American politics are in a tough spot right now. We didn’t get here overnight and we will not get out of here overnight either. And I’m going to warn you right now: If we don’t correct course we are going to wind up with one of President Trump’s overpriviliged and overhyped jackass sons as president in 2024 or 2028.
Or maybe that’s how we’ll get our first woman president: Ivanka can stop selling purses and stilettos out of the West Wing and take over for her daddy when he finally takes his fat dumpy ass back to Mara Lago for a permanent vacation. The media has a fetish for her just like her daddy does so maybe she won’t even have to run- she can just ascend to the seat when he vacates it in our nation’s first formal coronation.
The point is that somewhere along the way Americans really got into the idea of political family legacies. And that is a problem because the entire idea of a bloodline having political efficacy is fundamentally un-American. And we need to recognize this before we get a Trump family political dynasty that emasculates the American ideal of meritocracy and servant leadership once and for all.
As a committed progressive I appreciate what the Kennedy family means to liberal politics but as a matter of cultural influence, the Kennedy fascination is very unhealthy and started us down this dark path. It was the beginning of open wealth worship in our politics and we found out just how horribly that could turn out in the debacle of 2016. Perhaps it is my working class roots and pragmatic sensibilities talking but I find all of that “Camelot” bullshit nauseating and JFK was a president who was actually on the right side of history. Regardless, that breathless media coverage over the years created American royalty and in this country we are not supposed to be about royalty.
The record is clear that the Kennedy family political legacy was the preamble for the Bush family political legacy and the latter really wound up damaging the nation. The election by the electoral college and the selection by the Supreme Court of George W. Bush in 2000 dealt a blow to the American ethos that I do not believe we have fully recovered from. But the injury inflicted by W’s presidency was even more devastating. By all accounts, W was a good guy but he was a terrible president who got the job because of his family political legacy- and it showed. His only enduring measurable deliverable was that he was re-elected in 2004. Other than that, W struck out in every at-bat.
The evidence on this theory is purely anecdotal but it is compelling nevertheless. As much as I wanted to see Hilary win in 2016 because she was the best person for the job, I felt as many progressives did that it said something unsettling about our nation that we were creating another political family dynasty in the Clintons. And arguably a husband-wife tag-team presidential dynamic is even more dangerous than the father-son dynamic because at least you have a separation of time that removes the spector of a dual-presidency and a toxic level of consolidated political power.
What is ironic here is that conservatives will probably never understand that the one person that saved them- and the entire country- from that kind of governing hazard was Barack Obama. McCain was toast after a disastrous 8 year run by W so the Democratic winner was going to win the White House, no question. Obama crashed Clinton’s party- literally and figuratively- and rescued our national identity. Two political family dynasties was two too many so the idea of having three really means that we would have to question our core national identity. Are we a democratic republic and a representative democracy or are we a Kingdom?
So while it is beyond question that Trump is an absolute embarrassment to the country, I suspect that we can survive him and recover what we lost in his dumpster fire of a presidency. But had we established another family dynasty in Washington D.C. in the Clintons our national DNA might have been altered. So for the moment we may have dodged a bullet and shot ourselves in the foot at the very same time- just as long as we don’t put one of these assholes in the Oval Office in the future I believe we’ll be alright.