who favor the funky, pot-loving Gary Johnson, who enjoys the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune, or the ardently leftist Jill Stein. We know some folks on this campus will vote for Trump, turning a blind eye to the racism, the xenophobia, the sexism, the glowering at the debates and the allergy to truth that have characterized his campaign. Above all, we know that many students will sit the election out altogether.

Truth be told, Johnson and Stein have little to offer. Neither will win, and neither has done much to inspire confidence over the past year. Johnson’s foreign policy knowledge can be encapsulated in three words: “What is Aleppo?” Stein panders to pseudoscience and doesn’t possess the level of economic expertise to be taken seriously.

And how would you come to terms with your choice if you voted for Johnson or Stein and, in doing so, helped elect one of the least qualified, most dangerous candidates ever to top a major party ticket? What if you helped to elect a man who trampled civil rights in this country and human rights abroad? Who tore the fabric of American democracy? Who attempted to promptly put his opponent in jail?

It is shocking to us that, on a college campus of all places, some of our peers will vote for Trump even after hearing his boasts about sexually assaulting women. Northwestern students have pushed our University to do better supporting survivors and holding perpetrators accountable. That work has been bolstered by pressure from The White House, which in 2014 launched the It’s On Us campaign. Programs like this have tangible effects on our peers, as do the actions and words of our president. If you care at all about fighting sexual assault, the choice is clear: Clinton’s policy goals show she would be an ally in the effort to uproot rape culture. Donald Trump, on the other hand, embodies rape culture.

As for sitting this one out? The desire is more than understandable. America’s political system is deeply flawed. It’s easy to feel disenfranchised by the rigidity of the two-party system and by the anachronistic electoral college. It’s easy to feel frustrated by the lack of change and the inability of candidates to follow through on their promises.

But that’s hardly a sufficient excuse. We are the lucky ones. Unlike millions of Americans throughout history who couldn’t vote because of their gender or race or religion — and unlike many today who face discriminatory Voter ID laws — most on this campus can legally cast a ballot with relative ease.

In this election, there is far too much at stake for a protest vote or abstention. Vote for Clinton.

This piece represents the majority opinion of the Editorial Board of The Daily Northwestern. The Editorial Board has an “Editorial Corps” responsible for selecting and producing editorials with feedback from the rest of the board. The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of all staff members or Editorial Board members of The Daily Northwestern.

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