A version of this article appeared on print in our November 2016 issue.
With tomorrow marking the end of an election and, simultaneously, the beginning of a new era, it is our responsibility as a newspaper to weigh in. This election comes down to ethics, and The Bradford believes the President of the United States should represent the core values of our high school. These values are Academic Excellence, Caring and Cooperative Relationships, Commitment to Community, and Respect for Human Differences. The Bradford believes that Hillary Clinton will lead according the standards we hold ourselves to as members of the high school community. Therefore, The Bradford endorses Hillary Clinton as President of the United States.
Our first core value is Academic Excellence, which encompasses both honesty and educational policy. Honesty is an area in which both candidates have the most flaws. There remains ambiguity about Clinton’s role in the Clinton Foundation and her use of a private email survey during her time as Secretary of State.
Trump, too has lied throughout his career. He started a Trump University, a scam school that cheated people out of their money. He has refused to release his tax returns, creating an air of uncertainty. He continues to lie about his approval of the war in Iraq.
Although both candidates exhibit dishonesty to an extent, there is a clear difference in their handling of their errors. Clinton has repeatedly apologized for her use of a private email during her time as Secretary of State, whereas Donald Trump has not apologized for any of his actions. He has not apologized to those who invested money in Trump University, he has not apologized to the Khan family for suggesting his sacrifices are equal to those of gold-star parents, he has not apologized to the Indiana-born judge who he deemed unable to rule in his case because of his Mexican heritage, and he has not apologized for labelling Mexican immigrants as rapists and labeling all Muslims as a threat to American safety. These reactions display Trump’s lack of integrity, an essential quality for the next leader of the free world.
And most appalling of all, he has not apologized for his offensive comments on the Access-Hollywood tape in which he talked about sexually harassing women. His defense that it was “locker room talk” suggests that rather than accept his mistakes, he instead chooses to diminish the magnitude of them. In addition, Trump has belittled those women who have claimed he assaulted them.
In response to Natasha Stoynoff’s claims that he forcibly tried to kiss her, he said. “You take a look. Look at her. Look at her words. You tell me what you think. I don’t think so — I don’t think so.” With these words, Trump suggests he would never assault someone who looked like Stoynoff. In saying this, he denigrates the serious claims against him, again showing his inability to treat others with the respect they deserve.
Where Clinton showed humility, Trump has not. Thus, Hillary possesses the maturity required to be a president.
Clinton also has the upper hand when it comes to education policy. While she has laid out a comprehensive plan to improve education in America, Trump has laid out just one idea on the subject. He wants to invest $20 billion dollars to give 11,000,000 students a choice to opt out of their public school system and attend a private or charter schools instead. This plan is ignorant and destructive. Trump fails to see that while putting kids in private schools may improve their education, it will ultimately destroy the quality of public schools in America for those still attending them. Trump has devised a plan that will only worsen the problem of poor public education in this country. Trump also plans to repeal Common Core, which ensures the consistency of curriculums across public schools. Eliminating this program would allow public schools to skip over issues like slavery or evolution in an effort to indoctrinate children with a certain set of values.
Clinton, on the other hand, has put forth a constructive plan to improve education in America. While she does support charter schools, she also realizes these schools alone cannot solve the problem. First, Clinton plans to make pre-school accessible to all four-year olds, which ensures that all children regardless of economic standing enter grade school on equal footing. She also plans to fund the rebuilding of public schools that are falling apart, providing students with resources they can use to enhance their learning. With these improvements, the efficacy of public education will rise.
Clinton has also committed herself to forming cooperative and caring relationships. At a UN speech in Beijing, Clinton declared, “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.” This message exemplifies Clinton’s goal to create strong and positive relationships between men and women.
Clinton’s stance is in strident contrast with Trump’s, as he has verbally and (allegedly) physically assaulted women throughout his life. The most obvious example is the aforementioned Access-Hollywood tape. Regardless of whether or not Trump actually committed the sexual assault he alluded to in this tape, the tape revealed his lack of respect for women. Rather than viewing them as equals, he views them as people who he can use for his own pleasure whenever he wants.
Whereas Clinton plans on fostering productive relationships between all people in this country, Trump has again and again shown his tendency to create divides between the people of this nation.
Clinton also has shown the ability to create positive relationships during her time in Washington. According to a report done by Susan Davis of NPR, Republicans with whom Clinton worked, during her time as Senator of New York, respected her work ethic. Republicans John Warner, Peter King, and Tom Reynolds all praised her diligence and willingness to reach across the aisle to accomplish goals. Clearly, Clinton knows how to create positive relationships with people regardless of the differences between them.
Trump, on the other hand, has alienated most of the GOP. For example, in one of many tweet storms, Trump called Speaker of the House Paul Ryan an “ineffective leader.” In addition, many Republicans have joined a “Never Trump” campaign, essentially rejecting their party’s nominee for President. This anti-Trump attitude from within the Republican party suggests that Trump cannot maintain productive relationships with those around him. Therefore, he cannot hold up this core value to which students and faculty hold themselves to every day.
Clinton’s 30 years of experience as a politician demonstrates her commitment to community. While she helped children and families, and provided millions with healthcare, Trump was sued for discriminating against people of color in housing.
Lastly, and most importantly, Clinton respects human differences, whereas Trump discriminates based on them. As previously mentioned, Trump has disrespected Muslims, Mexicans, immigrants, and women. Clinton’s campaign motto, “stronger together,” highlights her belief that the diversity of America makes the country stronger.
Trump’s motto “Make America Great Again” implies he hopes to harken back to a time in which America was less diverse.
Trump’s character and actions throughout the campaign have sought to divide the American public. Therefore, he does not represent the core values of this high school. Clinton, on the other hand, has sought to celebrate the differences that truly make this country great. The choice is clear: to move forward as a united country or regress as a divided one. The Bradford chooses progress. The Bradford chooses Hillary Clinton.