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US newspaper breaks tradition, endorses a democrat after 75 years

US newspaper breaks tradition, endorses a democrat after 75 years

Author | Saif Ahmad Khan | Saturday, Sep 10,2016 8:08 AM

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US newspaper breaks tradition, endorses a democrat after 75 years

Democrat Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House just got a shot in the arm in the form of a rare newspaper endorsement. Dallas Morning News, a daily newspaper based in the state of Texas, last endorsed a democrat before World War 2.

“There is only one serious candidate on the presidential ballot in November. We recommend Hillary Clinton,” the newspaper announced. It mentioned that the decision wasn’t an easy one concerning its allegiance towards free markets which run contrary to Democratic Party’s over-reliance on government regulation.

“We’ve been critical of Clinton’s handling of certain issues in the past. But unlike Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton has experience in actual governance, a record of service and a willingness to delve into real policy. Resume vs resume, judgement vs judgement, this election is no contest,” the newspaper asserted.

Dallas Morning News praised Clinton’s public service record. It stated that the former First Lady’s tenure in US Senate saw GOP members back two-third of the bills introduced by her. The editorial complimented her role in fighting Islamist terrorism as Secretary of State besides noting the support of a vast range of Republican advisors to Clinton.

However, the newspaper did not fail to mention Clinton’s lapses. “Clinton has remained dogged by questions about her honesty, her willingness to shade the truth. Her use of a private email server while Secretary of State is a clear example of poor judgement,” Dallas Morning News said.

“She should take additional steps to divorce allegations of influence peddling from the Clinton Foundation. And she must be more forthright with the public by holding news conferences, as opposed to relying on a shield of carefully scripted appearances and speeches,” it added.

But the publication clearly felt that Hillary’s shortcomings “paled” when compared with her Republican counterpart Donald Trump. “Trump’s values are hostile to conservatism. He plays on fear – exploiting base instincts of xenophobia, racism and misogyny – to bring out the worst in all of us, rather than the best.”

The real estate mogul’s flip-flops were also described as a sign of unpreparedness. As per recent polling surveys, Trump has recovered from a slump in popularity. But he continues to face stiff resistance from fellow Republicans.

“I just know that I would like to vote for Donald Trump. It’s not comfortable to not support your nominee. But, given the positions that he has taken and the tone and tenor of his campaign, I simply can’t,” Republican Senator Jeff Flake recently stated.

While Trump has the support of Republicans Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, former Republican Presidents George HW Bush and George Bush have so far not endorsed him. His former rival Jeb Bush does not plan to vote for him and nor does previous nominee Mitt Romney.

On the other hand, Clinton is being solidly backed by President Barack Obama, albeit reluctantly but even Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed her. However, it can’t be said with surety that Sanders’ supporters will vote for Hillary on November 8 considering their position of “Bernie or bust”.

“I don’t think that Trump will be able to garner the votes of most Republican voters. He is trying to cater to aggressive Americans who are anti-Muslim, anti-foreigners and who understand the language of hyperbole rather than logic,” said Ved Pratap Vaidik, Founding Editor of Press Trust of India’s Hindi news agency Bhasha.

Being an observer of international affairs since decades, Vaidik opined that Trump would be eventually defeated as America is a liberal country. But he reasoned that even if he wins, he would have to mellow down owing to the democratic nature of political set-up in the United States.

Columnist Minhaz Merchant who has been writing about the US Presidential elections routinely brushed aside the endorsement from Dallas Morning News. “In America, 90% of the media even in red states like Texas are beholden to vested and special interests,” he said.

He claimed that there was a huge amount of media bias as most news television channels except Fox were anti-Trump despite him maintaining a lead over Clinton as per CNN/ORC poll. According to Merchant, endorsement of Trump by 88 retired military commanders was a significant development.

“The two Bushes have not endorsed Trump because he fought against Jeb Bush. There was a lot of acrimony between the two during the primaries with Trump calling Jeb a low energy person,” Merchant stated. Terming Trump as a “bully”, he wished to know why the American media wasn’t inquiring about the health problems of “crooked” and “corrupt” Clinton especially when they had asked for Senator John McCain’s health records during 2008 elections.   

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