In less than five weeks our nation will elect its next president and recent polls suggest that a Trump Presidency is a very real prospect. It is frightening to think of this possibility and terrifying to think that one-half the country actually thinks of him as the better candidate. In 2000, when George W. Bush was first elected President, I became despondent.  However, I took solace in the fact that our democracy is a system of checks and balances. No matter the ideological differences between the two major parties, no matter the considerable influence of special interest groups, in the end legislation is always a matter of compromise, of back room deals and marginal change.  Ours is too big a nation and too unwieldy a democracy to change course quickly and unexpectedly. However what I did not anticipate, is the havoc that could be wrought by our Commander-in-chief in profoundly disturbing the world order. As Americans, we shoulder the responsibility of electing a President who inflicted considerable damage based on flimsy intelligence that warned of “weapons of mass destruction.”

Unfortunately candidate Trump makes President George Bush look like a very good president, if not a great one. He has shown contempt for our democratic institutions.

Trump’s grasp of policy is that of a fifth grader who has slept through his civics lesson. He cannot hide his dislike for immigrants, minorities, and others who don’t look or think like him.

If elected President he has promised to overturn international treaties and cozy up to Putin. Perhaps he sees in Putin a mirror image of himself—a demagogue who has scant regard for democratic institutions and the rule of law. Trump has the ability to create havoc both domestically and abroad. His charm and appeal lies in dividing people and in bringing out the worst in us. “Let’s Make American Great Again,” is a fool’s promise meant to mislead and divide. It is a dangerous call to nationalism in its worst sense as evidenced by the hatred that binds people at Trump rallies.

Candidate Clinton is a seasoned politician.  Her experience as a Senator from New York, as First Lady for two presidential terms, and as Secretary of State under President Obama have plunged her headlong into the rough and tumble of Washington politics. Her grasp of international affairs is second to none. More importantly she has a vision for America, one that is based on ideology, pragmatism, and policy, and not on the vague promise of greatness. Her detractors in Congress tried their best to burn her at the stake of Libya, only to find that she came out unsinged. The bar is always high for a trailblazer and she will find her path to a historic presidency no easier.

This election is not about gun ownership, abortion rights, or Supreme Court nominations. This election is unfortunately not an ideological battle. It is a battle for the heart and soul of America, a nation built on the promise of freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In voting for Trump we will be rolling back centuries of hard fought liberties that were promised by our founding fathers and realized by our collective actions as a nation, often at great cost.  A vote for Trump will be a betrayal of America.  Hillary Clinton is the clear choice.

Read our magazine for articles on the upcoming elections. Through the blur of the school week as Mondays collapse into Fridays, step back and take a clear look at goals for your children. Our cover story, “How Much is Too Much?” by Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan, and the essay, “More than a GPA,” by Maya Murthy will help you understand the pressures faced by high school students to excel. Our essays on hiking the Grand Canyon, film and book reviews, health and wellness, recipes and a fictional story will expand your mental boundaries.

We work hard to expand your mental boundaries and moodscapes and I can’t be prouder!

Nirupama Vaidhyanathan

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