It's not just GOP politicians that are jumping off the Republican presidential ship this year. Reliably conservative newspapers all over the country are abandoning Donald Trump and endorsing Hillary Clinton. I have already brought you the Clinton endorsements of the Dallas Morning News, the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Arizona Republic, the San Diego Union-Tribune, and the Columbus Dispatch. Now a large newspaper in one of the reddest states in America has endorsed Clinton -- The Birmingham News in Alabama. Here's what their editorial board has written:
Donald Trump must not be president.
Alabama has voted for every Republican candidate since Ronald Reagan, a man that captured our imagination with a hopeful view of America as a shining city upon a hill. Nearly 40 years later, Donald Trump offers a deeply cynical view of an America in ruin, an America that seems to exist only in his own dangerous mind. Even before the revelation of video evidence of Trump making lewd, demeaning comments advocating sexual advances on women against their will, we knew that he was unfit to lead this country. We unite with people across this nation — people of all parties, including an increasing number of Republicans — to reject the pessimism of his candidacy.
Following the national party realignment of the mid-20th century, anger and distrust of the Democratic Party runs as deep in Alabama as anywhere in the country. And while more than 300,000 people supported her in the state primary, distrust of Hillary Clinton runs even deeper for many.
But 2016 isn't a normal election cycle, and Donald Trump isn't a normal presidential candidate. Nor is he a normal Republican. He is a man who is frighteningly unfit to be president. And she is his only roadblock.
Any endorsement of Clinton will be a bitter pill to swallow for many in our state. For some, her lifelong record of public service is the mark of a career politician, rather than a public servant. We've all watched her struggle to defend her emails, her charitable foundation and her record on foreign policy. Still, Hillary Clinton is more than qualified to be president, and in winning her party's nomination has reinforced the promise that our democratic process is equally open to all.
We've watched Clinton weather every challenge — public and personal — that's faced her over the last 30 years and, unlike Donald Trump's late night Twitter meltdowns, Clinton has consistently remained presidential in her response and demeanor. In truth, her presidency is fairly easy to predict. Through her time as first lady in Arkansas, first lady in the White House, as a U.S. senator, as secretary of state and two campaigns for the presidency, two trends have emerged: Clinton genuinely cares about children and families, but she is also an opportunist.
Like her husband, President Bill Clinton, she has built a political career out of triangulating to the center. She's less liberal than President Barack Obama and less conservative than President George W. Bush — and after 16 years of volatility, she is likely to maintain the slow growth of the status quo.
We could do worse than four years of a stable hand that understands how government works and is willing to compromise with the Republican opposition. Donald Trump, in contrast, is an unstable force that would do lasting damage to America, at home and abroad.
The list of Trump's disqualifications is lengthy. And he adds new ones daily. This weekend, an unprecedented number of Republicans, including Rep. Martha Roby, Rep. Bradley Byrne, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Gov. Robert Bentley, have chosen to speak out and condemn his candidacy.
Clinton has been caught in lies, but Donald Trump trashes truth far beyond the standards that even our broken political system accepts.
He is a narcissistic, childish bully who has mocked women, Americans with disabilities, veterans, Gold Star families, judges, immigrants, the working poor, people of faith, Muslim Americans, Jewish Americans, refugees, people with weight issues and any other group that challenges his inflated view of himself. A Trump presidency could send the Republican Party down a dark, exclusionary path, that would be tough to recover from.
He is both privately and publicly at odds with much that Alabamians value.
Trump is not a true conservative — he would expand government and suspend individual rights. This is a man who has never turned the other cheek in his life and scoffs at caring for the least of these, contrary to values that Christians hold dear. And a man who can write off a $900 million loss on his taxes definitely doesn't understand blue collar workers.
Alabama may have been host to many of Trump's largest crowds during the Republican primary, but it has become clear that his policies would hurt many here.
Rather than bring jobs home, Trump's pledge to break trade agreements such as NAFTA and to implement a tariff on goods coming from Mexico and China could ignite a trade war, crippling port cities like Mobile and stunting growth in emerging economies in Birmingham and Huntsville. Trump is selling a message to Ohio and Pennsylvania that he's going to restore their manufacturing promise; but how will that benefit right-to-work states like Alabama? How will his antagonism of foreign powers affect foreign investment in Alabama, which is responsible for the state becoming a leader in auto and aerospace manufacturing?
If the Brexit fallout is any indication, stock markets could plunge in the event of a Trump election, depleting Alabamians of their retirement. And Trump is ill-equipped to turn the American economy around, considering his business strategy has been to take advantage of America at her weakest (after the housing collapse or the Sept. 11 terror attacks) and he can't declare bankruptcy for the United States and write off his losses.
Trump shows a staggering ignorance of world affairs and the issues the next president faces. He dismisses our obligations to NATO; he invites China to "go into" North Korea and settle things in that part of the world, and he has a disturbing infatuation with Vladimir Putin. For all his talk about demonstrating American strength, he constantly undermines our troops. He has, at various times, mocked POWs like Sen. John McCain, veterans struggling with PTSD and the intelligence of our generals. Trump is the type of man that would unilaterally invade Iran because he fears talk radio would label him weak if he doesn't.
His pledge to restore "law and order" by implementing the unconstitutional "stop and frisk" policies of New York threatens to set racial progress in Alabama back 50 years. Many have attempted to frame him as a carbon copy of George Wallace, but Alabamians should look to more recent politicians for a true picture of what a Trump presidency could look like. Trump embodies the worse tenets of disgraced former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard, suspended Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, and humiliated Gov. Robert Bentley. Trump is a man that will ignore the rule of law, use his office for personal gain, and has a history of lascivious affairs and lewd comments caught on tape. Even his campaign is self-serving, with millions in campaign donations spent on his family companies.
The 2016 election is not a choice between two candidates equally fit to serve, or a choice between the ideology of two parties. Trump is a unique threat and in an election where supporting third party candidates splits a national vote, we see but one option. Clinton may be the second least popular major party candidate in 50 years but she is also one of the most qualified candidates in history. And ultimately, if it isn't her, it's him. And that would be a disaster for America and the world.