The Primaries are almost all complete, and the National Conventions are just around the corner. It looks like the Presidential Campaigning can almost begin in earnest. Time to stop slinging mud within the parties and start flinging it across the aisle. Of course, before that can start, the official candidates need to be selected.
On the Republican side, the nomination almost certainly goes to John McCain. Mitt Romney appeared to be doing well in his campaign, unless you looked at the delegate numbers. Romney simply wasn’t winning enough delegates to stand a chance, which precipitated his decision to drop his race on Thursday of last week. And thank God he did. Had Romney and McCain continued to snipe back and forth at one another about which one is the more conservative, they would have both weakened the position of the eventual winner. Personally, I’m glad it was John McCain. Like Guiliani, my initial favorite, McCain is a career civil servant, having never really been outside of government work, both as a Soldier and as a legislator. I like McCain’s voting record, and like Bush, McCain is a man who really seems to mean what he says. I may not agree with him all the time (though I’ll probably agree with him more than Bush), but sincerity means a lot to me, particularly in elected officials.
Yes, Mike Huckabee is still in the race, but even if all of Romney’s delegates go to Huckabee (likely, though Romney didn’t officially endorse anyone), Huckabee is still just too far behind. Still, Huckabee remaining in the race is potentially a strengthening point for McCain, as it allows him to continue campaigning, though the campaign will be friendlier than it was between McCain and Romney. Romney indicated in his speech where he announced he was backing out of the race, that he was doing it for the good of the party, and I agree with that. Already the Republican Party is facing an American People who distrust the party because they distrust Bush, a distrust that’s been greatly inflated by the media.
On the Democrat side of the Aisle, things are less clear. The race is down to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the two candidates that the race was really between since the beginning. Currently, Clinton is carrying a few more delegates than Obama, but not all the votes are in just yet. To be honest, I don’t want to live in a country with either of these people as President. I’m not threatening to expatriate, because I won’t do that either, but both of these candidates scare me a bit individually. Of the two, however, I’d vastly prefer Obama.
Clinton has taken for more money than Obama from Political Action Committees. PAC contributions tend to come with strings attached. Expectations of pushing legislation to benefit that PAC. Now, I need to be fair to Clinton, my guy, McCain, has accepted numbers of dollars from PACs similar to Clinton’s, and far exceeding those of Romney and Guiliani. I suppose my distrust of PACs comes from my distrust of Lobbyists in general, and my feeling that Lobbyists have largely destroyed the sanctity of office that our legislators once held. Ultimately, though, Obama’s ability to have nearly matched Clinton dollar for dollar in fund raising, while accepting marginal amounts of PAC money, is really impressive.
My distrust of Clinton goes far beyond her eager acceptance of PAC money, however. Ultimately, Clinton takes that unique brand of Democratic Socialism so common in the Democratic Party today to the extreme. If people feel that Bush is too extremist in his pandering to the far right (which is not where he stands himself on many issues), Clinton has taken her pandering to the far left to the extreme.
A while back, the Daily Show had Jonah Goldberg, author of Liberal Fascism : The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning, as a guest. Goldberg came across as a crazy person, and Jon Stewart struggled through the interview because of it. Goldberg worked hard to make Hillary Clinton out as a Facist, which is unfair to Clinton. Clinton is a self-described progressive, which while they may share autocratic and authoritarian roots with it isn’t Fascism. Sure, Progressivism has brought about some positive changes: Women’s Suffrage, National Parks, Anti-Trust laws (though they may have gone too far in some cases), and Labor Laws. However, progressive policies have lead to enormous extension of government’s power, expenditure, and bureaucracy. As someone who feels that Government’s sole responsibility is to protect me from other governments, and to ensure the availability of infrastructure. Progressivism, at it’s purest, leads to government waste and opportunities for graft. Social programs, while necessary, can be better implemented elsewhere.
Clinton’s authoritarian attitudes are obvious in her speeches and her book. Her best known work, It Takes a Village, is widely regarded to have out-dated basis is child development theory, and calls for an incredible amount of government intervention. The already far reaching powers of government organizations like Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services to step in and punish parents deemed unfit would be far expanding, extending beyond cases of actual misdoings further weakening the atomic family. In Clinton’s world, public places would have child-rearing tips running to be viewed by all present and passing through. Private Schools would be more heavily regulated, and home-schooling might well become a thing of the past. In short, the ability of a Parent to choose for their Child becomes heavily weakened.
Obama is heavily into promoting social programs that will be hopelessly expensive and probably highly ineffectual, but his ideas are far less frightening to me than Clinton’s. I don’t want to see either in the Presidency, but we as a country owe it to ourselves to make sure Hillary Clinton does not get the nod from the Democrats. Her brand of Progressivism will do untold amounts of damage to this country, and she must not be allowed to win.