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Friday, December 5, 2008

Political Dynasties

Republican Senator Mel Martinez of Florida has announced that he will not run for re-election in 2010. The only curiosity is that he plans to leave - after only single term - when Senators normally stay well past their 'best used by' dates. That a politician, absent some great scandal, should decide on early retirement is refreshing and we should all resolve to encourage more of this behavior.

Unfortunately, former Governor Jeb Bush has stated that he is considering a run for the soon to be open seat. After Senator Prescott, followed by Congressman and President George H.W. who was followed by Governor and President George W., the idea that another member of the Bush family wants to occupy high public office is offensive.

We don't need any more Kennedys, Udalls, Gores, Daleys or Clintons either.

There were discussions in the Continental Congress about offering the job of King to George Washington. Wisely, and greatly to our benefit, he refused - in quite strong terms. His attitude is expressed well in a 1786 letter to John Jay (Secretary of Foreign Affairs):

What astonishing changes a few years are capable of producing. I am told that even respectable characters speak of a monarchial form of Government without horror.

From thinking proceeds speaking, thence to acting is often but a single step. But how irrevocable and tremendous! What a triumph for our enemies to verify their predictions! What a triumph for the advocates of despotism to find that we are incapable of governing ourselves, and that systems founded on the basis of equal liberty are merely ideal and fallacious!

Would to God that wise measures may be taken in time to avert the consequences we have but too much reason to apprehend.

The intent of the following clause, found in Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution, also clearly demonstrates that the founders intended to avoid a hereditary aristocracy:

No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States:

While members of the above mentioned political dynasties have not actually been granted titles of nobility, they seem to believe that they are entitled to rule us. Regardless of their party affiliation, or proposed policies, they may all count on my determined opposition to their political ambitions.

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