Finally, after a slog that at times seemed like it would never end, we’re on the cusp of Election Day.

Every four years, we’re breathlessly told by candidates and commentators that an “historic” election is at hand, or that the “most important election of our lifetime” is upon us.

For reasons both good and bad, those phrases couldn’t be more true for 2016.  And our unequivocal choice for 45th president of the United States will not surprise our regular readers.

The Irish Voice is proud to endorse Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The endorsement is a no-brainer.  How did Donald Trump – DONALD TRUMP! – even get this far? 

When did he ever in his life care about the voters he now purports to represent?  What has he ever done for any of them?   The “billionaire” reality TV star would have shooed these folks away from Trump Tower and Mar-a-Lago like the great unwashed. 

But for now, they’re useful.  Round them all up, tell them their country is ripping them off with bad trade deals and that we’re gonna build a big, beautiful wall to keep the Mexican rapists at bay, promise them jobs galore without any plan at all, swear that we’re gonna defeat ISIS without breaking a sweat, and offer them guns virtually wherever and whenever they’d like, and boom, there you have it – the most deluded, dishonest and dangerous candidate ever to run for the White House.

Read more: Clinton would win Irish American vote in 2016 election our poll results show

A “con artist” is how Senator Marco Rubio put it while he was battling Trump in the GOP primary. The senator hit the nail on its dyed orange head.

Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Republican candidate Donald Trump.

And wouldn’t you know, we’re all going to “love each other” after Trump wins, he says.  That’s a hoot, given all the mayhem and divisiveness he’s caused.  Not even Trump loves his supporters. 

How can you be “for the vets,” as he says, when you’ve denigrated one of our bravest war heroes, Senator John McCain?  (Poor Don was home nursing a pain in his foot, coveted deferment in hand, while McCain was in captivity in Vietnam.)

How can you be “for the vets” when you insult a Gold Star family, as he did over the summer to the Khans, who lost a son in Iraq? (A weekend report said that Trump had no idea what a Gold Star family is, more evidence that shows how much he cares “for the vets.”)

And how can you love the jobless when you’ve hired thousands of foreigners – some of them illegal! – to work on or in your buildings?  And outright stiffed many others? 

The unemployed in the U.S. manufacturing industry surely would have appreciated a paycheck for making Trump-branded ties and shirts and suits, but that never mattered to The Donald in the olden days.  Places like the now hated China and Bangladesh offered more bang for the buck, so off he went.  It’s a good thing we weren’t “winning at trade” when all that Trump junk was selling well.

Don’t even get us started on his myriad issues with women.  On the prowl at all times – married or not – Trump’s words and actions speak for themselves.  Is there anything more pathetic than an aging, boorish billionaire with an insatiable need for attention thinking he’s God’s gift?

We were rightly outraged when the "Access Hollywood" tape gave voice to Trump’s true thoughts on what women are really good for.  It’s unfortunate there wasn’t similar fury when he joyously mocked a disabled reporter – it doesn’t get any lower than beating down the handicapped – or intimated that perhaps the “Second Amendment people” might be able to do something to prevent a President Clinton from picking Supreme Court judges.

.@realDonaldTrump: "We're going to save the Second Amendment." pic.twitter.com/JnOyGT1Z9g

— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 29, 2016

His list of threats, insults and outright lies goes on and on.   Add them to his multiple bankruptcies and questionable tax history, and the question becomes even more stark: How could we possibly elect this joker to the White House?

Let’s not forget that if Trump wins, he’ll bring his rag-bag of hacks and has-beens right along with him.  The political deplorables we speak of include, of course, Rudy Giuliani, “America’s mayor,” who now hops the news channels, bug-eyed, defending Trump at all costs, clearly desperate for one last chance at relevancy.

Then there’s Chris Christie, a Jersey boy past his sell-by date, chased from the GOP primary early and bogged down in horrific poll numbers and Bridgegate scandal at home.  He’s got nowhere to go politically so why not hop on the Trump train, even if it will eventually run him over?

And how can we forget about the one and only Sarah Palin, an early Trump endorser also at a dead end.  Not the brightest bulb, she does have a unique talent to mangle the English language and sputter random thoughts that have absolutely no basis in reality – you betcha she’d be a perfect addition to a Trump cabinet!

Trump’s campaign has been an affront from the get-go, full of lies, incendiary rhetoric and fake promises that he cannot possibly keep.  Should he be elected, it won’t take long for his supporters to become bitterly disappointed because a) the wall isn’t getting built right away with Mexican funds, and b) we’re not going to just “bomb the s***” out of ISIS right away and c) trade deals aren’t going to just vanish and d) we’re not rounding up the illegals and kicking them out and e) Obamacare won’t just disappear and f) we’re not banning Muslims and g) ... Well, you get the point.  

Our country is a democracy, with checks and balances firmly in place.  We created our three separate but equal branches of government in that thing called the Constitution that Trump professes to love so much.  A self-infatuated demagogue doesn’t get to play by his own rules in America.

