How did we get here?

The failures of both major parties spawned President Trump

When a majority of Americans have to hold their noses to cast a vote for president of the United States—choosing between a racist, sociopathic Republican or a hawkish, baggage-laden Democrat—we probably ought to analyze how we got here.

That’s not to say there wasn’t a common-sense choice. Among those who made it onto the general election ballot, and despite the outcome of the election, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the only one qualified for the job. Her knowledge about issues foreign and domestic is among the many reasons this newspaper endorsed her. We had confidence in her abilities to move the United States in a positive direction, particularly for the poor and middle class. We had confidence that she would not take the nation backward when it comes to the environment, health care, public education and the economy. We had confidence that she would adeptly handle the duties of commander in chief, including safeguarding nuclear launch codes.

Thing is, while Clinton was the most qualified candidate for president on Nov. 8, we believe that there are others, including a certain Vermont senator, who would do a better job for Americans. CN&R endorsed Bernie Sanders in the primary because we believe him to be incorruptible, authentic and nonestablishment. As we said in our qualified endorsement of Clinton weeks ago, if CN&R’s editorial board had gotten its way, Sanders would have been on Tuesday’s ballot.

What we didn’t count on is a majority of Americans being so set on a nonestablishment candidate that they would vote for Donald Trump, who is so flawed on so many levels and whose forthcoming presidency poses untold consequences. And it seems the Democratic National Committee didn’t count on that, either. Its leadership worked overtime to undermine Sanders and aid the anointed one, Clinton, during the primary, even while there were clear indications that Sanders would fare better against Trump in the general election.

That the country chose Trump over Clinton on Tuesday sends a clear message to Washington that Americans are tired of the political elite. This should be a wake-up call for both major parties. High-ranking Democrats must come to terms with their failures to energize the base and pull in independent voters. And upper-echelon Republicans now have to deal with a party leader who has indicated he is willing to take great risks with the nation’s security, economic solvency and standing with the rest of the world.

A sociopath is on his way to the White House and we know he will unravel years of progress. Come what may, the DNC and the GOP must own the repercussions.