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Hillary Clinton
Credit: USNews.com

Manhattan Digest has always been an apolitical entity. We don’t take sides in elections. We are a positive media outlet that aims to steer clear of the division and rancor that colors the comments section of websites discussing political matters. Manhattan Digest likes to focus on culture, daily living, celebrity culture, LGBT issues, and other non-political subjects with the goal of bringing out the best in our readers. A difficult task when our current political climate is bringing out the worst in some Americans.  However, this election is one where the stakes could not be higher and our nation’s future hangs in the balance. Therefore, in such a consequential election in a consequential time, Manhattan Digest is getting off the sidelines and declaring: We’re With Her. Manhattan Digest enthusiastically endorses former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton for President of the United States.

In such turbulent times for our country, it is important to have a steady, knowledgeable, and an experienced hand at the switch. Hillary Clinton possesses all of these qualities. She is perhaps the most prepared candidate to ever seek the Presidency. Hillary Clinton’s years as an outspoken First Lady, industrious Senator from New York, and highly skilled diplomat as Secretary of State have shown us who she is and the leader she will be as President of the United States.  Hillary Clinton was a trailblazer even before her years in the public eye. As a lawyer for the Children’s Defense Fund, she worked to stop racial segregation in southern public schools, advocated for the integration of students with disabilities into public schools, and as a young lawyer, went undercover to expose gender discrimination in the military.

Hillary Clinton defied the traditional role of a first lady both as First Lady of Arkansas and as First Lady of the United States. While First Lady of Arkansas, Hillary Clinton fought for much needed reforms to the education system in that state such as testing teachers and setting statewide standards for Arkansas’ students. As First Lady of the United States, she became the embodiment of the American working woman by continuing to pursue her career in law and becoming the first woman to be made a partner in her law firm.

However, Hillary Clinton’s most defining moment was in 1994 at the United Nations Conference on Women held in Beijing. Then First Lady Hillary Clinton courageously stood up to countries like China in defense of women and girls around the world by declaring that “Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights once and for all” and condemned before an international forum, the practice of murdering babies and young girls in Asian countries simply because they are girls. Clinton took this stand even as some in her husband’s administration urged against it out of fear of disrupting the profitable trade relationship between the United States and China.

As New Yorkers, we saw firsthand, Hillary Clinton’s commitment to public service when she was our Senator for eight years. Senator Clinton was put to the test just nine months into her tenure when New York City experienced the worst terrorist attack in American history on September 11, 2001.  Senator Clinton worked across the aisle with a Republican president, a Republican Senate, as well as the Republican Mayor of New York City and the Republican Governor of New York State to secure funds for the rebuilding of lower Manhattan. Senator Clinton was among the first to call on the Environmental Protection Agency to test the air for contamination in and around Ground Zero and when it was confirmed that first responders were becoming ill because of the air quality at Ground Zero, Senator Clinton worked across the aisle to secure the passage of the Zadroga Act which provided medical coverage to first responders afflicted with 9/11 related illnesses.

Secretary Clinton has always been an ally for the cause of LGBT equality. Clinton’s senate career is marked by co-sponsorships of bills such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), voted in favor of removing restrictions on adoption for same-sex couples, and fought for inclusion of the LGBT community into the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act to prevent and prosecute hate crimes targeting LGBT Americans.  As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton continued her advocacy for LGBT rights within the state department and around the globe.

Within the State Department, Secretary Clinton used her new mantle to foster a culture of inclusion by offering protections and benefits given to spouses of diplomats to same-sex partners of ambassadors and other state department employees. Secretary Clinton also spearheaded a change to passport rules so that trans Americans can obtain international identification that is reflective of their true genders. LGBT rights became a cornerstone of American foreign policy during Hillary Clinton’s four years as Secretary of State.  The crimes towards LGBT people in oppressive regimes and in dangerous war zones became an area of pointed focus in Hillary Clinton’s State Department.

In 2011, Secretary Clinton took this fight to the United Nations where the international peacekeeping body passed the first ever LGBT rights human rights resolution. In another courageous display on the global stage, Hillary Clinton declared before countries with atrocious LGBT rights records like Russia and Rwanda that “Gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.”  Secretary Clinton made good on her proclamation by imposing crippling sanctions on regimes that are deemed oppressive to the LGBT community such as Iran. Some in the LGBT rights movement have criticized Secretary Clinton for what they see as her relatively recent declaration of support for marriage equality. Those concerns are valid but Secretary Clinton’s record on LGBT rights is verifiable and in this race, unmatched.

Hillary Clinton offers an insightful, pragmatic, and bipartisan approach to economic issues. The economy under a Clinton presidency promises an environment where entrepreneurship, opportunity, and innovation will be nurtured and where Wall St. will be held accountable through and thorough and sensible regulation. Clinton’s tax proposal’s are paid for and ensure that the wealthy will pay their fair share of taxes and create opportunities to strengthen the middle class through infrastructure, spending and investing in alternative energy sources facilitating energy independence and making the United States the hub of the new Green economy.

Electing Hillary Clinton as President would also secure America’s place in the world using smart power. Hillary Clinton offers strong and steady leadership, which would serve as an effective counterbalance to bad actors like Russia, China, Syria, and Iran on the global stage. In times of terror and mass shootings, Hillary Clinton has offered solid plans to both defeat ISIS and ensure that firearms do not end up in the hands of criminals and those who suffer from mental illness. Secretary Clinton’s experience in the decision leading up to the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden in 201l, her role in the Israeli-Hamas cease-fire in 2012, and her contributions to the initial discussions surrounding the Iran Nuclear Agreement, make her superbly qualified to protect our national security.

Secretary Clinton’s qualifications and depth of experience would shine in any election scenario but they are particularly illuminated by the presence of her Republican opponent, Donald Trump. Donald Trump, to his credit, made a point of sending a positive message to the LGBT community in his nomination acceptance speech at the GOP convention in July. He is the first GOP nominee in modern history to make any overtures to LGBT voters. However, Trump’s positive outreach to the LGBT community is dwarfed by his dangerous flirtation with Russian President, Vladimir Putin, whose regime has led to the persecution and oppression of LGBT Russians. In addition, Mr. Trump has surrounded himself with the who’s who of the Anti-Gay movement such as Tony Perkins of the anti-gay Family Research Council and 21st century Anita Bryant, former congresswoman Michele Bachmann.  These associations with the elite of the anti-gay movement in this country render Mr. Trump’s earlier positive overtures to the LGBT community meaningless.

Mr. Trump’s presence in the 2016 election has also accelerated the rapid decline in civility in our political process through his embrace of racist, xenophobic, and sexist rhetoric. Mr. Trump has also shown he is easily baited, engages in sixth grade school yard bully tactics targeting everyone from his political opponents to a gold star military family to a reporter with a disability. These are qualities unbecoming of someone running for the most powerful position in the world.

We at Manhattan Digest recognize that Secretary Clinton is not without flaws. Secretary Clinton should address her issues with honesty and trustworthiness by taking a more transparent approach to governing and avoid the kinds of questions that have dogged her campaign from the onset about her use of a private email server while serving as Secretary of State. With all of the above taken into consideration, Manhattan Digest emphatically endorses former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. We urge our readers to make their voices heard on November 8 and vote for the candidate with the maturity, experience, knowledge, and leadership skills that the office of President of the United States requires: Hillary Rodham Clinton.