Two families, two decades, not good for democracy

Julie Knapp


It’s a word we are going to be hearing a lot of in the next couple of years, as she kicked off her presidential campaign Saturday, Jan. 20.

While I would like to have a woman for the next president, and for that matter, a democrat for the next president, it scares me the democrat might be Hillary Clinton.

It’s not because I don’t like her policies; it’s because her husband was recently president, and if she won, the last four presidents in our history textbooks would be Bush, Clinton, Bush and Clinton.

The thought of two families having control of the executive branch for 24 to 28 years is frightening. The thought of the earlier Bush-Clinton pair having a friendship scares me more.

A democracy needs change and representation from multiple facets, and the United States won’t get that representation when it’s the same two families controlling the White House for more than two decades.

When people elect someone for an office, especially the presidency, they don’t just elect that person, they elect everyone who has an influence on or is an advisor to that person. This includes spouses, parents, friends and siblings.

The current President Bush is learning hard lessons of what it’s like to follow in a family member’s steps while in that position, having been criticized for his dad helping him get out of this Iraq conundrum. The most recent attack is when he brought in Bob Gates, now the secretary of defense, to help plan the new strategy in Iraq. Gates use to serve as the deputy national security advisor to the elder Bush, and many media outlets have framed the delegation as Bush seeking his father out for help.

If Hillary were to win the presidency, she too could be criticized for bringing in people from her husband’s administration to help her. However, if it happened, it wouldn’t be framed as “asking dad for help,” it would be framed as “asking her husband for help,” which could have negative implications when it comes to seeing how powerful the first woman president can be.

While it’s important to be an issues voter, this isn’t a true representation of the people. In the 2004 election, there was often talk of two Americas. Right now, it’s looking like the Bush America and the Clinton America. We need a third America that cuts out the extremist left and right, and really focuses on change.