Our country’s history and established tradition of progress set a threshold that all presidential candidates much reach. This threshold is defined by a standard of ethos, and in this election, only one candidate passes such a test. As a result, as The Chronicle’s independent editorial board, we endorse Hillary Clinton to be our next president. Clinton has the political resume of an able leader ready to gain office. We support such a leader but do so with reserve, lamenting our current system’s inability to produce two viable candidates for election.

Opposite Clinton, Donald Trump poses a viewpoint that encourages regression rather than progression, simultaneously bolstering and contradicting his motto to “Make America Great Again.” While we recognize some groups of voters have seen a fall in political and economic capital in recent times, overall, our country has been progressing. However, Trump labels the hardships of certain groups as a product of others’ successes and continuously scapegoats the political problems of his electorate on other groups of individuals, inhibiting true political debate on policies.

Trump's platform has relied on criticizing individuals, groups and opponents instead of providing a clear and decisive viewpoint. He has lacked the ethos necessary in a candidate and has reliably shown unprofessionalism in his conduct. As his platform is largely based on social viewpoint, in not offering our support to Trump, we are positioning ourselves against his social platform, which we decry without reserve.

In contrast, Clinton's vision aims to have one foot forward. Clinton's platform embraces diversity and openness, contrasting Trump's support of homogeneousness and isolationism. At the Democratic National Convention, Clinton, and others on her behalf, spoke critically about maintaining America's melting pot history and argued for more progress along the lines of acceptance and openness. The prospect of a multicolored and multicultural future was espoused and supported.

Although Clinton maintains a level of acceptable ethos necessary in a candidate, we do not deny legitimate complaints of her policy. We can find flaw in her foreign policy, the selective nature of her feminism and her commentary (or lack thereof) on the causes of a variety of activist groups. However, we hope the issues we have with Clinton's vision can be counteracted by the checks and balances of our nation's government. In the case of Trump, we worry that these measures would prove insufficient to inhibit the messages of racism, xenophobia, isolationism and sexism from leaching into society.

Our endorsement for Hillary Clinton is not one of passion. Instead, we feel she is the only reasonable candidate for president of the United States. In order for Clinton to be the leader we desire, she has to be better. Though she stands alone in ethos, she is by no means the perfect candidate.

Even so close to the election, Evan McMullin, a third party candidate, gains favor in Utah, illustrating that our nation is hungry for opposition. We need candidates on both sides of the aisle who have the ethos necessary to lead our country. We have an election with a missing candidate, and the level of discussion which surrounds this debate has fallen drastically. Where Trump's position stands on social critique, one can only fight words with words. We are desirous of capable opposition if only to elevate the debate on policy. We endorse Hillary Clinton, but caution our nation from selecting candidates who do not meet the threshold needed for our presidency. Without contrast, there can be no progress.