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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump shakes hands with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. 

Donald Trump should not be elected president of the United States. 

Before the Illinois primary election in March, we urged citizens to vote against Trump. But he won the Republican nomination and is now in a surreal battle with Democrat Hillary Clinton for the right and privilege of sitting in the Oval Office.

Our position has not changed. In fact, we're even more adamant that Trump should not lead our country. Clinton is the better choice.

Our continued opposition to Trump isn't because of his sexually offensive comments that brought about the most recent national outcry; rather, it is because of a culmination of offensive behavior — racist, sexist and religious insults against a large swath of the electorate — and a lack of clear-cut policies on a number of subjects. 

Usually, we endorse candidates we want voters to support. And except for Barack Obama in 2008, our presidential endorsements have gone to Republicans. But this election pales in comparison to anything in our nation's history.

Simply put, Trump lacks the temperament, maturity and depth of knowledge required to be commander in chief.

That leaves Clinton. There are things we don't like about the former secretary of state: the email scandal (though she was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing); the continued murkiness over Benghazi; and the perception among many that she tells voters what they want to hear, when she believes something else, are among them.

But she is stable. She is knowledgeable and she understands what it means to lead the country. Her years as first lady, her work in the U.S. Senate and as secretary of state under Obama — while you may question her record — have given her the credentials and experience to be president.

She also would be able to work with Congress more successfully than Trump, who has lost support from a number of GOP congressmen and senators, including area Reps. Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger and Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk.

Trump is used to running his own show and getting his way as a businessman and celebrity. Clinton, on the other hand, understands that there has to be give-and-take — political compromise — to get anything done.  

Trump is a bully, a trait that if it's not tolerated on the playground, should not be tolerated in the Oval Office. 

Yes, there are a lot of people — a lot — who dislike Hillary Clinton. Trump captured the anger and frustration of many voters who rail against the status quo, the "establishment" that Clinton represents — and, more importantly, for what they feel is an unjust system that keeps them from getting a decent job, affordable health care, lower taxes and the ability to buy and use the guns they want.

But this election is not a case of choosing the lesser of two evils. There is a system of checks and balances that every president must work within. Clinton can do that and has done it. Trump has proved at every turn that he would not.

His renegade persona, taken to the extreme, only proves he is incapable of compromise, reason and diplomacy — all traits essential to be an effective president in a divided Congress, and country. 

Choosing libertarian Gary Johnson as a "protest" vote against Trump or Clinton isn't the answer, either. 

There is a lot to do to get this country back on track. Clinton is the candidate best equipped to do that. She should be elected the president on Nov. 8. 


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