I was recently interviewed by the German magazine Zuerst! about Hillary Clinton’s announcement that she will soon become our benign overlord.
Here is the interview in English. (No doubt, all of this will sound more profound auf Deutsch.)
1. Mr. Spencer, Hillary Clinton is running for US presidency. The American-Serbian political writer and analyst Serge Trifkovic wrote: “Hillary R. Clinton will be the next president. A nation capable of electing, and then reelecting, Barack Hussein Obama is perfectly ready to make the most influential woman in the world the most powerful person on this planet.” Do you agree? Does she have a serious chance?
If I were a gambler, I’d put money on the Lady in the Pantsuit. At the moment, she does not have a serious challenger in the Democratic Party, and there are demographic and electoral factors that will make it difficult for a Republican to win the presidency in 2016, or anytime in the foreseeable future.
That said, whenever I hear people use words like “inevitable,” I become suspicious: It’s usually a sign that someone has already peaked. I remember people using “inevitable” in 2007 and ’08 in reference to Hillary’s campaign. We know what happened. . .
2. What is Hillary Clinton´s basic idea of presidency? How would she govern in Washington?
It’s a cocktail: Add in two parts Bill Clinton, one part George W. Bush; and sprinkle in some “hope and change” and “first women in the White house” to taste.
There’s a useful cliché that come from Shakespeare: “What's past is prologue.” In other words, history informs the future. This holds doubly for Hillary Clinton, who was directly involved with the Bill Clinton and Barak Obama administrations and was actually an ally of George W. Bush, supporting, among other things, his catastrophic attacks on Iraq. Put simply, Hillary is a force of continuity and stability in Washington.
3. Clinton made in the past some aggressive remarks against Iran, Russia and other countries–what type of foreign politics would she do in case she moves into the White House?
Aggressive remarks against Iran, Russia, and other perceived enemies are quite typical for Hillary’s circle of friends and colleagues, Democrats and Republicans alike.
The good news is that the unlikelihood of a Republican president means the unlikelihood of ever having “neoconservatives” in a President’s cabinet. These are the real crazy ones, who were behind the Iraq War, who are seeking war with Iran and might even be willing to go to war with Russia over Ukraine.
The bad news is that Hillary, like Obama, will be aligned with “humanitarian interventionists” as well as the established foreign-policy-makers of the past 25 years. (During Hillary’s terms as Secretary of State, Washington bombed Libya and clumsily attempt to ride the wave of the Arab Spring.)
My guess is that in a Hillary presidency, we’ll see a few “little wars” and various “democratization” efforts; but we won’t see “big wars” (i.e., against Russia or Iran). Only Republicans are capable of that kind of madness.
4. Who are the biggest fans of Hillary?
The “Baby Bboomers”—older White Americans. Whatever you want to say about “Gen-Xers” (people in their 30s and 40s, like me) and “Millennials” (people in their 20s), we can’t be blamed for Hillary!
Hillary’s biography and political mentality is very much that of the generation that is now reaching retirement—and thus will be the recipients of trillions in government entitlements over the next 20 years.
Many thought that with Barack Obama, we had—at last—escaped the politics of the Baby Boomers, which were defined by controversies over the Vietnam War and the “culture war.” Apparently, there’s no escape!
It’s also worth pointing out that Hillary is not an extension of the Barack Obama phenomenon.
Yes, it’s true that American politics is a giant, billion-dollar, 18-month “realty show.” To a great extent, Americans don’t vote on issues (even if they claim otherwise). They vote on “who they want to have a beer with” (George W. Bush); they vote on having “the first Black president” (Barak Obama) or, in Hillary’s case, “the first women.”
That said, for millennials and leftist idealists—who, in 2008, were genuinely enthusiastic about Barack Obama and who genuinely felt that he represented a break with “business as usual”— Hillary is a huge disappointment. Hillary does not have a drop of the revolutionary potential so many saw in Barack Obama. Hillary is the incarnation of “business as usual” in Washington. She’s not even a “socialist” or “leftist,” as her right-wing detractors say she is. Her “feminism” amounts to putting bossy women like her in charge of institutions.
5. What are the biggest differences between Hillary Clinton and John McCain?
McCain is a psychopath, whereas Hillary is merely a sociopath.
6. How would the “US American dream” of Hillary Clinton look like?
The meaning of “The American Dream” has changed over time. At one point, the Dream had connotations of self-reliance, independence, and the infinity of the American “frontier.”
For the past 30 years, the Dream has been equated with getting a mortgage for a big house in the suburbs. (That Dream exploded along with the housing bubble in 2008.)
More recently, I’ve noticed that the Dream has become associated with immigration and diversity—the idea that anyone from around the world can journey to the United Staes and become an “American” (whatever that means) based on a shared love of freedom, democracy, shopping, and fast food.
Any successful politician in a democratic system in a diverse country like America cannot have just one base of support. (This is why someone like Ted Cruz, who appeals only to Southern Christians, won’t stand a chance.) Hillary, if she is to be successful, will have to speak to a number of different bases: Baby Boomers, who are seeking economic security; millennials, who have a much more negative economic outlook; and millions of immigrant Hispanic voters, whom she probably can’t relate to.
Many have suggested that we are unlikely to have another Republican President in the foreseeable future. The GOP will have to evolve into something that is no longer defined by White Christians. Whether that’s realistically possible is a big question.
I would add another prediction:
Hillary will be the United States last White president.