At dinner the other night, a client asked me about my preferences in the 2008 presidential election. I told him that in my seldom humble opinion there hasn't been anyone worth voting for since 1984--that last time Ronald Reagan stood for office.
Unfortunately for us, the most capable leaders on both sides of the political aisle have been sitting out the presidential elections for the past couple of decades. Instead, we have been given the choice between charismatic charlatans, old men who have "paid their dues," or liars practicing the art of "tell 'em what they want to hear."
When the Philanderer in Chief won re-election in 1996, I lamented to a friend that his win meant that we would have the Clintons in our faces for the rest of our lives. That Clinton won in 1992 (with less than 50% of the vote) can be blamed on George H. W. Bush and Ross Perot. That he won re-election in 1996 is the fault of the American people. That those two snake oil salesmen (Bill and Hillary) have so dominated the political landscape in this country is a national shame.
I am afraid we are being set up for a repeat of the 1992 and 1996 Clinton victories combined, this year. In 1996, the Republican party so misjudged the popularity and political skill of Bill Clinton, that Bob Dole (a great American, but not the best leader available on the right) was given the opportunity stand against him. Dole was such an ineffective campaigner that he actually caused his local poll numbers to drop following each stop on the campaign trail.
I have the utmost respect for the wartime valor and sacrifice of John McCain (as I also do for Bob Dole), but McCain is no match for the Clinton political machine. Nor is Barrack Obama. In all likelihood, Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat nominee. McCain will probably stand for the Republicans. With those choices (or any of the others still standing at present), a third party ticket is almost inevitable--probably Bloomberg. A third party ticket splits the vote on the right--Hillary wins with less than 50% of the vote.
A Hillary Clinton presidency (or even an Obama presidency), combined with a very probable much stronger Democratic majority in the Congress, will mean a lurch toward socialism not seen since FDR. Standby for tax rates that will rival any this country has ever seen. Roosevelt packed the Supreme Court with liberal justices who would not strike down his clearly unconstitutional laws and programs. Clinton will do the same.
In 1980, Reagan proclaimed "a new day" was "dawning in America." I am afraid that we will awake to a much darker dawn this time a year from now.