Beitzel: For America, an auspicious new millennium ahead

By Dave Beitzel

It’s a new year and a new decade. As I was cleaning out my chest of drawers from the old… It’s a new year and a new decade. As I was cleaning out my chest of drawers from the old decade, I discovered a column I wrote that never got published. To commemorate this refreshing event, I present to you a column from Jan. 1, 2000:

Happy new decade! Today, it’s a fresh world.

Welcome to the Willenium. I can’t stop listening to that Will Smith song, “Will 2K.” It is the anthem of this generation. The album has already sold 2 million copies, so I think it’s safe to say Big Willie has a long, illustrious rap career ahead of him.

He’s come a long way since being dethroned in Bel Air. It’s been almost four years since the show ended, but it still feels like yesterday. Maybe he could have made it relevant for a few more seasons if he had worn the popular, contemporary clothing of Tommy Hilfiger.

Even without the “Prince,” it’s the beginning of a new era in American politics. This is President Clinton’s last year in office. Good riddance, I say. After next January, we’ll never have to hear from the Clinton family again. Gore, too.

It’s hard to predict who will take his place. What we need now is change, not more of the same. At least that’s what all the candidates are saying.

John McCain looks like a promising dark horse. He is a straight-talking media darling. The press will never write anything negative about the guy. New York Times columnist Gail Collins, a liberal, called McCain “a very attractive candidate” and “a bridge candidate, a symbol of the new way America has begun to think about the military.”

McCain is somebody who doesn’t pander to the base. He has a noble story of his status as an imprisoned pilot during the Vietnam War, but he doesn’t exploit it. Collins even noted this, saying, “the candidate himself seldom brings it up.”

McCain should have a decent showing in Iowa, handily win New Hampshire, and it should be smooth sailing after that. He’ll select an extraordinary vice presidential nominee, someone who is capable of running the country, not just someone to appeal to some electoral demographic.

Otherwise, the only viable candidate is Gov. George W. Bush. There are some other good contenders, and the field is wide open, but if anyone is sure to lose it’s Alan Keyes. Black presidential candidates never have a shot.

In May, Bush told a Salon.com interviewer, “I showed the people of Texas I’m a uniter, not a divider. I refuse to play the politics of putting people into groups and pitting one group against another.”

Say what you want about his intellect, he looks like a man of his word. He’s somebody I could sit down and enjoy a beer with. Or an O’Doul’s.

It’s nice that he wants to bring a new air of civility to government. If nothing else, at least he won’t bring disgrace and scandal to the office like his predecessor. Bush vowed to bring “dignity” to any office he is elected to.

At any rate, it’s majority rule, and the people of this country will decide the election. Just like Bush said in the interview, he’ll “just let the voters choose who they want to lead.” Democracy is one thing we can always count on in this country.

No matter who wins, what’s the worst anyone could do? It’s a rootin’-tootin’ time in the United States. We’ve averted the apocalyptic threat of Y2K, websites like Pets.com have provided an indestructible new dot-com economy and the world is at peace.

That’s pretty phat.

Speaking of phat things, “The Matrix” was the coolest movie ever. And the sweetest part is that there are two sequels on the way. It would surprise me if they didn’t win “Best Picture” at the Oscars.

The films are so successful because they play on technology’s invasion into every facet of daily life. The only thing that draws me away from my revolutionary Nintendo 64 is this completely legitimate website called Napster. I access it through my swift 56K modem hookup to America Online. If you don’t have AOL, you are a total poseur.

AOL has about 20 million subscribers. They are a surging market force, and they just offered Time Warner about $182 billion to merge. Time Warner must be so excited to join a genuine media powerhouse. That’s money well spent, because no Internet competitor has a chance. From search engines to communication with friends, AOL can’t be beaten.

With companies and leaders like these, the United States can only cement its status as a world superpower in the years to come. We can do no wrong. These are the Roaring Aughts.

E-mail Dave at [email protected]