Hillary Clinton is representing an ‘exhausted volcano’

By Nicholas Pappas

 (Chuck Kennedy/MCT)
(Chuck Kennedy/MCT)

When talking about Hillary Clinton and the 2016 Democratic primary, syndicated columnist and political contributor George Will stated, “The Democratic Party is the oldest political party in the world. It guided this country through two world wars. It shaped the modern American state. It’s such an exhausted volcano that all it has to offer in 2016 is this.”

The Democratic Party likes to be the party of diversity and youth. At least that is its claim. However, in terms of ideology – age, race, political experience and freshness – the 2016 Republican field is far more diverse and interesting than the one and only candidate the Democrats seem to have on their side.

This past weekend, I attended the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, New Hampshire. Over a dozen declared and potential Republican candidates showed up to impress big media, big opinion shapers and big money members in New Hampshire politics. Having had the chance to meet almost every candidate in the field, from Jeb Bush and Rand Paul to Chris Christie and Marco Rubio, I can say that the GOP has such a deep and impressive bench to choose from that no Republican need worry about the upcoming Presidential election. Our message and our messengers are far better than what the Democrat can offer.

Hillary Clinton is already sinking. After an embarrassing few weeks of scandal in “email-gate,” a lackluster and widely mocked campaign rollout that resulted in a visit to Chipotle being the most interesting thing that she did all week and sagging poll numbers against Republicans she used to lead by much wider margins, her presidential “inevitability” is going away fast.

In part, this decline is due to the sad reality that she doesn’t have anything to run on. She didn’t end up accomplishing much as first lady, senator or secretary of state. From Hillary-care to a failed Russian-reset, her legacy is one of positioning and pandering rather than substance or crossing the finish line.

Next week, Charles Krauthammer will come to the University of Massachusetts for a whole speech focused on the failures of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, of which she is a chief architect.

As many others have pointed out, her political appeal truthfully amounts to two things: vote for a woman and “remember how good my husband’s administration was?”

The first point isn’t worth the time of day. If someone wants to vote for Clinton based on her chromosomes instead of her history or policies, they are free to do so, but they should be ashamed of themselves for giving away the most powerful and influential office humans have to offer through a system of affirmative action. The President holds the futures of more than 300 million people in his or her hands and should be well above any form of diversity considerations. It’s obvious that only the most qualified candidate should get be appointed.

In regards to Clintonian nostalgia, why progressives would feel a sense of euphoria for the 1990s is beyond me. A moderate president combined with a conservative Congress produced a center-right government. Concerning economics, the United States saw more free trade, capital gains tax reductions, a rightward shift on social safety nets, certain choice deregulations and the reigning in of spending which resulted in a balanced budget.

On social policy we saw “don’t ask don’t tell,” the Defense of Marriage Act, the now infamous Religious Freedom Restoration Act and a president who referenced “God” frequently to connect with religious America. When it comes to foreign policy, if progressives want to nominate someone in 2016 who voted for the Iraq War, they can choose her.

It’s depressing to see the Democrats stuck with nothing more than a corrupt dynastic matriarch. It would be better for the party – and America as a whole – if Clinton got challenged. And lost.

Nicholas Pappas is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]