Friday, February 1, 2008

Reflections on Hillary and the Chase for Change

I’m prepared to go on record and say I’m a fan of democracy (shocking I know). I believe in its purposes and intents. And I also understand and agree with most of the United States’ constitution’s intentions.

That said, I believe in change, openness and the opportunity for everyone to run for elected office. Bringing in different people is supposed to be refreshing for the system and also be a check on the system by preventing the same people from being in power for decades. The next presidential election is also riding on the slogan of change for all presidential candidates.

Last night was the first one on one debate between the two contenders left in the Democratic race. In it, I was struck by Hillary Clinton’s comment that it took a Clinton to fix the problems of Bush Sr, and it’ll take another Clinton (her) to fix the problems caused by the current Bush. I don’t necessarily agree with that, and sure you could say it was a joke, but that kind of comment is basically saying "if my husband fixed the economy last time, obviously the only other person who can fix it now is someone else is in his family." She's been saying for awhile she is different from Bill, but this comment is trying to imply she's the same. It just rubs me the wrong way. That said, this post is not an endorsement for any candidate, it’s just an observatory note.

The U.S. has, at one single chunk of time (which is also the moment we are currently living through), lived through 28 years of some of the same families in office, and has the potential to live through another 16 years of more or less of the same.

We’ve had, consecutively, 8 years of Bush Sr. at VP, 4 years of Bush Sr. as President, 8 years of Bill Clinton, 8 years of Bush Jr., and depending if the Democrats win and where Hillary is on the ticket, potential 8 more years of Clinton if she’s President or potentially up to 16 years with her if she is VP and then becomes President.

The U.S. is in desperate need of change. Its people, its economy and the world are crying out for it. Maybe Hillary can be that positive change. And granted, we all pretty much liked Bill (though I’ve posted recently about how he hasn’t been doing Hillary any favours with his comments of late). But as well, a small part of me wants people to share the opportunities among those interested who are qualified, and there are many. While I absolutely love the idea of a female president, and maybe Hillary is that destined person, I also believe in the best person getting their desserts, and maybe it is Hillary now. But I also think it’s a little disappointing for women who dream of becoming president or those who have tried and haven’t gotten as far as Hillary has, that a big reason for Hillary’s success could be said to be due to her status from when she was First Lady and the changes she brought in with Bill then (the whole “ready to lead on Day 1” is basically derived from that). The female I actually admire most in the Democratic Party is House speaker Nancy Pelosi who is more progressive than Hillary Clinton and has fought extremely hard to get where she is today in the very powerful role of speaker of the House. But she’s not in the race so there must be a choice made between Obama and Clinton.

Honestly I believe that the “American Dream” that so many believe in is based on equal opportunity for all, and fixed terms were implemented as part of the U.S. Constitution for refreshing change and checks and balances. That said, I recognize that Hillary is not the same as Bill and I’ll be 100% behind her should she win.

The Chase for Change continues….

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RuralSandi said...

Equal opportunity for all - all would include Hillary Clinton. You can't say all but and so.