Recommending one of the two candidates for president has been a no-brainer even before the Republican, Mr. Donald Trump, and the Democrat, Hillary Clinton, won their parties’ nominations.

Mrs. Clinton was the clear choice for the strong credentials she has brought with her candidacy but, in addition, the Democratic Party as a whole is by far superior for its platform, which addresses the concerns of our people, not only at the national level but also, perhaps even more crucially, at the local level.

At the national level, it is useful to remember that Mr. Trump, the billionaire real estate developer, and the Republican Party are pushing an agenda that will benefit Americans like him and also turn the clock back on the advances made over the past 50 years or so, especially in areas such as civil rights, voting rights, economic achievement and criminal justice.

With its control of both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, Mr. Trump’s party dedicated the past eight years to the single-minded goal of frustrating the initiatives of the nation’s first African

American president, Mr. Barack Obama. They so stymied his efforts to govern that Mr. Obama has had to govern virtually through Executive Orders.

Mr. Trump, meanwhile, did everything he could to try to “de-legitimize” the president with a racist assault on his citizenship that reached a climax when the Republican candidate finally saw it expedient to concede just weeks ago that Mr. Obama is an American citizen.

Much has been said about Mr. Trump’s moral fitness to be president and commander-in-chief, most significantly his misogynistic remarks that aired this past week about women while he was en route to a taping of an episode of the Days of Our Lives soap opera 11 years ago.

It is hard to imagine that anyone with even a remote dream of being near to the White House would harbor such repulsive views of women and boast of despicable acts against them. But they fell within the already known attitude of the Republican candidate towards women.

This alone would disqualify anyone from being a candidate for the highest elected office in the land but Mr. Trump has maintained a firm grip on a large segment of the electorate, especially some white folks who have been willing to forgive him for anything he has said or done so long as he speaks their language of economic pain, social disorientation and racial existentialism.

African Americans have also been squeezed by the economic downturn that was a bequest from President George W. Bush. And while Mr. Trump’s efforts to woo African Americans may tempt those who are hurting, it is worth remembering that his is no more than a deceptive siren’s call to destruction on the rocks of anti-black policies from a candidate whose campaign leadership includes known white racists.

Mrs. Clinton, on the other hand, comes from a political milieu that favors policies that seek to address the dire conditions of the descendants of those who were enslaved by this nation for centuries. She has worked with the poor and neglected through much of her life, especially to bring help to the children.

There is no avoiding the fact that while Mrs. Clinton’s husband, Mr. Bill Clinton, was president in the 1990s, he presided over programs that aggravated poverty among African Americans, through curbs on welfare, and exacerbated their socio-economic conditions through harsh prison sentences. Mrs. Clinton herself has come in for severe criticism for her use of the term “super- predators” to describe some young black men caught in a life of crime. She has apologized for that choice of words uttered some two decades ago.

Now, Mrs. Clinton has committed to eliminating the racist biases in the criminal justice system as part of one of the most progressive platforms the Democratic Party has ever embraced. The proposed program also includes tuition-free public college education, expanding on the Affordable Care Act – the so-called Obamacare – and upgrading the nation’s infrastructure such as roads and bridges, creating millions of jobs.

Mrs. Clinton has also been under unrelenting criticism for setting up a personal email server at home and using it not only for private communication but also a lot of official business. The Republican Party, which has subjected her and her husband to a frontal political assault from the time they entered the national political arena, has seized on the email server controversy in an effort to show she put the nation in danger by running the risk of her server being hacked.

But the FBI investigated claims she mishandled state secrets and said she did not break any laws. Also, Mrs. Clinton has apologized for using the personal server.

The issue before us as we get ready to vote by mail-in ballot or in person early or on Election Day is which candidate will be better for our community. Those who are taking the position that neither deserves to be president and so plan not to vote should bear in mind that not voting is itself a form of voting. A vote that would go to Mrs. Clinton but is withheld is one less for Mr. Trump to worry about.

It is important to remember that the composition of the U.S. Supreme Court is also at stake in this election. The next president will have the opportunity to name two to four Justices and the newly constituted court will set the course of the nation for perhaps a generation. Rightwing control of the high court, up to the recent death of Justice Scalia, has not been in the best interests of African

Also, our community cannot afford to be lulled into a false sense of security by polls that show Mrs. Clinton is the overwhelming favorite among African Americans. Those polls reflect relative numbers and would mean something only if every African American who can vote does so.

It is also important to remember that, besides the presidential election, the nation will elect members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House, along with state and local officials. To emphasize, it is Republican domination of Congress that has frustrated President Obama’s progressive agenda and has been pushing our country backward.

And, even more significantly, it is that domination in many state houses that has allowed the enactment of laws that take direct aim at the African American agenda in a concerted manner, succeeding in state after state, where the overall national will has been absent. The right to vote is the poster issue of this ideological warfare.

South Florida Times believes that an administration headed by Hillary Clinton and Democratic majorities in Congress and in the Florida Legislature and other state houses are very possible if African Americans refuse to be fooled into believing they have no stake in the 2016 elections.

As President Obama said, “Go vote.”