Is the Hillary Clinton waiting game actually good for democracy?

Hillary Clinton Waiting Game

The GOP side of the 2016 Presidential race seems to be getting a lot of attention recently — and we all already know that the Koch Brothers will play a major role therein — but on the Democratic side, it’s been essentially the same story since sometime in the summer of 2008: if Hillary Clinton wants it, she can go and get it. But yet, she hasn’t come out and gotten it. There’s still time, of course — it’s only the beginning of February 2015. She’s apparently in no hurry, which leaves guys like Martin O’Malley in this weird “We-want-to-profile-you-but-only-because-we-need-this-if-the-inevitable-doesn’t-happen” place, i.e. getting profiled in The New Yorker when the real focus of the story is still Hillary.

Think deeper about this for a second, though. Maybe this is a pretty bad moment for the evolution of democracy.

Consider these points:

  • Princeton University has come out and said the U.S. is closer to an oligarchy than a democracy, right?
  • Now consider Item 1: if the broad assumption is that Hillary running means Hillary winning, then we’ve basically decided an election without a democratic process, no?
  • Selecting a leader sans process — isn’t that what English royalty is about?
  • If so, uh, why did all this happen?
  • Now let’s say you assume Hillary will run, but don’t think that means she’ll definitely win. Cool.
  • Now let’s say you think it might be Hillary vs. Jeb Bush. Some have argued this recently.
  • A Bush was in some stage of the Presidential election of 1980, 1988, 1992, 2000, and 2004.
  • A Clinton was in some stage of the Presidential election of 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2008.
  • If we’re in for Clinton vs. Bush, this whole idea that “your name > what you’ve done” is in full force in America.

So, admittedly this is a doomsday/naysayer position, sure — and ideally democracy still triumphs. But consider this. At base, it appears the two options for the 2016 Presidential election are:

  • Be willing to anoint someone before he/she has even expressed interest. (That’s a synonym for nobility.)
  • See two families who’ve dominated the political landscape do battle once again.

Is either of these things really saying anything good about our democracy?

Ted Bauer

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