The 2008 presidential primaries are proving to be a pioneering and critical event. For the first time in more than 200 years, Americans could quite possibly witness the election of a presidential candidate that is not a member of an historically underrepresented group. Hillary Clinton, a Democratic hopeful, is making this year’s presidential primaries unlike any other the nation has known. The consequences of this year’s primaries could ultimately change history. Even though America is synonymous with breakthroughs and transformations, are Americans ready for such a drastic and crucial change?
Hillary Clinton’s presence in the 2008 presidential primaries illustrates a deviation from the usual male domination of politics.
Although political equality is something that Americans have long fought to acquire, we may not be ready to extend that equality to a female presidential candidate, nor accept the consequences that will arise from such a radical change.
Was Hillary’s “breakdown” a telltale sign that we may not be quite ready for a female president? Do we really want to see vulnerability in our president, or do we want a seemingly indestructible president leading and protecting our country?
“I can appreciate Hillary letting down her guard and showing humility,” said senior Sydney Joacquin. “I think that we all would like to have a president that we can relate to, but I think she went a little too far with her ‘breakdown.'” She added, “I think that we’re so caught up in the fact that a woman is actually running for the presidency that we’re not putting enough focus on whether or not she can successfully run this country.”
Sophomore Tyiesha Brown is convinced that the reason Clinton is still in the primaries is to satisfy our desire for political equity. “Clinton has only made it this far because she is breaking ground and making history by running.”
Another issue which is causing hesitancy in electing Clinton is her husband and his seemingly over-involvement in her campaign. Is Hillary Clinton’s campaign a shifty attempt to get Bill back in the White House? Do Americans really want or even need Bill Clinton silently running this country?
Whether Hillary’s campaign is a genuine attempt to inject change and progress into this nation or just an effort to reinstate her husband and his policies is unclear; what is apparent is that his over-involvement is shadowing her campaign. We want to see Hillary standing on her own two feet; we need to know that she is capable of rejuvenating and supporting this country.
Only when issues such as sex and ethnicity are thought of as minute will Americans be ready to elect candidates like Clinton. Until then, it is clear that we are not ready for Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States.
We are living in times that are marked by war and social instability. We are in desperate need of a president who represents stability, security and progress, more than a president who represents changing times.
Whether or not Clinton will actually succeed in the primaries and go on to become the leader of our nation is unknown. One thing is certain though: we cannot elect a president simply because he or she represents a historically underrepresented group.
Our next president cannot be elected because he or she breaks the mold, but rather because he or she puts America’s mold back together.