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First, we are not inspired by either major party candidate vying for the nation’s presidency. Both have shown a willingness to lie and dissemble to grasp a measure of power or fame.

That said, The Daily Times is endorsing Hillary Clinton, who we believe is the most qualified candidate to lead the nation during challenging times.

However, we need to spend a few moments on our very serious problems with Donald Trump, an unserious candidate who uses our foundational beliefs as pawns in his reality show of a campaign.

During the third and final presidential debate in Las Vegas, Trump set a hook when he said he would wait to see whether he would honor the results of the election. “I’ll keep you in suspense, OK?” Trump told the moderator.

He could have avoided the bipartisan uproar over his comment by specifying that he was simply talking about challenging any validated irregularities that might be large enough to sway the election. His surrogates did just that.

Trump didn’t. That would have diluted the spectacle.

Instead, at a rally in Delaware the next day, he started what sounded like a capitulation to our American democratic tradition of the peaceful transfer of power. He was reeling viewers in.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I want to make a major announcement today,” he said, taking a strategic pause. “I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election (Trump pauses again, stares directly into the live camera, and accentuates each of the following words with the swing of an upraised index finger) if - I - win.”

The crowd went crazy, and Trump got the adulation he craves.

Trump knows how to work – we’d say manipulate – a crowd. It’s been a fascinating show in the sense that you can’t take your eyes off the gruesome car wreck in the other lane.

But he is a one-dimensional candidate and he leverages his popularity by bringing out the worst in us. His pitches appeal to our anger and fear, which he directs toward scapegoats. He criticizes systems that have been rigged to benefit the most fortunate but his proposed solutions are unworkable policy modified by a superlative followed by, “believe me.”

It’s a sleazy salesman trick.

He has refused to take the time to gain an understanding of world and domestic affairs our next leader will need to negotiate America’s position in an increasingly dangerous world. The next president will have to address the national deficit, racial tension, the growing threat of terrorism stemming from conflict in the Middle East – and the list goes on.

Hillary Clinton, with 30 years in politics, has rolled in the muck. And her detractors have unsuccessfully been trying to bring her down for nearly that entire time. Even if you assume she is innocent of all the accusations that have been thrown at her, her penchant for secrecy makes her look guilty.

But during her time serving as a U.S. senator and secretary of state, Clinton has learned, in many cases the hard way, how to work the levers of power. We believe she will use that knowledge in the service of this country.

Her policies are detailed and specific. And her willingness to compromise is not a weakness. It is required in a democracy representing millions of people with different views of how we should proceed. Perpetual congressional gridlock – justified as partisan purity – diminishes this nation’s future.

As a senator from New York she was praised by Democrats and Republicans alike for her ability to create bipartisan support for legislation.

Clinton’s connections with foreign leaders – both friends and adversaries – established during her time as the nation’s chief diplomat give her a head start as the leader of the free world.

And independent analysts have looked at the candidates’ economic plans – Clinton’s is more responsible. Trump’s plans (revised repeatedly, sometimes on the fly) would significantly boost the national debt. Clinton will pay for most of her spending with tax increases on the wealthiest Americans. That’s the price of a civilized society.

Trump knows show business, but he doesn’t know more about the Islamic State than the generals or than Clinton. And his immense narcissism and willful ignorance don’t allow him to grasp the intricacies of a tinder box world with a nuclear fuse.

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