In 1969, the same year Yale College went coed, a young woman entered Yale Law School. Like many of us, she was an idealist: She took on child abuse cases and provided free legal advice to the poor. Like many of us, she was a go-getter who worked at the Child Study Center and conducted research on migrant labor. Long before she became Secretary of State Hillary Clinton LAW ’73, Hillary Diane Rodham was working to make our country a better place. Almost four decades later, the News is proud to endorse her for president.
We do not endorse Clinton solely because of the disqualifying flaws of her opponent, Donald Trump, whose campaign has disgusted and astonished our board. Indeed, our endorsement of Clinton should come as no surprise: A recent survey conducted by the News found that a vast majority of students support her candidacy. We endorse her because we, as young people, recognize this election is a turning point for our country. And the choice couldn’t be more clear.
Voting for Clinton is our obligation to ourselves and to future generations. Hillary Clinton has a long history of public service, and has demonstrated unwavering dedication to progressive values. She knows what it means to fight — for America and for Americans. In her long career in government, she has embodied a value elemental to both our institution and our nation: an abiding commitment to public service. In the words of none other than the Republican nominee: “She doesn’t quit. She doesn’t give up.”
Do not be lulled into complacency by the opinion polls: On the eve of Brexit, most predicted the “Remain” campaign would prevail. The best way to quash Trump’s bullying and bigotry is to elect Clinton in a landslide and prove that he cannot corrupt our finest values.
Perhaps you voted for someone else in the primary. Perhaps you’re a die-hard conservative, who cannot stomach Trump but will never vote for liberal policies. Or perhaps you just haven’t gotten around to registering to vote. If you are tempted to abstain or to cast a protest vote, remember: Compromise is not a sign of weakness, just as thoughtless dogmatism is not a sign of strength. The ability to make difficult trade-offs is a core value of both our democracy and our liberal arts education.
Campus conversation should shape our political priorities as Yale students in this election. Every day, Yale invites and demands ethical reflection from its students. As a community, we struggle for racial justice, debate the student income contribution and aspire toward a campus culture that affirms gender equality and sexual respect.
Clinton’s agenda reflects our own anxieties and hopes — for these issues and others. Her ends are bold, but her means are pragmatic. She will address our nation’s student debt crisis by ensuring every student can graduate debt-free from a public college in their state. She will continue the fight for racial justice by combating discrimination in policing and reforming our criminal justice system. She will act against the scourge of climate change by investing in clean energy. And she will give women, working families and queer people the respect they deserve.
Regardless of what happens on Election Day, life will all but certainly go on at Yale. But not too far from our campus, elementary schoolchildren could wake up fretting that their parents will be deported. Teenage girls could wake up wondering if it is okay for a man to touch them inappropriately and judge them by how they look. Trump voters could wake up euphoric, only to be let down by a president who exploited their stories and struggles to win their votes yet has no concrete plans to improve their lives.
We could elect a candidate who has spent her life fighting for the rights of all Americans, or we could elect a candidate who has threatened to throw his opponent in jail. We could elect the first female president, or we could elect a man who has openly bragged about perpetrating sexual assault. We could elect a seasoned leader who will confront any foreign policy threat with experience and restraint, or we could give a volatile provocateur access to the nuclear codes.
Like the young woman who arrived in New Haven in 1969, we have the power to realize a different future. That power lies in our vote. Let’s use it to elect Hillary Clinton.
Members of the Managing Board of 2018 who have worked on either presidential campaign recused themselves from the conception and execution of this editorial.