GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA, August 19, 2014 — Fairly or unfairly, Hillary Clinton’s critics see her as a craven opportunist who would run over her closest friends if it meant gaining more power. With her all but announced presidential campaign team falling into place, Hillary is set to continue America’s divide.
Politics has always been a tough business, but three particular events have led to the poisonous political environment that exists today.
The first event came in 1987, when liberal Ted Kennedy brutalized conservative Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork. Bork was a scholar and one of the finest legal minds in the country. Kennedy knew Bork would vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade, so Bork had to be destroyed. Confirmation hearings have been contentious ever since. Qualifications take a back seat to ideology.
The second event came in 1998 when Bill Clinton was impeached. The fact that he was actually guilty of the things he was being accused of was irrelevant. Democrats vowed revenge rather than accept that Slick Willie had a problem with obeying the law. The organization Moveon.org was created because the left felt we should all “move on.” Yet they never did.
The third event was the 2000 election. George W. Bush defeated Al Gore by a razor-thin margin. Democrats could not accept that a close loss was a fair loss. They insisted the election was stolen, blaming a 5-4 Supreme Court decision as proof of a corrupt Republican High Court. The left never complained when the Florida Supreme Court supported Gore on an equally party line 4-3 vote.
All three of these events cast liberals in a bad light, and liberals respond by saying that “both sides do it.” This is not exactly true. George W. Bush did not hate his political opponents. He did not use demeaning language when addressing them. The left hated him, but he never hated them back. Conversely, Barack Obama takes glee in taunting his political enemies. Words matter. Bush saw opponents. Obama sees enemies.
Now Hillary Clinton is on the verge, to paraphrase John McCain, of taking the low road to the highest office in the land. While uniting Americans may not be possible, Hillary is the last person to do it. Too many voters despise her. While this may not be completely her fault, she is hardly blameless.
There is one thing she can do to become an instant hero, forever deified in the history books. It would benefit her, the voters, and the entire nation.
Hillary Clinton could voluntarily, for the first time in her life, put other people above her own lust for power. She could recognize the harm a Hillary Clinton presidency would do for an already frayed nation and refuse to preside over its being torn asunder.
She could put country first.
She could refuse to run for President.
Imagine if she gave the most classy speech since General William Tecumsah Sherman, who said, “If nominated I will not run. If elected I will not serve.”
It would take courage and character.
“My fellow Americans. For over four decades, I have dedicated my life to public service. Along with my husband Bill, we have spent our lives fighting for what we believe in for the good of America. We were not perfect, but we did our best. We did what we did for the right reasons. Our love for this country and the unique nature of its people has never been stronger. America is an exceptional nation, and we are proud to have been part of that great American history.
Unfortunately, politics has become a bitter game in recent years. With the explosion of the internet and social media, candidates spent more time defending themselves against baseless attacks than in serving the people. Most politicians are honorable public servants trying to do the right thing. However, the cynicism has hardened to the point where it may be forever embedded in our souls, ingrained in our culture.
As much as I want to unify all Americans, I have come to the conclusion that this may not be possible. I have fought so many political battles, and these battles creates enemies. My critics were often unfair with me, unwilling to give me the benefit of the doubt. Other times, I have judged others harshly and mistaken honest policy disagreements for personal attacks against me.
If the American people are going to have any hope for reconciliation, the president has to be somebody who can unite people. I am a divisive, polarizing figure. While enough people may vote for me to get me elected, too many people will oppose me to allow me to govern us all effectively. I want to win the right way, not at all costs. The political warfare has to end. We have to treat political opponents with dignity. We have to work with people. Although I know I am capable of doing this, too many people will never believe this. It is what it is, and I accept this.
I love my country more than I love the job of running it. I want the next president to be somebody who can reach across the aisle and find outstretched hands rather than clenched fists.
There are plenty of qualified people out there. I look forward to helping one of them get elected. In the same way my husband and his predecessor worked together on global initiatives, I will always be ready to help the next president anywhere, any time, in any way for the good of America.
Do not feel sad for me. I have had an amazing journey, a quintessentially American journey. Bill and I have been blessed with so much, and there are so many different ways to give back. Public service is a noble calling, and the Clinton Foundation will do whatever possible to meet the new challenges facing us in the 21st century.
Thank you for considering me as a presidential candidate. I hope to repay that thanks by being a great public servant in whatever way this nation sees fit. While I will not be a candidate for president ever again, I will ask all of you to try and put the divisiveness of the last few years behind us and come together as one American family.
God bless you, and God bless America.”
That is the speech Hillary Clinton cannot and would not ever give.
When somebody is consumed by their obsessive quest for power, considering the greater good is impossible.
She may win. She may lose. She will never be able to unite us. One cannot spend their entire life demonizing half the country and then expect those people let bygones be bygones. She had no use for far too many people for far too long, and now those people have no use for her.
The more people see of Hillary, the less they like her. If she refused to run, her poll numbers would skyrocket. When she inevitably runs, at some point they will crater.
Meanwhile, the country will continue to burn as neighbor is pitted against neighbor solely so Hillary can scrape together the barest of majorities to win the job she covets.