January 9, 2009

Kennedy Dynasty continues?

So Caroline Kennedy wants to be a US Senator. One has to wonder why. But as Republican's should we care? Should we not welcome, vapid uninformed opposition? Yes and no.

Yes, for obvious reasons. Weak opposition makes for easier victory in debates, in political maneuvering, in every respect. She is less likely to carry any weight in her position and therefore could not be counted on to sponsor any meaningful yet egregiously bad legislation. Maybe one or the other but not both. Let's face it, she'd be a lightweight. And that's a plus for Republicans. Other reasons to be happy include the fact that if ever a Kennedy could be beaten, she'd be the one to present the opportunity to us.

On the other hand - she does have the name recognition. She could skate through on that alone, which would be unfortunate. It bodes poorly for America that celebrity and star power play so well to so much of the population. It's a portent of a failing superpower if celebrity equates to relevance in other spheres. The gladiators in Rome were revered, but they weren't meant to be Senators there. In modern America, Paris Hilton is not meant to lead, by election or by example. Yet the freedom that makes it possible is the same freedom that makes it significantly possible. You don't have to be smart to vote. You don't have to understand economics, or civics or trade, or ecology or morality. And as such, to quote a Roman dictum, caveat emptor. You get what you pay for (If you're in Illinois, apparently that means a Senate seat).

You'd think the country would learn from history (oops, don't need that to vote either) that dynasties aren't the ideal. Yet two mediocre Bush presidencies, two Clintonian agonies, and myriad Kennedy runs have not yet squashed the idea that all members of a particular dynasty are created equally, and that genetics doesn't determine quality when it comes to politics. Perhaps the biggest plus that can come out of a Caroline Kennedy seat, would be a miserable failure that puts the last nail in the Kennedy mystique (after the 40 or so Ted put in) once and for all. I think we have to hope so because any success and 30 years from now somebody named Skip Kennedy with the IQ of a football helmet might be a serious contender for the Presidency and live gladiator shows will be being broadcast 24/7 on MTV.

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