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Editorial: We endorse Clinton in Dem primary

The Detroit News

Even a disingenuous capitalist is preferable to a genuine socialist, particularly when the choice may end up leading the free world.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has the richest resume in the presidential campaign, having also served as a U.S. senator and first lady. She’s deep on policy, is particularly familiar with foreign affairs and could step into the Oval Office comfortably on Day One, should she win in November.

And she believes in the basic foundations of the country, including free markets and free trade. Clinton offers a credible case for her candidacy to Michigan Democrats who will vote in Tuesday’s primary.

But the Democratic front-runner has a major flaw — she plays fast and loose with the truth.

Her explanations for why she did public business on a private email server while secretary of state have been discredited at each step. There is the real possibility that using the unsecured server compromised national security. And while she says none of the emails she received or sent were marked classified at the time, it would not have been an issue had she followed policy and used the government’s secure email accounts in the first place.

She appears to have intentionally misled the America public and international leaders on the causes of the Benghazi embassy raid. Her initial story has been proven false by the emails released so far.

Honesty is a vital characteristic for a president. Clinton has work to do in that area.

Among Democratic voters who place trust as the most important issue, Bernie Sanders beat Clinton nearly nine to one, according to primary exit polls.

As for Sanders, well, he is the real deal. The Independent Vermont senator, running for the Democratic presidential nomination, would make the United States look like a European socialist democracy, with the people dependent on the state for much of their sustenance.

The revolution he espouses would further diminish America’s already stressed free market economy. He’d tear down the country’s financial infrastructure, forcing the banks to make high-risk loans and vastly limiting their profit-making capability. That’s a road to nationalization.

He promises free college, free health care and a host of other freebies.

Sanders has, however, energized traditional progressives and drawn large numbers of young people into the presidential campaign.

And at least he’s brutally honest about how it would be paid for and by whom. Sanders is the first candidate in recent memory to admit his giveaways would necessitate a middle class tax hike as well as huge increases on the wealthy and corporate community.

His tax-and-spend plans would slow the economy by discouraging investment and raising the cost of doing business. Americans worried about the growing size and influence of the federal government should want no part of this guy.

Clinton is chasing Sanders to the left as she tries to deflect his challenge and solidify the Democratic base.

But we are familiar enough with her to believe that this is standard primary pandering, and that she will move closer to the middle if she were elected president. It’s doubtful Wall Street would be giving her campaign so much money if it truly believed she would go to war with banks and brokers.

And she knows enough about how Congress works to understand that she can’t enact the massive expansion of entitlement programs that she’s promised on the campaign trail.

America doesn’t need another revolution, at least not the kind Sanders proposes. The best choice for Democrats who believe in the foundations of the country is Hillary Clinton.