Opinion Outpost Nov. 1


Final countdown: Trump or Hillary?

… The Republican and Democratic nominees leave voters with no real choice. That’s nuts, because it implies that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are equally unpalatable and it misunderstands “choice” as profoundly as Trump misreads polls. He and Clinton may not be the political buffet of our dreams. But one entree is perilous, while the other has tired ingredients in a suboptimal sauce. Salmonella or salmon with cucumber and dill: That’s a choice. I know what I’m putting on my plate.

… Even if we grant that voters aren’t so much rushing to her as fleeing him, they’re fleeing for specific reasons. They’re expressing particular values. Those reasons and values are her marching orders, and there’s nothing murky about them.

Frank Bruni
The New York Times

… We don’t applaud Wiki-Leaks or the theft of information, and these hacks deserve a firm U.S. government response. But the emails are public and they will confirm for many Americans their worst suspicions about the people who run their government. …

American voters shouldn’t worry merely about the emails released before the election. What emails or memos exist that these hackers, Russian or not, could be withholding for leverage after the election with another President Clinton?

Editorial Board
The Wall Street Journal

You are a Republican. You believe President Obama has been a disappointment if not a failure. You think Hillary Clinton is wrong on most issues, and you worry about her judgment.

You are agonizing about what to do this year, and I understand why. Donald Trump is clearly distasteful. Yet he at least seems likely to appoint conservative judges and sign Republican bills. So what are you supposed to do? …

The best path is the hardest one. Only an unambiguous rejection of Trump will banish Trumpism for 2020 and beyond. Only a lopsided loss, with millions of Republicans so repelled by him that they vote for someone they never imagined they would, sends the message that bigotry, lying and authoritarianism violate Republican values — your values. …

At the end of the 1964 ad, the man says: “I’ve thought about just not voting in this election, just staying home. But you can’t do that, because that’s saying you don’t care who wins, and I do care.” …

This year, the most important statement that any Republican can make is clear: I am not Trump.

David Leonhardt
The New York Times

Donald Trump wears his character flaws on his sleeve. Hillary Clinton seeks to prevent documentation of hers, even when the law requires it. Yet despite her best efforts, facts about Mrs. Clinton that are now public should trouble voters more than any of Mr. Trump’s remarks. …

But why should Republicans have all the fun? Democratic voters have every right to be ashamed of their nominee. …

Conflict of interest is the Clinton business model. And political influence is the product. That’s how Hillary and Bill managed to gross more than a Rolling Stones tour by delivering speeches.

Voters who wish to reject the Clintonization of America’s governing institutions have a choice on Nov. 8. They can feel good about themselves by writing in the name of a third-party candidate. Or they can do right by the country by selecting the only person who can stop the Clintons: a very flawed candidate named Donald Trump.

James Freeman
The Wall Street Journal

Do you think Clinton thinks she’s a shoo-in? Publicly, she’s not talking that way. And there’s no reason to get overconfident. Florida seems to be tightening. There’s no telling what might happen, given the fact that we live in a country where Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for president.

But you’d definitely rather be the campaign with Barack and Michelle Obama rallying the troops than the one that has to rely on Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich.

Gail Collins
The New York Times

Clearly, a lot of people have been thinking about the vexing question. My question now is: What does its answer tell us about our political future? A hopeful answer is that Mr. Trump was a reaction to the careful, empty, consultant-crafted insincerity of the past, and next cycle’s candidate will be a reaction to the mad, hypercharged, undirected electricity of this one. …

Watching the next day, online, I couldn’t stop thinking of what we all know. Oh, how the two big parties have let these good people down.

Peggy Noonan
The Wall Street Journal

Stop celebrating, Democrats. … The end of a principled, intellectually coherent, organizationally robust center-right party is bad for democracy. It’s also bad for Democrats, given some of the dumb ideas flourishing on the left that desperately need a thoughtful counterweight.

But even on priorities on which liberals are likely to make progress, the lack of an honest, articulate, respected adversary is troubling. That’s because liberals need a worthy intellectual rival to sharpen their thinking and keep their own bad ideas in check.

Catherine Rampell
The Washington Post

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