As I watched, it, I kept hearing that old, 80’s Cyndi Lauper song in my head: “…I see your true colors, shinin’ through…”
The “it” that I’m referencing is Bill O’Reilly’s recent interview with Hillary Rodham Clinton on the Fox Newschannel. If you didn’t see it on cable tv, by all means log-on to Fox News Dot Com and view it there. For those of us who care about our nation, its politics, and the selection of our next President, this discussion is “must see” material.
I rarely ever comment on the work of other media personalities, but O’Reilly really was phenomenal. He created a sense of chemistry with Hillary like I've never seen any other media host do, and while providing appropriate moments of fun and levity (yes, O’Reilly set the tone in such a way that even Hillary seemed to possess warmth and wit), the interview was, nonetheless, very “hard hitting.” By the time you finish watching, you realize that O’Reilly managed to get at some profoundly substantive content.
Most telling, in my view, was his line of questioning - - and her answers - - regarding America's energy policy, and her plans to change it. O’Reilly launched into this subject noting that Hillary has recently proposed a suspension of the federal gas tax, and called her proposal the “same old politician stuff” because the Democratic Party has opposed ANWR drilling, and because Hillary herself has voted seven times in the Senate to oppose nuclear energy. He then asserted that both the Republican AND Democratic Parties have “sold out” Americans on energy.
“Well, here’s what I think” Mrs. Clinton replied. “I think there's plenty of blame to go around. We have not done what we should have done…”
“Even for you?” O’Reilly interrupted.
“ Oh, for all of us, for everybody” Clinton insisted.
“OK,” said O‘Reilly. “So you're taking some blame.”
From here, Clinton dodged the possibility that her policies, her positions, and her votes in Senate might possibly be problematic. Instead she went on to blame “we, the people” - - and of course, “corporate America.”
“ But consumers, drivers, political officials, the oil companies, you name it” she continued, “we're not acting like Americans, Bill. We're not in charge. And I want to put us back in charge, and that's going to…”
“OK” O’Reilly interrupted again, “so you're going to change your votes on drilling and nukes?”
“Well,” Mrs. Clinton responded. “Here's what I'm going to do, and I've said this very clearly. In the short term, I do want a gas tax holiday, but to pay for it by putting a windfall profits tax on the oil companies…”
O’Reilly challenged Mrs. Clinton on what she meant by taxing the “windfall profits” of oil companies. After dodging some more, she finally stated that she wants to “set a baseline” (presumably she means some level of profits that she believes is “okay”), and when oil companies achieve beyond that baseline, then she intends to “tax the profits.”
From here, Mrs. Clinton went on to disclose her intention to “take-on OPEC” (O’Reilly assured her that, being in Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, the OPEC bosses “don’t care what you say”), and explained that she will “change the law” so American citizens can file anti-trust actions against OPEC, as well.
When O’Reilly noted that her plans to “take action” against OPEC would likely cause oil prices to rise even further, Mrs. Clinton insisted that “we're not going to be sitting idly by acting, you know, like we can just get away with this. We've got to change the way we behave, the way we drive….”
Neither the full textual transcript, nor my synopsis, do complete justice to this exchange. You MUST view it yourself. I have viewed the “energy” section several times. And the more I watch it, the more clear it is to me that, while O’Reilly was thinking on a practical, pragmatic, “reality-based” level, Mrs. Clinton could not think beyond her ideology - - and her ideology represents a radical “left turn.”
Could it be that a foolish and abusive use of governmental power is a causal factor with our energy woes? Could it be, as O’Reilly suggested, that our government’s (and Mrs. Clinton’s) prohibition of domestic energy development is part of the reason we are now held hostage to the “monopoly” of OPEC?
Not so, for Hillary. In her leftist world, the problem is that American citizens are enjoying too much freedom. “Consumers” and “drivers” behave badly, they drive too much, and they drive the “wrong” vehicles; and American oil corporations (just as President Carter told us in the 1970’s) are once again raking in “windfall profits.”
And could it be that, to solve our dilemma, American oil corporations need to be “more free” - - more free to develop domestic oil resources? No, freedom is the problem, not the solution. American citizens need governmental power to change their behavior, to mandate that they drive less, and to mandate that they drive the “correct” vehicles; and oil companies need government to take away their “excess” revenues.
O’Reilly spoke the language of market competition and collaboration, Hillary spoke the language of government-market combat. Is her vision really, truly, the vision of our nation’s future?
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.