The choice for president of the United States couldn't be more obvious in 2016. There is no reason to wait until November to make our endorsement of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in this critical election.

The choice is clear in large part because Democrats are offering an experienced and responsible public official with long experience in domestic and foreign affairs. And it is clear because the Republican Party has countered with Donald Trump, a narcissist, bigot, vulgarian and unethical businessman who has exploited and magnified the worst instincts to be found in America.

Hillary Clinton broke the mold as first lady by becoming involved in policy, and while the health reform measures she was the architect of didn't become law she set the stage for the landmark reforms of President Obama. As a popular senator from New York she worked effectively across the aisle with Republicans, suggesting she could break through the Washington gridlock as president. As secretary of state, she implemented a responsible, realistic foreign policy that was a welcome switch from the cowboy adventurism of the George W. Bush years.

Candidate Clinton actually offers policies, which don't get the attention they should in an election campaign too often dominated by the latest Trump folly. As one example, her economic reform plan, based largely on tax cuts for the middle class, targeted tax hikes, and an ambitious infrastructure improvement plan, is thoughtful and realistic.


As is the case with her husband, Secretary of State Clinton is routinely her own worst enemy. It was a mistake to set up a private email server as secretary of state, a mistake compounded by her reluctance to be forthcoming when the issue emerged. The promised firewall between the secretary of state's office and the Clinton Foundation that would prevent special interest from seeking undo influence wasn't built.

However, everything else concocted by the Clinton-hating, right wing smear machine is nonsense. The investigation of the Benghazi tragedy by several Republican-led committees that could find no culpability by the secretary of state is a prime example.

Her opponent's latest campaign team is trying to rehabilitate his image but the true Trump had long been exposed. His willingness to flip-flop on policies like immigration reform reveal him to be a consummate pol, not the anti-politician he bills himself as.

Mr. Trump's scapegoating of Hispanics, Muslims, blacks, women and others, make him uniquely unfit to lead a diverse nation. His "policies" are barely worthy of the term, as they are generally superficial and subject to dramatic overnight change. His lack of government experience is a weakness, not a selling point, in this complex world. Mr. Trump apparently didn't know as of earlier this month that Russian troops were in Ukraine and his bromance with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is alarming. More alarming is the thought of this reality TV show host with access to the nuclear codes.

Mr. Trump's business success, such as it is, has been built on the backs of the small businesses he stiffed when he filed for bankruptcy to escape debts. That aside, a recent New York Times investigation found that companies he own currently have at least $650 million in debt, hardly a recommendation for his ability to handle the U.S. economy. His refusal to release his personal income taxes invites speculation on what more he is trying to hide.

The Eagle is proud to be in the vanguard along with the three other American newspapers that have so far endorsed Hillary Clinton. We believe that in shattering the glass ceiling she has the potential to be a great president.

In contrast, Donald Trump, given his erratic personality, his strongman tendencies, his disdain for the rule of law and the Constitution, and his utter lack of principles, poses a genuine threat to America. His election would be a repudiation of everything the United States has long stood for before the world.