Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why I support Caroline Kennedy for U.S. Senator...

...because anti-dynastic Americanist republicans do not. Ruth Marcus writes in the Washington Post:

More unsettling, political dynasties are fundamentally un-American. This is not -- or is not supposed to be -- a country in which political power is an inherited commodity. The notion that Caroline Kennedy could simply ring up the governor and announce, or even politely suggest, her availability grates against the meritocratic ideal. After all, even the children of politicians generally take the time to climb the usual rungs rather than parachute into top jobs.

Confusingly, Marcus ends up endorsing Caroline, precisely because her appointment would make her a "national princess" in a "fairy tale," for which other more consistently anti-dynastic commentators have criticized her:

The last link is a good example of why I eventually concluded I could have nothing to do with American paleoconservatism, even though Daniel Larison has written some things I agreed with. Dynastic politics are a sign of health, not "sickness," an indication of the natural human desire for family leadership fighting its way through against the artificial constraints of 18th-century republicanism and "meritocracy."


Aaron Traas said...

We're really in a meritocracy? Really? In that case, someone must have re-defined merit to mean "good at getting votes".

The concept of a dynasty is no different than children taking over the family business. The family started the business either to fill a need, or because they were good at it. They pass on their skill, and possibly genetic predisposition, to their children when they're growing up. I know of cases where the eldest son took over management of the family business, and just by being the eldest son, they started out-ranking employees of the business that were there since before the son's birth.

Why is the latter case OK and American, but the former not?

MandysRoyalty said...

America, I thought you wanted to be rid of corruption, or was the Revolutionary War simply a family disagreement?

Every Kennedy since the 60s has lived off of Jack's and Jackie's coat-tails. The only reason they have any glory and a 'dynasty' is because Jackie decided that she liked to pretend to be Queen Elizabeth II, so she helped weave the notion of "Camelot" and fairytale.

America WANTS a royal family. The Kennedys are what they got. So why are people complaining now?