Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture or daily living. This week’s question: Whom Would You Least Like To See In A Presidential Matchup In 2016?
The Razor: Well the Democrat is easy: Hillary Clinton. I would have preferred her in 2008; in fact I hoped she would win the nomination because I was never a Clinton hater like so many on the Right. But after her stint as Secretary of State, and particularly after Benghazi and the “WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE” breakdown in front of Congress, she’s not fit to be my county’s dog catcher.
On the GOP side it’s tougher. We’re still too far out to see who the main challengers are going to be, and in fairness no one stands out. I’m not much of a fan of Chris Christie given that I’m not a fan of his state nor of his anti-gun rights stances, but I suspect he’d put up a much better fight than Romney did in ‘12. Paul Ryan strikes me as another weak candidate at this point, as does Rand Paul. I hope to see one or the other grow, but I really feel that we need to find someone with management experience, and that means selecting a governor.
So I would probably select either Paul Ryan or Rand Paul as the GOP candidate I’d least like to see in the match-up, if only because Amateur Hour is over. We need experience.
PS: I personally know our dog catcher; he’s a nice guy with a tough job and people generally like him around here. If Hillary ran for his job she’d lose by a landslide.
The Glittering Eye: I don’t look forward to anyone running for president in 2016. I find the entire prospect terribly depressing.
Given that proviso it’s hard for me to give an answer to the forum’s question other than a flip one: I’d like to see any Republican who could beat Hillary Clinton run. I don’t much care who it is. I do not much want to see Hillary Clinton elected to the presidency. I’d like to see any Democrat who can beat her run. Or Libertarian. Heck, I’d even prefer a Green who could beat her.
JoshuaPundit: It’s hard to answer this one from a negative standpoint, which makes it a lil’ bit tricky (*chuckle*).
Frankly, given the mess the next president will inherit, it’s hard to see who would want the job unless they had ulterior motives. Like say, Mrs. Clinton, who already has her sycophants testing the waters for her.
What we really need, of course, is someone not part of the Ruling Class (or someone who doesn’t aspire to be part of it), who is a person of principle who would be willing to do what it takes and get their hands dirty in order to fix what’s wrong and deal with our deep seated problems. Based on that, I would not want to see a matchup between Mrs. Clinton or Chris Christie, Jeb Bush or Paul Ryan on the Republican side, among others.
We have, at this point, had three very poor presidents in a row, the worst in our history and all were two termers, meaning we have had a quarter century of dysfunctional leadership and in the case of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, men who have avidly sought to enrich themselves personally through the office. I have often written that the issue for America is not our destruction – we’re far too powerful for that – but whether we wish to reinvigorate our Republic on the principles it was founded or become Rome. So far, based on our last three presidents I think we’re leaning towards Rome and it will take an incredible person to reverse that in the other direction.
The Roman Republic had its moment in 83 BC with striking similarities to our own in the strife between the optimates and the populares somewhat similar in outlook respectively to our own Republican conservatives and Leftist Democrats. The Republic was about to collapse in corruption, civil strife, cronyism and blatant mismanagement.
That’s when Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Rome’s most famous and victorious general and an optimate marched five of his legions back into Rome, assumed a position as dictator and took over the city.
The Senate, having no choice, appointed him dictator legibus faciendis et reipublicae constituendae causa (“dictator for the making of laws and for the settling of the constitution”).
Sulla used his powers to enact a series of reforms to the Roman constitution, arrested and/or exiled a number of people he suspected of corruption or other crimes against the Republic and carried out a number of executions of those he considered traitors or whom had acted against Rome’s interest.
Amazingly, once his reforms restored the balance of power between the executive and legislative parts of Rome’s government and codified requirements for holding office, the economy was working well again and the state again operating on its founding principles, Sulla voluntarily relinquished his absolute power, disbanded his legions and resigned two years after he first became dictator, retiring to his country villa with his family.
In spite of how he took power, he remained beloved of Rome’s people and was given a hero’s funeral by the City when he died 3 years later. His contemporaries like Plutarch credited him with saving the Roman Republic, which managed to last for another half century before Augustus turned it into an empire in 27 BC.
I relate this not because I want to see a dictatorship ruling our republic, but to show how perilously close to the edge I think we are. Hopefully the changes we need will be carried out in a peaceful way by men who are as dedicated to our nation as Sulla was to his.
Well, there you have it.
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.
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