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August 9, 2016

Elephant Journal’s Endorsement of Hillary Clinton: here’s why. {Editor’s Letter}

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We welcome other points of view as long as thoughtful: elephantjournal.com/submit

 

We are not a partisan publication. But we do cover politics—they are a part of life, and “the mindful life,” our editorial focus for 14 years, now.

And, yes, we seek to use our influence. To bring attention to causes, big or small, like avoiding plastic straws or furthering genuine, awkward conversations around equal rights. Like creating bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly communities, or saving the Bonobos, or treating heroin addicts instead of merely punishing them. Like saving our namesake, the noble elephant, or historic preservation vs. greedy developers, or compassionate elder care or…

…the importance of who will serve as the next President of the United States of America—a concern everyone everywhere should share, since what happens in the U.S. will affect the rest of our world.

We are not, and do not pretend to be, a publication without values. We are independent media. We practice responsible journalism ethics, where relevant (we also share poetry and creative writing, where such ethics are irrelephant). Our values are, fundamentally, about equality, about kindness, about responsibility, and about mindful communication—about not vilifying those we might disagree with. We generally, therefore, come down on the “liberal” or “progressive” spectrum—equal rights, environmental responsibility. But there is much to love about historic conservative and libertarian and socialist perspectives, as well. And, most importantly, we walk our talk by welcoming all thoughtful perspectives, even those we disagree with. If you want to write about Mitt Romney or Trump or Jill Stein or Bernie, go for it. Even if you want to write about how you think equality is horrible, go for it. We may disagree with you, but if your perspective is offered thoughtfully, well then, we have our comment section to air our perspective. And hopefully you, and we, can learn from one another.

That said, we do have a point of view. Our point of view is not partisan (i.e., our minds are not made up first), but values-driven—we look for who reflects our values best.

In this election, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will win. Other candidates are in the race, and I wish them luck. We would do well to have viable third and fourth parties. My mother lives in Canada, and I can tell you that three parties is its own curse (Stephen Harper only won because of the three-party system).

But as long as Hillary or Donald will win, it is our duty to put our support upon the one who will best handle the issues of equality and opportunity for all (not just the very rich), for healthcare and climate change, international affairs and civility in everyday life. If you think our choice is of no surprise, that is its own message of wisdom.

The choice is clear: Elephant Journal endorses Hillary Clinton for President of the United States of America.

She is not perfect. She does not claim to be. I did not support her in the primary. But she is qualified: she has done her homework as Senator (two terms), on healthcare, as First Lady, and Secretary of State.

She is strong on women’s rights, and employment and health issues, including the repeal of the Hyde Amendment.

She is strong on how to reduce the flow of illegal firearms in the U.S. without affecting the rights and access of law-abiding citizens.

She is surprisingly experienced on effective bank regulation, specifically “controls on high-frequency trading and stronger curbs on bank speculation in derivatives.”

She is experienced in international affairs, diplomacy (with President Obama, she helped to “repair relations around the world that had been completely trashed by the previous administration”). She is too hawkish, macho, for my taste—but her discipline is far and away superior to that of her trash-talking treaty-tearing opponent.

She is strong on climate change, in an era when we are out of time, and cannot afford a misstep of four or eight years.

She is strong on middle-class opportunity, not just the concerns of the very, very, very rich.

She is strong on the rights of immigrants and their role in our great country.

If you doubt or question any of the above (as I have), you have only to look to her alternative: Donald Trump.

I would like to see Hillary release her speeches. I would like to see her be forthright on the emails. Benghazi is a conspiracy-theorist fever dream, and such haters would do well to look at our many successes in keeping America safe (Bin Laden, anyone) and our many real challenges in defeating ISIL, instead of seeking to score political points on such. I would like to see Hillary appoint Bernie Sanders to a position of real responsibility (head of DNC, like his Vermont gov’nr predecessor, Dr. Howard Dean—Bernie could use his grassroots fundraising prowess, as did Dean, to encourage a generation of citizen activists).

Our endorsement of Hillary Clinton does not mean our articles should be overtly biased. Bias is preconception divorced from facts. We will seek to see clearly. And our articles come from you, not us (we have no writing staff, though we pay our best writers among you).

So, whatever your view, as long as thoughtful—send it to us, and we’ll edit and feature it.

“I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

 

Yours in the Vision of an Enlightened Society,

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Bonus: This deli will make America great again (i.redd.it)

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