Not long ago, I encountered a gentleman (?) who had some strong feelings against political dynasties in the United States. I have no real knowledge of this individual other than the fact that he is an educator who was attending the annual conference of the Assocition of Educational Service Agencies this past December. I was sitting at a large round table at a conference general session that was preceded by a luncheon with my group from Lucas County Ohio. During lunch and prior to the general session itself, I was having a conversation with them about the possibility Caroline Kennedy becoming a United States Senator when this fellow who was also at the same large table interjected with his thoughts. He voiced his very strong feelings and I responded that the only "qualifications" to be a United States Senator involved age, citizenship, and residency; and, the fact that someone may be related to others in elective office has no relevency. He didn't like my response and refused to look at me for the rest of the time we were in that luncheon session. Oh, well!
Around that same time, I had a similar conversation with a friend of mine who voiced the same concerns as the fellow at the AESA conference. With two different yet similar conversations taking place at nearly the same time, I started to be a bit more astute and realized many people share the same concern. Hmmmmm, says I to myself.
I do not understand why people are so opposed to what they call political dynasties, i.e. members in the same extended family who are acitive in American politics or government. No one seems to have a problem with family dynasties in the medical profession, or the legal profession, or in factory work, or in teaching, or in denistry, or in construction trades, or in skilled trades, etc., etc., etc. Elective office and government positions are jobs in the public service. What's wrong with that? Why are family members who share a common interest and common careers in public service any different than family members who do likewise in the private sector? Why do people treat this topic the way that they do? I can't figure it out. Elective positions are elected; if the person isn't doing the job, that person may be removed by recall or simply not be re-elected. Problem solved. After all, the voting majority does indeed have the final say. Then there is the situation of family members who work for the government. If someone employed in the government sector is not performing satisfactorily, that person is subject to corrective action, including dismissal if warranted. Again, problem solved.
Recently, I read the Washingington Post piece Dynasties in Decline by Op-Ed columnist David S. Broder and it seems quite poignant.
I also read Political Dynasties: An American Tradition from Brookings which I also fond to be very interesting.
Oh, by the way, there's a piece over at Wikipedia entitled List of United States political families that you might wish to explore.
We have in the United States of America a system of checks and balances and we have a voting box that is a regular occurence. Quite frankly, I think political dynasties are A-OK.
I imagine many folks disagree with me. I sure would like to know the logical reasoning of their disagreement.