ROCK AND A HARD PLACE: Hillary Clinton’s Rickety Bridge to the White House


This is an interesting perspective of someone looking from the outside in. Check it out.

The grand view of American politics is that Republicans have a lock on Congress, while Democrats have an inbuilt White House advantage. November’s Republican victory shored up that theory. Conservatives reliably turned out for the midterms, while liberals hibernated.

Come the glamour of 2016, Hispanic, millennial, single female and African American voters will be back in force. All that Hillary Clinton need do – or whoever takes the Democratic nomination – is tick the right boxes and let demography fix the rest.

Such is the US left’s world view. It is also a measure of its intellectual poverty. Whatever liberals are smoking, it is no stimulant to new ideas.

The left’s sense of destiny is based on America’s shift to a minority-majority nation within the next 30 years. As the white vote shrinks, each presidential race will be harder for Republicans to win. What is missing is a compelling reason for people to embrace Democrats, as opposed to rejecting Republicans.

For the time being, the latter can be relied upon to offend minorities – notably Hispanics. But Democrats have remarkably little new to say about the future of America’s middle classes, regardless of ethnicity.

Without a credible economic plan, the US left risks being little more than a rainbow coalition. This is the danger facing Mrs Clinton’s candidacy. It is possible – perhaps even likely – that Republicans will select a nominee who has alienated so many Americans that he will be unable to compete in a general election.

It is also plausible that Mrs Clinton will appeal to enough women, Hispanics and others to ensure her electoral maths are prohibitive. That is the working theory. Unless Mrs Clinton can find a positive story to engage America’s middle classes it is the only one that is likely to work in practice.

The signs, so far, are misleadingly optimistic. Most of the left’s energy comes from its social victories. In the past decade, the US has flipped from being a relatively intolerant country for gays – at least compared with northern Europe and Canada – to being one of the most progressive in the world.

Barely a month passes without another state legalising gay marriage. It is a remarkable tale of how quickly prejudice can be rolled back once public attitudes hit a tipping point.

The same applies to marijuana legalisation. One of the silver linings in the left’s sweeping defeat this month was the approval in three ballot initiatives – Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia – of recreational marijuana. Colorado and Washington State had already led the way. Several more states, including California, Maine and Arizona, are drafting similar choices for 2016.

This article continues on

Share Your Comments
Trending Now on GJWHG