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Thursday, May 04, 2006

I'm Tired of Bushes and Clintons

Every presidential election since 1980 has had a Bush or a Clinton on a major party ticket. And the pundits say we're likely to see a Clinton atop the next Democratic ticket.
 
Unlike the last seven presidential elections, I dream of a 2008 contest that is Bush- and Clinton-free. Our country needs new leadership and fresh ideas beyond the realm of just two families.
 
Of course, influential political families are as old as the Republic. Our nation's first vice president and second president was an Adams; his son was our sixth president. A Republican Roosevelt dominated U.S. politics at the turn of the 20th century; a Democratic Roosevelt, his distant cousin, was even more dominant decades later (joined by our country's greatest first lady, a Roosevelt by birth as well as marriage, who toiled for human rights for years thereafter.) Then came the '60s and the brothers Kennedy...but both John and Robert were killed before the age of 47.
 
Those earlier eras were marked by hope or social progress. By contrast, the Bush-Clinton era is marked in many respects by political regress and decline. And as major national problems fester, neither Team Bush nor Team Clinton are willing to seriously address them.
 
Don't get me wrong: I'm not in any way equating the Clintonites with the extremists in today's White House. No one comes close to Bush recklessness and fecklessness. But I believe that until we sweep away the Bush-Clinton era and transcend narrow Bush-Clinton debates (and non-debates), we won't be able to put our country back on the road to social progress.
 
In the last couple decades -- as power has passed from Bush to Clinton to Bush -- we've seen major problems worsen.
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