Has the American Experiment run its course? Updated: No.

Update: Apparently I jumped the gun on worrying about Princess Caroline being anointed to the Senate as a familial right.  Apparently, the effects of inbreeding can take place in a single generation amongst the Kennedy clan and even the Kennedy worshipers that make up the Main Stream Media can’t hide it. End Update:

The publicity surrounding “Princess” Caroline’s potential anointment to the Senate has helped bring to light the current American Political Aristocracy.  Political families are nothing new and go back to the Adamses at the very founding of the republic.  The question has been floated as what effect it might have had on American history if George Washington had not been childless.  But rarely is there such a blatant disregard for the very concept of democratic representative government as her appointment would be.

What drives this pattern where voters choose voluntarily (in most cases) to vote for political families?  Do people actually think better of a politician because they are related to another politician.  “They must have good political genes.”  Or is it simple name recognition.  A form of celebrity where people vote for the names that sound most familiar.

The problem with a political aristocracy is there isn’t a huge difference between only allowing a select few to serve and only allowing a select few to vote.  The only real power of the vote is to decide who holds office.  If the candidates are highly filtered before the voters get to have a say, then the vote doesn’t really mean much.  This was how the single party elections in the Soviet Union were run.  It’s how the single party elections in Chicago are run.  It concentrates power into the hands of a few and INEVITABLY, that aristocracy sees the power granted them as a right…and an entitlement to whatever privileges they choose to give themselves.  It’s easy to ration resources to the plebeians knowing that the aristocracy will never know privation.

It was casting off that sense of entitlement that was the American Experiment.  Yeah, yeah…the original United States weren’t much in the way of a democracy by modern standards.  And many of the Founding Fathers were social aristocrats.  But not all.  The ideal was real.  That was that the republic could be run based on the will of the people who would choose their own representatives from amongst themselves and that power would not be vested in a hereditary political class.  The lesson of history is clear what happens when the pool of available representatives gets pared down by non-democratic forces.  This was why the Constitution is so cavalier about who can hold office.  The writers did not want to preselect who could run.

Will recognition of this pattern of rising aristocracy give people pause when they vote?  Is the current aristocracy a result of lazy voters or some perverse human characteristic to anoint kings so the voters don’t have to be responsible any more?  Will future voters ever respond to political counter ads that point to a politician’s political lineage as a negative?  Sen Lisa Murkowski may be having issues in Alaska with her seat being the gift from her daddy the Governor.  Even though she won re-election in ’04 there is still aparently a lingering resentment left over about the nepotism thing.  I have no opinion of Murkowski herself.  But voter opposition to that nepotism in general is a good thing in my book.

So does this mean that I wouldn’t support a Jeb Bush presidency and the possibility of a third Bush administration?  Not necessarily.  Jeb Bush can legitimately stand on his record as governor of Florida, as George Dubya did with his time as governor of Texas.  But I would sacrifice Jeb if it would help break the political aristocracy.   What if he legally change his name to Smith and ran on his record without the family name.  Would that still be the same thing?

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