With all due respect, Hillary, just stop

Augustine Marinelli

Dear Senator Hillary,

I’ve written to you with the hopes that you have the unlikely hobby of perusing campus newspapers. All the same, I hope you read this and heed my advice: please, dear God, please do not run for president! Your candidacy and possible presidency can only do further harm to the United States. I beg you to look past personal ambition and the desire to accomplish an electoral “first” and think about the implications of what you are proposing to do. To aid you in the thought process, I’ve included some points you should touch upon while sequestered in deep thought between bouts of frenetic fund-raising at $2,000-a-plate dinners and crafting stupid electoral catch-phrases for the consumption of “Security Moms,” “NASCAR Dads,” “Angry White Males” or whatever imaginary electorate group is in vogue this week.

1. Dynasty – and no, I’m not talking about the awful TV show … I hope you realize that if you do win the 2008 election, this country will spend at least 24 years (1988-2012) without knowing what it is like to be governed by someone other than a Bush or a Clinton. This means that I will have spent 24 of my then-28 years under the benevolent dictatorship of a Bush or a Clinton. This is a most distressing proposition. After all, we do not do dynasties in this country. Sure, we’ve had two accidental father-and-son teams and one grandfather-and-grandson pair (the Adams, Bush and Harrison clans), but that is highly irregular, and it should stay that way. Dynastic rule or static leadership cliques in democracies suck the oxygen out of new ideas, deaden the impetus for reform and ultimately hurt the government. Don’t believe me? Look no further than Italy, where the same groups of party apparatchiks have been screwing up the country since World War II. If you bother to do some light reading on the subject, please pay close attention to the following functionaries: Berlusconi, Andreotti, Craxi and Moro.

2. No more culture war. That’s right Hillary, being an armchair general in the 40-year-long culture war doesn’t win you any points with me or anyone else my age stuck having to listen to you all ruminate about political correctness, the sexual orientation of children’s TV show characters, Watergate, Vietnam, patriotism, morality as you see it and every other now-inconsequential thing that has befallen your generation since 1965. People my age are fighting two wars. Our priorities are elsewhere. This country cannot bear another shouting war filled with the meaningless cant that has characterized every issue debate since the Bush/Clinton Dynasty began. If you need a hint on this one, look no further than “I’m in to win!” You’re in to win, eh? Just to win? Just to stick it to the opposing army? Not to do anything like improve things or, well …? That attitude epitomizes the worst in baby boomer political moves. Furthermore, we certainly do not want to endure rehashes of Ed Morris’ “Hillary the Lesbian” rumors, all of those God-awful Monica Lewinsky jokes and the inevitable reunification of the “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.” This country will not survive such an ordeal and stay whole. However, you can prevent this. You can bow out. Statesmanship often requires restraint (ask our current president). Your restraint here can only help the country profit.

3. Fear not, the real power is behind the throne. As a candidate, you have the power to enshrine dynastic rule in our country or give us another religious right crusader until 2012. However, if you want to gain even more power, sit this one out. Throw that financial goldmine and your powers of the purse behind another candidate. Bankroll his (or her?) candidacy and ensure his victory. Then, he’ll owe you. Call in those favors, and give us universal health care or to whatever else you feel we common folk should use our tax dollars. By acting in this way, you set yourself up for decades of wielding the puppet strings of power in the Democratic Party (for better or worse). It is certainly something to consider. Plus, do you really want to shampoo the rugs in Bill’s office and get accused of stealing silverware from the White House twice in one lifetime?

So there, I’ve left a few things for you to consider. If I cannot appeal to you through political idealism and virtue, then I hope this argument carries some weight. Just think of all the power you could enjoy as a senator and Democratic powerbroker. That’s certainly more than enough to carry out the time-honored baby boomer tradition of screwing everyone else behind you in line in the name of short-term gain. Ask our big-spending president about it at the next White House meet-and-greet.


Augustine Marinelli is a senior political science major from Atlanta, Ga. He can be reached at [email protected].