“The Atlantic” Endorses Hillary Clinton

am-18601860. 1964. 2016.

These are the only years in which The Atlantic (previously known as the Atlantic Monthly), the historic American magazine of politics and commentary, endorsed a candidate for President of the United States.

Abraham Lincoln.  Lyndon B. Johnson. Hillary Clinton.  The Atlantic endorsed these candidates.

The editors of The Atlantic explain their decision to endorse Clinton.  Interestingly enough, the title of the article is “Against Trump” with the phrase “The Case for Hillary Clinton” in the subtitle.

A taste:

But The Atlantic’s endorsement of Johnson was focused less on his positive attributes than on the flaws of his opponent, Barry Goldwater, the junior senator from Arizona. Of Goldwater, Weeks wrote, “His proposal to let field commanders have their choice of the smaller nuclear weapons would rupture a fundamental belief that has existed from Abraham Lincoln to today: the belief that in times of crisis the civilian authority must have control over the military.” And the magazine noted that Goldwater’s “preference to let states like Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia enforce civil rights within their own borders has attracted the allegiance of Governor George Wallace, the Ku Klux Klan, and the John Birchers.” Goldwater’s limited capacity for prudence and reasonableness was what particularly worried The Atlantic.

We think it unfortunate that Barry Goldwater takes criticism as a personal affront; we think it poisonous when his anger betrays him into denouncing what he calls the “radical” press by bracketing the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Izvestia. There speaks not the reason of the Southwest but the voice of Joseph McCarthy. We do not impugn Senator Goldwater’s honesty. We sincerely distrust his factionalism and his capacity for judgment.

Today, our position is similar to the one in which The Atlantic’s editors found themselves in 1964. We are impressed by many of the qualities of the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, even as we are exasperated by others, but we are mainly concerned with the Republican Party’s nominee, Donald J. Trump, who might be the most ostentatiously unqualified major-party candidate in the 227-year history of the American presidency.

These concerns compel us, for the third time since the magazine’s founding, to endorse a candidate for president. Hillary Rodham Clinton has more than earned, through her service to the country as first lady, as a senator from New York, and as secretary of state, the right to be taken seriously as a White House contender. She has flaws (some legitimately troubling, some exaggerated by her opponents), but she is among the most prepared candidates ever to seek the presidency. We are confident that she understands the role of the United States in the world; we have no doubt that she will apply herself assiduously to the problems confronting this country; and she has demonstrated an aptitude for analysis and hard work.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, has no record of public service and no qualifications for public office. His affect is that of an infomercial huckster; he traffics in conspiracy theories and racist invective; he is appallingly sexist; he is erratic, secretive, and xenophobic; he expresses admiration for authoritarian rulers, and evinces authoritarian tendencies himself. He is easily goaded, a poor quality for someone seeking control of America’s nuclear arsenal. He is an enemy of fact-based discourse; he is ignorant of, and indifferent to, the Constitution; he appears not to read.

Read the entire piece here.  Then head over to Episode 3 of The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast and listen to our interview with Yoni Appelbaum,  Washington Bureau Chief of The Atlantic.


2 thoughts on ““The Atlantic” Endorses Hillary Clinton

  1. John, once upon a not too distant time, I devoured The Atlantic cover to cover the day it came in, a brilliantly written public square for America, where right and left could meet and listen to each other.

    Michael Kelly, RIP. [Hitchens, too.]


    Now you can get the rag for $3 a year.

    It is now yet another victim of O’Sullivan’s Law, that any organization that is not explicitly right-wing will in time become left-wing.

    The Ford Foundation, ACLU, NPR, the Episcopal Church, The League of Women Voters. Even 24.


    A year of Atlantics sit piled up on the bedstand, unopened, the print equivalent of MSNBC. Postage included, at $3 a year, they try to pay people to read it. Even MSNBC isn’t that desperate, John.

    If they’ve read this far, hope your faithful readers at least take advantage of the subscription offer. [Cheap!] TVD aspires always and foremost to render value of some kind to the gentle reader.


  2. I understand where The Atlantic is coming from with their endorsement. Hillary is competent, well-prepared, experienced and capable but she doesn’t light a fire for most Progressives who felt the Bern, especially the Millenials. The clear and present danger to our nation from Donald Trump is the main motivating factor in this election for many. Hillary loses points because she isn’t a natural campaigner that inspires voters like Bill and Obama were. She has to work at it while making sure that she doesn’t come across too strong or smart because we penalize women for such behavior on the national stage. It will be an interesting home stretch as November 8th gets closer on the calendar.


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