Recently, Hillary Clinton announced that she is running for president, joining the likes of Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and noted Pitbull enthusiast Marco Rubio in throwing her hat in the ring.
There’s a real lack of credible or interesting Democratic candidates, and it seems likely that Hillary is going to win primaries and become the Democratic candidate for president in the next election. That’s a huge disappointment. Clinton’s nomination underscores the need for a populist revival in the Democratic Party and, more specifically, an end to the two-party system.
I’m one of the millions of Americans who refuses to register as a Democrat but ends up voting for Democratic candidates every year anyway. Hillary is sort of the embodiment of all the reasons I don’t support the Democratic Party. In her announcement, she said, “The deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.” It’s hard to take that kind of populist sentiment very seriously when she and Bill have a combined net worth of about $100 million. Hillary is at the top of the deck and has benefited enormously from Citizen’s United, a ruling that she is now taking a stand against.
It wouldn’t bother me so much if there were other decent Democratic candidates, but there aren’t. Hillary and Obama led the primaries by huge margins in 2008, and there haven’t been Democrats who really captured the national spotlight since then. She’s already gained a historic number of endorsements, she polls well in all the right states, and she certainly has the money.
At this point, the best-case scenario is Warren as Clinton’s running mate, which would at least lend a little bit of credibility to Clinton’s shiny new populist rhetoric.
Still, Hillary’s shift to populist rhetoric and focus on income inequality came way too soon after her meeting with Elizabeth Warren to feel genuine or sound convincing, and even before that meeting with Hillary, Warren had made it clear that she won’t be running. It’s hard to see Bernie Sanders as a viable candidate when he openly identifies as a socialist and got elected
as an independent.
Hillary’s announcement was inevitable, and her nomination seems inevitable, too. Her becoming the first woman president is a distinct possibility when there’s such an ugly Republican primary awaiting us. Ultimately, we get to watch as a generic Democrat battles it out with a crowd of evenly matched Republicans while everyone involved raises and spends billions of dollars. The prospect of having a female president is exciting, but it would be so much better if it was a candidate who isn’t so hard to get excited about.
If Clinton wins, America will have its first female president, which is something to celebrate. I’d certainly prefer her to the likes of Cruz, Paul or Rubio. But I really hope that having a second Clinton as president stirs people into looking at how broken our political system is and inspires better candidates to run.
Here’s to an actual progressive candidate in 2020.