*NOTE: This is another attempt to address those who mostly deplore Trump and assumes that much common ground. It argues against the position that Clinton is just as bad or possibly worse, and so she shouldn't be voted for.
Here's a candidate criticism to rankle any conservative: "You've been in the highest levels of government for 30 years, yet you haven't fixed anything. If you didn't do then what you're promising to do now, why should we believe things will be any different?" If the Democratic candidate said something like this (repeatedly) in presidential debates, a Wall Street Journal columnist would write a piece entitled: "[Democratic candidate] Brazenly Betrays Authoritarian Approach to Government". The article would be all about how the liberals had at long last stopped trying to mask their contempt for the Constitution and come right out with it.
The criticism does indeed betray a lot that should concern us all. For starters, Clinton was "first lady" of Arkansas 30 years ago, and first spouses don't have any official power at any level of government. More importantly, no one person has the power to fix just about anything on their own in the federal government, or in our country. Certainly not Senators or Secretaries of State. Presidents have their appointed powers and responsibilities, which is why a candidate for the office would propose things that she may have wanted to do for a long time, but would never have had the opportunity to pursue. Sorry for the basic middle school civics lesson. I'm sure you could do a better job than I of sitting Mr. Trump down and teaching it to him.
Besides ignorance of how the government he seeks to run works, Trump's "criticism" communicates his own yearning for authoritarian power. He's sick of the ineffectiveness of government and thinks it really only takes a business man like him to fix it. Personality, not knowledge of how government works, will finally force Washington to be effective. Recall that this man stood up at the Republican Convention, highlighted how bad crime supposedly has become (1. Totally False. 2. NOT the job of the President to fix), and said that he alone could fix it.
Hillary Clinton would never do anything like the above. Hate or love her, you know that Hillary Clinton is not basically ignorant of how government works (or do you want to say that Trump was simply pandering, which is arguably even worse?). And she is NOT so delusional to think that sheer force of Personality will fix the country (again, recall Trump at Republican debates: "How will you get the Generals to engage in war crimes they have said they will not do? Trump: "They will do what I say because I am a leader. I know how to lead."). She certainly knows her personality won't, as she is under know delusions about her famed lack of charisma. I submit that these facts favorably and decisively differentiate Clinton from Trump on an issue that conservatives care deeply about. You can believe that Clinton will abuse the powers of the Presidency. I know I do. Most Presidents have, including heroes from both Right and Left. But there is no reason to think that Clinton will be even as privately or "subtly" authoritarian as Trump has publicly promised to be.
But many argue that Trumpian flagrancy is better than Clintonian cunning because it is easier to spot and keep in check. While I agree that crafty manipulation of the system is a real problem, it is a dangerous mistake to think that Trump isn't also a wily manipulator. People hate Clinton because she embodies to them what is wrong with cunning politics. But Trump's record of cunning, deceitful business practices is well documented, if not yet well known, and he loves to talk about how his approach to business is just what government needs. Trump is crafty in different ways than Clinton. While his teenage levels of self-control and pathological narcissism do often betray him, he is a master of media manipulation. After all, his one brilliant business move has been a masterful cultivation of a substance-less brand. Trump rules at being famous for being famous. He craves media attention and is a magician at garnering it. The conjuring trick has been made continuously before our eyes for the past 16 months.
The informal power of the Presidential bully-pulpit is another reason for conservative and liberal alike to fear Trumpian flagrancy over Clintonian cunning. People hate Clinton because they think she speaks one way to the world and another way behind closed doors. I think people think the disparity is much wider than the evidence warrants, but she certainly does to an extent. She does what all politicians do, have always done, and should always do to some extent. Hating her is not going to remedy that fact, and nor will getting Trump elected. What we all know Clinton won't do is use the Presidential pulpit to spout conspiracy theories that have no evidence, or fear-monger based on wildly false pictures of society.
Trump has used the informal pulpit power of his celebrity and candidacy to foster all manner of outrageous falsehoods that are in another category from the lies of any recent Presidential candidate from the right or the left. He has used it to call for violence at his rallies. He has used it to encourage hysterical chants to lock up his political opponent. He refuses to use it to condemn the ubiquitous signs, slogans, and clothing at his rallies that trumpet explicitly violent, vulgar, and misogynistic messages about Clinton. Don't let outrage fatigue or Hillary-hatred inure you to this last point. This kind of collective behavior between a candidate and his followers is unprecedented in our lifetimes, wholly unfit for a minimally rational, democratic culture, and we all know neither Clinton nor her rallies are anything like it. Trumpian flagrancy means a Presidential pulpit squarely in tinfoil-hat-and-middle-school-bullying-land. This would be disastrous for our public culture and U.S. credibility abroad. It would also empower and legitimize the rising alt-right media (the Breitbart-Drudge led scourge), which is something that any rational conservative should realize is a huge threat to the future of principled conservatism.
What I'm trying to do here is argue that Trump is much worse than Clinton on some basic issues that conservatives tend to emphasize and that I agree we should all be very concerned about. So concerned that we have reason to maximize the chances of a Trump defeat. But I haven't addressed most of the common conservative concerns about the future of the US should Clinton become President. Presumably balancing all that against what I have emphasized here is what convinces many conservatives that Clinton would be just as bad as Trump. This way of thinking, though, fails to recognize that the Democrats have put forward a fairly traditional candidate by their standards, and the Republicans have not. But this election is NOT about the Republican vs. Democratic, or conservative vs. liberal view of the world. Intellectual honesty requires acknowledging that Hillary Clinton's approach to government is basically one that millions of Americans have endorsed for generations, and is ably defended by many political scientists, philosophers, and economists. That is, it is something for many other millions of Americans and just as able thinkers to rationally disagree with without pretending that it is a new threat to the future of liberty and morality in America. (Trump doesn't have a recognizably coherent or thorough approach to defend; mostly just authoritarian tics).
If you really believe that Clinton is some kind of threat on par with Donald Trump, then you should think that the Democratic party has been putting forward Donald Trumps for decades, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. This ultimately amounts to more of a refusal to recognize fellow citizens across the aisle, than it does a reasonable or effective attempt to oppose Clinton-style corruption or overreach. I forthrightly encourage us all to be vigilant and to work hard to criticize and check the excesses of a Clinton Presidency. I also encourage all on the right and left to waste no time in finding great candidates to run against Clinton's re-election campaign, should she win. But I hope you will join me in recognizing that the threats of a Clinton presidency do not hold a candle to the threats of Trump, and that we all have a common interest in ensuring his defeat on November 8th.