Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson

The greatest obstacle to Hillary Clinton finally capturing the Oval Office is that she’s undeniably the most experienced person for the job.

That seems counter-intuitive, but firsthand knowledge of governance inside the beltway is a hanging offense to many dissatisfied with what emanates, or fails to, from Washington. Being an insider is now a major hurtle for candidates disassociating themselves from that divisive quagmire. Being untainted by previous experience in any elected office has become a most valued asset for those seeking the highest elected office. Not since the days of “America, Love It Or Leave It” has an anti-establishment movement gained such momentum. Spurned once, Hillary has doggedly amassed the most impressive establishment resume only to find that irony has once again foiled her best laid plans for returning to the White House.

Eight years ago she was blindsided by the unforeseen destiny that a charismatic fledgling senator would overcome the race barrier and defeat her shoe-in nomination fixated on surmounting America’s ultimate glass ceiling. Fully anticipating her due, most women then liberally chose what they thought a better option, based on character and vision rather than gender or skin color.

Obama’s ascent to the presidency was a meteoric bypassing of conventional politics. What we ultimately got was Hope and Change quickly reined in by the established order.

For Hillary, the glass ceiling has always been assaulted within the game as traditionally played. Those rules have changed. Male or female, being one of “Them” is now a liability. People are realizing that the solution isn’t going to come from those that have been part of the problem. The problem with Hillary’s game plan is that it sounds so thoroughly “Establishment,” because it is.

As the branding once went, and still holds, in voting for one Clinton you get two. Unlike other candidates, for the Clintons this is a battle for their third term of a turbulent presidency vehemently embattled from day one. From the get-go, the Clintons galvanized an unprecedented visceral dislike that was the template for much of what has become an irrationally adversarial politics that’s willing to cut off America’s nose to spite its face.

Even for those that believe Obama is the low point in American history, there’s an even deeper and more personal loathing for the Clintons, especially the female component. Benghazi is the new Whitewater.

For many Republicans, to suffer a Democrat presidency is bad enough without race and gender equality piling on the humiliation of defeat to a traditional Anglo patriarchal governance. Worse still, conservatives have now been forced to ante up. When some see a Fiorina, Carson, Rubio, Cruz or Jindal, that liberalisation of conservative choice is pure capitulation. No wonder the appearance of an ultra White guy, openly exuding misogyny and racism, has become the Conservative runaway favorite.

Hillary is a traditional Democrat arguing that we should double down on what that agenda has currently accomplished. She sports a calculated partisanship proudly, with newfound affinity towards all things Obama … . except maybe the TPP that she helped him draft but now disavows knowledge of, reinventing her political positions as need be.

Sanders’ positions are consistent with his record, continuing to travel the same highly principled independent road towards making capitalism more equitable. Hilary takes whatever road necessary to become America’s long overdue first woman president.

Bernie’s politics say, “Don’t tell me we can’t afford America’s egalitarian promise.”

Hillary’s politics say, “Tell me what to say to get elected.”

Whether it’s a success of the feminist movement or a regrettable failure of continuance, Hillary’s gender isn’t paramount among much of the female electorate. Endorsing an even older white male than usual to steward our nation isn’t something anyone long committed to gender equality likely read in the tea leaves of progressive politics, but the long sought after “youth vote” has finally arrived and it seems to find Sanders’ 74 years, compared to Hillary’s 68, irrelevant. Gender, age and race might just take a back seat in supporting the best vision for the future.

Bernie seeks a major overhaul of a status quo that leaves too many, particularly young Americans, disenfranchised. Hillary’s willing to do some minor remodeling of the establishment. Her idea of far-reaching is to marginally lower student loan interest rates. Sanders champions free tuition at public universities.

Hillary still envisions the middle class being rescued and expanded by spurring the economy with the same failed practices of the past. Sanders knows that the greatest economy in the world doesn’t need expansion but more equitable distribution.

If one likes the status quo, Clinton is a very traditional Democratic answer to the Republican agenda. The trouble is that it isn’t sufficiently game changing for real solutions.

Sanders voices the challenge that we can move beyond a Red vs Blue coloration of the same old same old, where some do extremely well, most are short changed, and the corrupting powers that be remain in power.

Hillary thinks small, in incremental advancements. Sanders thinks big, enough that actual Hope and Change, eight years deferred, might indeed finally come about.

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Gary Anderson lives in Bath.


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