The Atlantic has been around for over 150 years, and up until now, has only endorsed two presidential candidates…Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon B. Johnson. But they have decided to endorse once again, and this time it is for Hillary Clinton.
The Atlantic called Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton “among the most prepared candidates ever to seek the presidency.”
The editorial also condemned Republican candidate Donald Trump, calling him “a demagogue, a xenophobe, a sexist, a know-nothing, …a liar,” and “the most ostentatiously unqualified major-party candidate in the 227-year history of the American presidency.”
The Atlantic wrote, “We are confident that [Clinton] 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,” the editors wrote. “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.”
The Atlantic likened its endorsement of Clinton to its endorsement of Lyndon B. Johnson for president in 1964, which largely came about in an effort to denounce Johnson’s opposition, former Arizona senator Barry Goldwater.
“As a publication whose founders declared it to be ‘of no party or clique,’ we don’t make political endorsements lightly,” Atlantic editor Scott Stossel wrote in a statement about the decision to endorse Clinton. “We have historically only endorsed a president when we felt that the stakes had been elevated to a true national emergency, or an existential threat to the republic. We believe that the election of Donald Trump poses such a threat, which is why we’ve decided to endorse Hillary Clinton.”
This is The Atlantic’s third-ever endorsement of a presidential candidate. The magazine, which was founded in 1857, first endorsed Abraham Lincoln in 1860; it endorsed Johnson more than 100 years later.
Several other publications this year have made the unconventional choice to make the case against Trump in their endorsements. Last week, USA Today, which has throughout its history declined to endorse presidential candidates, called Trump “unfit for the presidency” and urged readers to vote against him. In January of this year, conservative magazine National Review ran “Against Trump,” an entire issue devoted to making the case against him as a presidential nominee.
Several reliably Republican editorial boards around the country, including the Arizona Republic and the San Diego Union-Tribune, have, like The Atlantic, endorsed Clinton over Trump.