When Americans go to the polls November 8, The New York Sun urges a vote for Donald Trump and Mike Pence. The Republican nominee, his running mate, and their party offer more promising principles for economic growth — and full employment — after the long years of stagnation. The GOP nominees vow to reverse the decline of our defense budget and back a more straightforward, less multilateral approach to foreign affairs. They would embrace the can-do spirit of American free market capitalism just when we need it most.
We understand how mystifying this endorsement is to many of our friends. We have never been among the haters of Hillary Clinton (or her husband, for whom our editor twice voted for president). We thrill to the rise of women. We are among the most liberal voices in respect of immigration. We oppose protection. Among the reasons we picked up the flag of the Sun in the first place is that for nearly two centuries it has stood for abolition, against racism, for equality before the law of constitutional government, and for a common American culture.
Nothing in this campaign convinces us that these principles stand a better chance under Mrs. Clinton and the Democrats than they do under Mr. Trump and the GOP. We deplore Mrs. Clinton’s attempt to make this contest a question not of policy and principle but of personality and fitness. The circumstantial corruption of the Clinton Foundation has shocked the nation and turned the fitness question back on the Democratic nominee. Neither of the Clintons is in a position to lecture Americans on morals.
This election is about our national direction. The Democrats’ conservative wing, which was last flapped by President Clinton, has atrophied; the party can now veer only to the left. Mrs. Clinton has been no stalwart. She abandoned the Iraq war after voting to authorize it, and ridicules Donald Trump for the opposite. We, for one, would rather have a president who, like Mr. Trump, opposed the war but holds out for victory once it has begun than a president who, like Mrs. Clinton, votes to send our GIs to war and then melts away in the fight.
Mrs. Clinton plumped for a war in Libya and abandoned that fight, too. Her Russian reset emboldened President Putin. She blamed riots at Egypt on a video that, however crude, was a primal scream against the murder of Egyptian Christians. She treated with the Muslim Brotherhood at Cairo. Mrs. Clinton lectured her countrymen on the so-called “responsibility to protect,” only to support mutely the Obama administration’s Nero-fiddling at Syria. Her support for the Iran appeasement is, in the view of the Sun, disqualifying in and of itself.
We don’t mind saying that we disagree with Mr. Trump on many of the issues. The New York Sun opposes protectionism in all its forms, including in respect of immigration. We believe that free markets depend on the free movement of capital, goods, and labor. We want a merger of the pro-immigration and pro-life movements, which understand the concept of human capital. Principles of free trade abide even if the job participation rate has plunged to under President Obama and NAFTA to the lowest level in two generations.
Yet Mr. Trump’s tax cuts and deregulation are more likely to produce, on a net basis, the economic growth and jobs that are the only humane answer to our immigration “problem.” The GOP strategy stands in sharp contradistinction to Mrs. Clinton’s platform. If Mr. Trump wins and the GOP holds Congress, the stars will be aligned for monetary reform and the return to a stable, sound dollar. This is, in our view, the biggest underlying issue today. Only Messrs. Trump and Pence have sought to articulate how fiat money and the Federal Reserve have given us a “false economy.”
Neither Mr. Trump nor Mrs. Clinton has opened up the constitutional debate for which we have hungered. Mr. Trump — through his fidelity to the Second Amendment, which two of our greatest jurists (St. George Tucker and Jos. Story) have called the “palladium of our liberty” — has given a sense of how he would approach the Constitution. Mrs. Clinton, by contrast, wants to water-down the First Amendment. In not one of the hundreds of the religious freedom cases before our courts, as far as we can tell, has Mrs. Clinton sided with the religious party.
Sadly, Secretary Clinton seems to include religious fundamentalists in her basket of deplorables, an offensive concept that belies her claim to a liberal spirit. She casts as bigotry views held by millions of Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, and Jews. What a contrast to Mr. Trump, who is ending his campaign at rallies at which he appeals to optimism — a vision of what can be accomplished with a program of economic growth. Our own conviction is that it would lead to a happier, more welcoming and unified, and even greater America.
Principles of free trade abide even if the job participation rate has plunged to under President Obama and NAFTA to the lowest level in two generations. Following an item on FutureOfCapitalism.com, this editorial was updated on November 6 to repair the failure to state this point clearly.