Trump is a false prophet.  Our country and the world in which we live would be thrown into chaos and even greater instability should he win the election, which of course will have been “rigged” if he loses.  Maybe he should talk to his old pal Vladimir Putin about that and his other insane conspiracy theories.

There’s only one person that Donald Trump cares about in this election. It’s the guy who he looks at in the mirror.   It isn’t you, the voter, and it never will be.  Don’t be fooled.

 

WE’VE followed and enthusiastically supported the political careers of both Clintons, Bill and Hillary, since before Bill was first elected to the White House in 1994.

The Clinton years in the White House were mostly good ones – budget surpluses, record job growth and an unemployment rate of only four percent when he left office.

First Lady Hillary Clinton, a Yale-trained lawyer, was at her husband’s side throughout, gaining invaluable knowledge of the inner workings of federal government and helming her own initiatives, particularly in relation to women and children.

Yes, we are well aware of the controversies – her attempt to create universal health care went bust, and the personal issues that culminated with impeachment were most difficult to stomach – but there’s no denying that she learned from her successes and failures.  That stood to her when she began a political career of her own in 2000 with election to the U.S. Senate, representing the Clintons’ adopted state of New York.

She wasn’t a first lady resting on her laurels, but rather a hard-working senator who traveled to every county in New York on listening tours, reaching out and bringing the concerns of residents to Washington.   Clinton was a particular source of strength to New York City in the aftermath of 9/11 when she fought for federal funding to both rebuild downtown Manhattan and ensure the health of the first responders.  (Donald Trump, you might recall, took federal funds to rehab one of his unaffected buildings, and swore that thousands of Arabs were cheering in Jersey City on the night – a lie that’s been proven false.)

The 2008 race for the White House she fought against Barack Obama was rough and tumble.  Clinton took the loss and became a team player, serving as secretary of state under President Obama for one term and traveling to every corner of a dangerous world.  (That includes Libya, where Republicans were quick to blame her for the terrorist killing of four Americans in Benghazi, including Ambassador Chris Stevens; a House committee, to their consternation, found otherwise.)

The upshot of it all?  Hillary Clinton has the experience and knowledge to helm our government during these fraught times both domestically and internationally.  Many observers have called her the most politically experienced and astute candidate ever to run for the White House.  It’s hard to disagree.

NYT/CBS News poll: Clinton still leads in a tight race. https://t.co/gcUMtrZEIy pic.twitter.com/1AedqyNRPd

— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) November 3, 2016

The other guy can’t come close.  But we will say this: there’s no doubt that Trump has tapped into a deep well of dissatisfaction in many parts of the country over how the government hasn’t looked out for their interests. 

Take out the racists, bigots and rabble-rousers who make up a core of his support, and you’ve got workers in Rust Belt states and beyond who have lost their jobs and find themselves in a hopeless place.  We’ll have to do better – much, much better – in listening to their concerns, and creating policies and initiatives that work for them and their families.

The record of both Clintons in Ireland is stellar.  As we wrote in our initial endorsement of Clinton before the New York primary in April, “Having Hillary and Bill Clinton back in the White House would be a perfect scenario for the Irish American community which has embraced them since the Irish Americans for Clinton group was created in 1991.” 

Hillary traveled to Ireland north and south numerous times as first lady, senator and secretary of state, and forged close bonds with women’s groups in particular.  The connection the Irish American community would have to the White House under a new President Clinton would be unparalleled, and we can be sure she’ll fight tooth and nail to secure comprehensive immigration reform and a pathway to legalization for the undocumented Irish – a notion that you can kiss goodbye under a President Trump.

This campaign has been head-shaking in so many ways.  The Republicans and Trump supporters keep trying to tag Clinton with criminal acts, but none of them stick because they don’t exist.  We’re confident that FBI Director James Comey’s outrageous meddling in an election that’s only days away will also lead to nothing.

Hearing Trump belittle the Clinton Foundation as a scam is especially laughable.  He never got the memo about people in glass houses.  The Trump Foundation – one of its “charitable” grants in 2007 was $20,000 for a life-size portrait of The Donald – was recently forbidden from raising money in New York by the attorney general because of lack of certification and other possible violations.

One last thought: Donald Trump launched his campaign on the slogan “Make America Great Again.”  But make no mistake – our country IS great.  It is not perfect – where in the world is? – and there’s plenty of room for improvement.

Having Hillary Clinton in the White House will make us even greater.  Remember that on November 8.

From her fiery 1969 commencement speech to accepting the nomination, 14 moments that shaped Hillary Clinton's life: https://t.co/X2ilCrgdVe pic.twitter.com/eeQ0KniXwu

— ABC News (@ABC) November 3, 2016

How will you be voting next Tuesday? Let us know below.

Hillary Clinton speaking at the Irish American Hall of Fame, in New York.Nuala Purcell / Irish America Magazine.