Hillary Clinton has demonstrated through experience and the crucible of this election that she is the only choice for president. (Photo: Getty)

Hillary Clinton has demonstrated through experience and the crucible of this election that she is the only choice for president. (Photo: Getty)

Hillary Clinton should be the next President of the United States. The decision should be a no-brainer for anyone who wants a president who will be true to the nation’s founding principles “conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

President Abraham Lincoln solemnly spoke those words at Gettysburg in 1863, following one of the most horrific battles of the Civil War.

While this year’s election hardly rises to the test of our liberty faced by those who fought, back then, it poses a similar question: What kind of nation is the United States?

The Civil War resolved a fundamental question about the character of our country; slavery was banished, once for all, and a course was set for the United States to become a beacon of freedom and equality.

This presidential campaign is historic because of the possibility a woman could become president for the first time in our nations’s history.

Clinton’s election would represent a great leap in progress toward equal rights for women, just as Barack Obama’s election in 2008 was a major step forward for racial equality.

But that’s not the only reason we urge your support. Much more is at stake: This election is also a test, once again, of our core principles.

In that regard, Donald Trump makes the decision easy in our mind. His campaign represents the worst in American democracy. His demagoguery has gone so far beyond the limits of decency it should be disqualifying on its face.

Yet, there’s no denying he’s tapped a vein of voter resentment with his divisive politics.

That resentment is understandable given the changes the country has gone through over the past four decades as economic globalization has taken hold and changed the way we work and live.

Factory jobs have disappeared by the thousands and once prosperous middle-class communities have declined. The certainty that an individual with only a high school education could work at the same job for 30 years, raise a family and have enough money for a decent retirement no longer exists for many.

The external threats against our nation have also changed. The Cold War was easily understandable. It pitted the United States and its allies against the monolithic Soviet empire. It represented a clear ideological difference with our own values. But the Cold War ended and our threats changed with it.

Our enemies became amorphous, driven by a radical interpretation of Islam. Without the power or means to directly challenge the United States and other Western democracies, they have resorted to what’s known as “asymmetrical warfare,” base on small-scale attacks, terror and propaganda.

Meanwhile, relations between Russia, China and the United States and its Western allies continue to be uneasy, driven by age-old economic, geopolitical and national security concerns.

Added to that are such issues as global warming. Whether you believe in it or not, steps still need to be taken to address global environmental concerns that will require the cooperation of all nations.

Finally, there is the failure of leadership in Washington. Through eight years of the Obama presidency, the Republican-controlled Congress has waged an unprecedented, scorched-earth campaign of obstructionism that has held the country hostage and ignored the pressing problems we face.

The whole goal has been to discredit the first African-American President, much like Trump’s odious and unconscionable “birther” campaign. These are not the qualities that suggest either Trump or the Republican party possess what this nation needs to bring it together.

Trump’s election would validate those tactics, not repudiate them as they should be.

Whats more, nothing–nothing–in Donald Trump’s demeanor or background as a businessman suggests he is remotely capable of meeting our challenges domestically or abroad.

He complains about unfairness and “rigging,” but he’s gotten a virtual free pass on numerous outrageous and false campaign claims, six bankruptcies, his alleged Trump University fraud, his ongoing sex assault scandal and more than 3,500 lawsuits filed against him–many by investors, small business partners and employees whom he has stiffed.

In each case, he’s merely repeated lies over and over, refusing to apologize, or admit he’s wrong.

His brash sloganeering has done nothing but ramp up the divisiveness without providing any concrete solutions. The policies he has set forth are a Brooklyn Bridge of false promises.

But what’s most troubling about Trump is his refusal to provide his tax returns and his obfuscation, if not outright lying, about important questions regarding his finances, his health and his connections to foreign governments and international financiers, especially in Russia.

His embrace of Vladimir Putin, his reckless and uninformed statements about nuclear weapons, his threats to use military force unilaterally on a hand gesture and his denigration of NATO are nothing less than naive and frightening.

His refusal to commit to accepting the results of the election are an insult to American democracy. His pandering to racist and white supremacist elements in our nation is disheartening. His rhetoric against illegal immigrants and all Muslims is patently racist.

Again, each and every issue is disqualifying on its face. Taken together, they make him profoundly unqualified to be the next president of the United States.

Our problems and challenges are complex and will require great skill, experience and resolve to address them without sacrificing our fundamental freedoms. Only one candidate is capable of accomplishing that: Hillary Clinton.

Clinton has been in the public spotlight for 30 years. Going back to her time as First Lady in husband Bill Clinton’s administration, she has been under an intense spotlight.

Every move she’s made as First Lady, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State has been picked apart by her political adversaries with a level of scrutiny unprecedented for anyone in public life.

There’s no question she has personality flaws, has made mistakes and questionable judgments in office and, at times, disassembled for political reasons. But they hardly rise to the level of disqualification to be president, otherwise who would be worthy enough to hold that office?

Certainly not any politician, past or present, or any previous president for that matter. Definitely not Trump.

Despite numerous ginned up investigations by her enemies over the years, she’s never been shown to have done anything outside the law.

The investigation into Benghazi was a vicious smear campaign. Even the mother of Ambassador Stevens, who lost his life in the attack, says the investigations were politically motivated and Benghazi was used as a political football.

The interminable investigation into her email practices has been so blown out of proportion it amounts to a witch hunt over nothing more than a procedural matter.

The same issue never even rose to a level of modest concern, much less a criminal investigation, when Colin Powell and Condolezza Rice used private servers as Secretary of State.

President George W. Bush’s administration deleted 22 million emails. Many were related to the invasion of Iraq and had important policy implications. Where was the cry for a criminal investigation then?

Yet, Clinton has been picked apart, email-by-email, in a desperate search for something to hang on her. Even so, no evidence has surfaced of criminal wrong-doing or a breach in national security.

Wikileaks has breached our national security far more grievously with the release of private emails from her campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Our intelligence agencies unanimously believe they were hacked by Russian agents. That makes anyone who uses them for political gain an accessory to this crime. Trump, of course, hasn’t hesitated to cite them over and over, even though none of them have been verified.

Some have also reasonably asked: Why weren’t his emails hacked?

FBI Director James Comey’s letter to Congress was ill-timed and, without doubt, politically motivated. It cast a cloud over the election in a way no FBI director has done before and allowed Trump to scream like a banshee about “corruption,” all without evidence.

Through it all, Clinton has maintained her composure and stuck to her message and that’s why she deserves your support. Simply put, Clinton is right where it matters most, on temperament, experience and policy.

She’ll come up with sensible budget proposals, make sure the rich pay their fair share of taxes, build on what’s good about Obamacare and champion a public health option.

She’ll continue to work on global warming, protect a woman’s right to choose, provide a sensible family leave policy for women and men and appoint reasonable moderates to the Supreme Court.

What’s more she’ll continue to usher America into the 21st century with a reasonable approach to immigration. She’ll also continue to protect the rights of all minorities and propose reasonable controls to get guns out of the hands of criminals. She strongly supports worker retraining and is an unquestioned advocate of women and children.

She is unbeholden to foreign interests and certainly isn’t in Putin’s pocket.

She’ll strengthen NATO, and other alliances and keep our military strong and pointed in the right direction. She’ll meet threats like ISIS with a proportional response, without needlessly plunging our sons and daughters into what amounts to a 1,000-year-old sectarian war.

We have no doubt that at least some of the opposition she faces is sexist in nature. Trump has tried to play off that by repeatedly questioning her health and “stamina.” But she has proven to be a tough, resilient, hard-nosed leader who will look out for America interests while maintaining our position as a global leader for peace and prosperity.