LOS ANGELES, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times issued a strong endorsement of Hillary Clinton, saying Americans face a choice between "a deeply knowledgeable public servant or a thin-skinned demagogue."
The editorial was as much an endorsement of Clinton as it was a takedown of Trump. It referred to a potential Trump presidency as "catastrophic."
"He has run a divisive, belligerent, dishonest campaign, repeatedly aligning himself with racists, strongmen and thugs while maligning or dismissing large segments of the American public," the editorial said.
The paper cast Trump as the latest in a historical line of demagogues who have taken turns in the spotlight of American politics, having co-opted populism and preyed on disadvantaged Americans' worst fears about a changing world beyond their control.
"In the style of earlier demagogues like Huey Long and George Wallace, Trump has aimed his misleading and mean-spirited diatribes at a struggling and frustrated segment of society -- apparently touching a chord with voters who have experienced years of stagnant wages, whose jobs are threatened, who feel betrayed by Washington and nostalgic for a more prosperous past. To these voters Trump bashes immigrants and free trade and rails about law and order, promising to make America great again and assuring them that he alone can solve their problems. But those who put their hope in Trump's politics of resentment and fear are making a terrible mistake."
By contrast, while the paper dinged Clinton's "penchant for secrecy" and being "a little too comfortable with the use of military force," it said Clinton's faults are far outweighed by her vast experience.
"To be a great president, she will have to struggle to overcome her own weaknesses. But compared with Trump's infirmities as a candidate, her failings are insignificant. It's absurd -- and perilous -- to portray this election, as so many are doing, as a choice of the 'lesser of two evils' or to suggest that her flaws are in any way on a level with his."