Vote For Hillary, But Not Because She'll Do Well.
Things are already gearing up the the 2016 presidential election and we have almost a year and a half to go. If Bush and Clinton win their respective primaries, we would be forced to choose one dynasty or the other. If Hillary were to win the general election, it would be the first time that two U.S. presidents have had sex with each other (straight sex anyway). Bill Clinton would be the first ever first man. But while Hillary could become the first woman president, I actually think Barack Obama is the first feminine president. He's so sweet and incapable of confronting Congress. (For all his vices, Bush 43 held Congress in the palm of his hand.)
I once told a woman with whom I was sharing a table at Starbucks that we've had our first half-Black president. Now we need our first woman president. She said quite emphatically, “Excuse me! The U.S. presidency is not an affirmative action position!”. I agree. However, Bush 43 did irreparable damage to the American image abroad while only fostering fear of terrorism domestically; and, it stands to reason that all presidents in the foreseeable future will only be symbolic figure heads who tell Congress annually during a SOTU Address to work together before he withdraws to the hidden recesses of the Oval Office or Air Force One from which to initiate other futile exercises in impotence. That said, we need not worry ourselves with trying to make policy predictions or guessing which campaign promises can and will actually be kept. It behooves us to vote for someone whose mere election victory will set off a firestorm of meaningful legislative efforts a mile and a half down Pennsylvania Avenue. That person is Hillary Clinton.
My assertion has merit insomuch as there was an exponential increase in the number of Republican presidential candidates immediately after Hillary declared her candidacy. It seems that the Grand Old Party became the Galloping Old Party – that they began running scared. Maybe they realized that she had a good chance of winning. Maybe THEY wanted to put forth the first woman president. Maybe they wanted to ensure that we actually would NEVER HAVE a female president – that Obama was the closest we'd get to having a woman in the Oval Office. Who knows how they think??? Fox news, maybe??? In any instance, the GOP is petrified of Hillary.
This fear – being felt by the politicians themselves, for a change – can work in the nation's favor. It brings us back to the reason for having primary elections in the first place. People were tired of being given one crook from each major party and being told to choose one. They wanted more options. So we began to have primary elections with a much broader field of candidates from each party. Now people could narrow 10 crooks down to two and then have them compete in the finals – the general election. From what I can tell, the stiffer competition just caused candidates to become better at deceiving the public by making empty campaign promises – promising things like hope and change – and by putting forth rhetoric that is devoid of any real substance. (I once heard a local politician say that she was advised to always be vague and never give details while on the campaign trail.)
This time will be different. John Ellis “Jeb” Bush is the brother of a former president whose ratings hovered in the 20 percentile for much of his term and who is thought of by many as the worst U.S. president ever. Hillary is the wife of the first White man in the Black Hall of Fame. She has gone on the record acknowledging the plight of Afro-Americans following the Baltimore riots to avenge the wrongful death of Freddie Gray. As more of the middle class joins the ranks of the poor and dispossessed, the cause of the Black man becomes easier for them to relate to. This, in turn, enables Hillary to redraft her message as one that revolves around ending poverty for all races in America – thus attracting even more voters.
Speaking of plights, I saw a report over 20 years ago that said that 67% of Americans are part of at least one minority group. Women are seen by many as a “minority” group, even though they outnumber men. Go figure. Not to get into semantics; but,it makes more sense to think of them as an “oppressed” or “underprivileged” group. Even so, the glass ceiling for women in this country has been between the governorship and the presidency. It stands to reason that, even as an Obama presidency didn't improve the state of Black America, a Clinton presidency will not translate into major gains for women. Even so, people will continue to “hope” for “change” and will vote in an “affirmative action” sort of way. I recently told a woman that I want to see Hillary win, in part, because it would give women the opportunity to move from talking about what they would do if they ran things to actually doing it. A female president would have to “put up or shut up”. This woman agreed.
Underprivileged groups want a champion that they can relate to. Sadly, the “champion of Blacks” has used the oval Office as a landing pad rather than a springboard – doing nothing to improve the state of Black America. As a friend once told me, “He didn't have to say 'Black'; he could've said 'poor'”. (Then he would've been working for all races while addressing an issue that affects Blacks disproportionately.) Maybe Hillary will be different. Hope is all we have and all we can do.
The good news is that a Hillary win, in and of itself, would turn partisan politics into gender politics. I predict that women from either party would come together around women's issues and Hillary would quite handily serve as the glue that bonds them together – both on Capitol Hill and in the state capitols. Though women only make up about 20% of Congress (right now), if they play their cards right, they can wield 80% of the influence. As female politicians put forth legislation advancing women's rights, congressmen at the federal and state levels will no doubt scramble to hold onto power and to shift the agenda. A majority of Americans are sure to support the advancement of women's rights and might even give women the majority of the House in 2018 – a key concern for men of either party. Either the congressmen will play nicely in the sandbox with women or they'll be “out on their elephant ears”.
Though it may seem a bit pie-in-the-sky, 2019 could see the beginning of a viable third party which is completely separate from the Dems or Repubs, quite unlike the Tea Party. This party, at its birth, could have as its primary goal the advancement of the rights of women and gays – only to broaden its horizons and put the entire left-wing liberal agenda on the fast track soon thereafter. But, in spite of its original flavor or how it evolves, a viable third party is what we need in this country. We need to break away from the two-party system and quit flip-flopping back and forth between two segments of the capitalist machine that are essentially work in tandem to oppress the ever-expanding class of the dispossessed. In the end, it may be her 2016 victory and the inspiration it brings to many groups – not how well she executes the duties of her office – which does the most to change the face of American politics. So, vote For Hillary, But Not Because She'll Do Well.