Our Opinion: Vote for American values, democratic principles

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Our Opinion: Vote for American values, democratic principles

Photo credit/ Katlynn Whitaker

Photo credit/ Katlynn Whitaker

Photo credit/ Katlynn Whitaker

The Editorial Board

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This year’s election has boiled down to two of the most controversial and divisive candidates in the history of United States presidential races. Next week, voters will have to make a choice between the two major party candidates or choose a third-party hopeful.

Since announcing his candidacy in June 2015, the Republican candidate for the presidency, Donald Trump, has shown that he is not qualified for the position. Time and time again, his words have proven divisive and are filled with prejudice, and his actions are not befitting a President. As you prepare to cast your ballot on November 8, we urge you to remember the following:

Freedom of the press is central to U.S. democracy, and part of the Bill of Rights.

Donald Trump does not believe in press freedom.

Donald Trump’s campaign denied The Wood Word press credentials at both of his last two campaign events in the Scranton area. While The Wood Word may not be officially on “the blacklist”of press outlets banned by the Trump campaign, his anti-press sentiments have been directed at our reporters. While the Clinton campaign granted The Wood Word access to all local events, the Trump campaign did not.

In the U.S., all men and women are created equal and deserve to be treated equally.

Donald Trump does not respect women as his equals.

Trump has been heavily criticized for comments made on a tape that surfaced in which he made lewd remarks about getting away with sexual assault, because, he said, “when you’re a star, [women] let you do it.” He has since attempted to apologize, merely dismissing his words as “locker room talk.”

Despite these comments, in the third and final debate of this race, Trump boasted that nobody respects women more than him. In the next breath, he called Clinton “a nasty woman.” Trump’s hypocrisy should not be ignored.

On top of Trump’s comments, at least 15 women have come forward claiming Trump sexually assaulted them in some way; one of those women alleges rape. These sexual assault claims cannot be dismissed. Sexual assault, or even talk of it, is not a fitting behavior for the President of the United States.

If Trump’s attacks on women, who account for 51 percent of the United States population, aren’t convincing enough about his unfitness to serve, his remarks about Hispanics, the disabled, African Americans and Muslims should also serve as a serious warning.

The United States is a nation founded by immigrants in search of religious freedom. Freedom of religion is in the Bill of Rights.

Donald Trump does not support religious freedom or compassionate pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Trump’s comments regarding Hispanics and Middle Easterners, in which he called Mexicans rapists and criminals and proposed to ban an entire religion from traveling and immigrating to the United States are absurd, logistically impossible, deeply troubling and racist.

The candidate’s plan to vet Syrian refugees shows just how ignorant he is of global politics. To say that the United States must not allow refugees or Muslims into the country because they pose a threat highlights a xenophobic sentiment that is unbecoming of a nation built on immigration and religious freedom.

The United States is a free and democratic nation.

Donald Trump supports Russian President Vladimir Putin, an autocrat who is a threat to a global democracy.

Putin is a product of the Soviet Union, and his policies reflect that. However, Donald Trump has shown admiration for the autocratic Russian president and actually supports Russia’s actions in Syria. Russian intervention has worsened an already-volatile situation that has cost numerous lives.

The election process is a democratic one, and candidates are expected to be respectful of it. If he loses, Donald Trump has refused to accept the outcome of the election and provide a concession speech.

Do we really want a president who won’t accept the outcome of the democratic system on which our country was built? Concession speeches are part of the tradition of the presidential race. They demonstrate respect for the democratic process and for American voters. Do we really want a president who does not respect the democratic process and values of the American political system?

To bring this election down to a much more local scale, consider this: Were Trump a candidate for President of Marywood, he would not qualify. Nothing about his words or actions thus far have reflected our core values.

The Wood Word Editorial Board cannot support a racist, sexist candidate for President of the United States. Donald Trump’s attitudes and ignorance on foreign policy are alarming, and his temperament is not befitting of a U.S. President. It is in the nation’s best interest not to elect a president who will divide the nation and increase the threat of global and domestic unrest.

We ask you, our readers, to vote and to cast your ballot for American values and democratic principles. Vote for anyone but Donald Trump.

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