Another Four Years...

     Another election has come and gone. The banners are coming down; even those who had the Dole/Kemp '96 stickers glued to their hearts, bumpers, and shotguns are starting to peel them off. America is ready (or had better be) for another four years of Bill Clinton as President of The United States. I don't know that you've seen as much bias against the man as I have in recent months, but even where things aren't quite so partisan, there's no doubt that there are many questions as to how the next couple of years will go. With the Republicans maintaining control of the House and Senate, there's evidence to support that the American public is not quite ready for a single party to take control of the government. However, this can also be viewed as a needed balance of power by a people who were not particularly fond of either presidential candidate. However you want to look at it, this leads to some interesting questions for the next couple of years.

     The predominate view I've heard and seen consists of cries and bemoanings of another two to four years of governmental deadlock, due to the bipartisan election. Clinton certainly didn't get a whole lot done during the first two years of his first term -- especially the health care issue -- with a democratic legislature, but the last two years were even more dire. Why? Americans, yearning for change, gave the Republicans control of the House and Senate. However, we all saw what ensued: Despite intra-party squabbles between Newt and Dole, the government waded through the mire of two years' political stalemate, accomplishing very little. This was the fault of both parties; the balanced budget, after numerous of government shutdowns, still failed to pass, despite Clinton's adherence to the Republican demands of a budget that used their "numbers", yet Clinton also vetoed bills that were otherwise supported by the electorate. The give-and-take didn't work for either the giver or the taker.

Clinton and Gore      It is actions such as these that cause a great number of Americans to be wary, fearing a repeat of the 1994-1996 situation. In fact, this is what I feared in the beginning, as well. Granted, it's the people who elect their officials, but they're also generally hopeful that the parties will compromise on issues to do what is best. If the last two years are any indication, however, they are beginning to wonder if this is possible.

. . . to tell you the truth, I think so.

     First, let's look at it through the lens of history. When Presidents are elected to two terms, this is usually an indication of long-term support. With this comes the legacy that a two-term presidency brings. Generally, they cast images of a nation that feels secure enough with the current situation to hold onto it. Clinton realizes this. Guaranteed, his name will now find its way into the history books, long after he's spent his 8 years in office. For that to be a good thing, he'll want to spend the next four years building up an image of one who truly wanted to lead the United States throughout his presidency -- and this includes getting things done. Will this happen? I'd suspect so.

     However, it's more than just a historical anomaly. Despite all the ideas that the hardcore right-wingers would like to propagate, Clinton is certainly not the bleeding-heart, politically-correct, tree-hugging, Anti-Ditto they claim he is. From the beginning of his term, he was attacked on both sides, as Democrats and Republicans alike questioned just where he stood. Politically, sometimes there's nothing worse than not sticking to the highly-partisan platforms of one's political orientation. Clinton has some conservative ideals, but adhering to these would be political suicide while seeking re-election. In addition, Clinton has stated his desires to place Republicans in his cabinet. With the term-limits in place, it's very likely that, with a little help from the Republicans (who, after a close call in this past election, should be wary, as well), a great deal can -- and will -- be accomplished in this term.

Happy President      In all, it all depends on who wants to get what done. Though it's all-too possible for Legis-Prez Deadlock II to occur, it's much more likely that Clinton's second term will work out much better for the American people. Between the security of his job, and the image he'll want to manifest for the future, I pretty secure in going out on this limb... and secure as a citizen of the United States.

Corey Welton

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