Every Republican I have spoken with lately acknowledges the very real possibility that Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States.
After she easily wins her party’s nomination (people who think Barack Obama or John Edwards have a chance are kidding themselves) all she has to do is hold on to the states John Kerry won in 2004, well within the realm of possibility, and then win one more state. The best bet is Ohio, but both Colorado and Indiana are possibilities as well. Also, after eight years of George W. Bush, it just seems in the cards that a Democrat is destined to take the White House next time.
One of the worst things about a Hillary victory, beyond her attempts to impose socialism on the country, would be another four or eight years of bitter division. The U.S. is arguably more divided now than it has been for decades, and urgently needs unity and healing. Although I believe Bush meant it when he said during the 2000 campaign, “I’m a uniter, not a divider,” it turned out to be one of the most glaring misstatements in the history of American politics. The political mood of the day is one of hatred, contempt and retribution, not all created by Bush, granted, but he presides over it.
So exit Bush stage right in two years, and enter Hillary, who, like her predecessor, would be intensely disliked or hated by many of those who voted against her. She would join Richard Nixon and “W,” among presidents in my lifetime, who have not been accorded at least some goodwill on the part of opponents when first coming to office.
With her cold, grating and arrogant personality, she would be unlikely to win friends, influence people or change minds. Add “first man” Bill Clinton to the mix and you have an animosity index that’s off the charts, extending the mood of hatred in American politics to 12 or 16 years. The big loser would be the country, whose sores of disunity would remain open and festering, further draining morale.
Beyond unity, the U.S. desperately needs new blood in its leadership. It’s disspiriting that the presidency, like a tennis ball, is lobbed back and forth from Bush to Clinton to Bush to Clinton. Is this the best we can do? And who comes next? Jeb? Surely our politics are capable of more imagination.
The best possible scenario for 2008 would be a race between Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Barack Obama. Not only would voters be treated to some long overdue new ideas, but it might also be a relatively civilized campaign when compared to the destructive politics we have come to know.
It could be a refreshing, perhaps even uplifting race, one the country deserves. Unfortunately, what we deserve and what we get are often two different things. As a representative of the old politics, Hillary is a dinosaur, and America may prove to be Jurassic park.
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