Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hillary's Strength is America's Weakness

Recent polling statistics and election results have shown that Hillary Clinton's likely voters fall into three categories: whites without a college education, the elderly, and government/teacher union members. I can understand why she gets these votes, but America will not prosper if the new president is indebted to these groups for supporting her.

It's telling that educated democrats favor Obama over Clinton, but uneducated ones favor Clinton. Part of the answer is "race" consciousness, part of the answer is ignorance (or, to be more genteel about it, lack of information and critical thinking), and part of the answer is Clinton's outrageous pandering to what she calls "hard-working Americans". Except that they didn't work hard in school, nor do they have much in the way of marketable skills. Obama, on the other hand, gets support from Paul Volker and three past heads of the SEC. Whose opinion counts the most?

The elderly are, generally speaking, the segment of the population who are most race-conscious (after West Virginians and Arkansans (?), of course). These folks also are the largest constituency for the government entitlements that are bankrupting our country. Do we really want our next president elected by those who depend on government for their financial security - by our debtor class, so to speak? Government spending on the elderly needs to be controlled, not enhanced, and Obama speaks much more cogently on this issue.

I live in New York, a state that ranks at the top of highest-taxing states largely because it has a bloated population of unionized state employees and powerful teacher unions. Per capita of population, New York has twice as many state employees as California. It also has a huge debt that neither democrat nor republican administrations has been able to control. The fact is that public employee and teacher unions, who are powerful Clinton supporters, care a lot more about their overly generous retirement and health care plans than they do about the long term success of our state, just as GM employees cared more about their pay and benefits than about GM's continued competitiveness. Do we need a president who owes her success to these groups?

Obama is about change, which is going to mean tackling America's problems in a straightforward manner. He's been pretty clear about this in major speeches. Clinton is about change that benefits her constituencies and diminishes America because resources will be diverted to non-productive purposes. Will we buy into her populist demagoguery and her pandering to entrenched special interests in the party? I hope not.

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