Our Political Dynasties

Michael Duduit Current Events Leave a Comment

Peggy Noonan has an interesting column in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal about the situation faced by today’s Democrats: the seeming inevitability of Hillary Clinton even as other, better qualified candidates go nowhere. She concludes:

“Mrs. Clinton is so far ahead so early on for the same reason Mr. Bush was so far ahead so early on in 2000, and after only six years as governor, with no previous offices behind him.

It is the nature of modern politics. A political family gains allies–retainers, supporters, hangers-on, admirers, associates, in-house Machiavellis. The bigger the government, the more ways allies can be awarded, which binds them more closely. Your destiny is theirs. Members of the court recruit others. Money lines spread person to person, company to company, board to board, mover to mover.

“The most important part is the money lines. Power is expensive. The second most important part is the word “winner.” The Bushes are winners; the Clintons are winners. We know this, they’ve won. The Bushes are wired into the Republican money-line system; the Clintons are wired into the Democratic money-line system. For a generation, two generations now, they have had the same dynamics in play, only their friends are on the blue team, not the red, or the red, not the blue.

“They are, both groups, up and ready and good to go every election cycle. They are machines. There are good people on each side, idealists, the hopeful, those convinced the triumph of their views will make our country better. And there are those on each side who are not so wonderful, not so well-meaning, not well-meaning at all. And some are idiots, but very comfortable ones.

Is this good for our democracy, this air of inevitability? Is it good in terms of how the world sees us, and how we see ourselves? Or is it something we want to break out of, like a trance?

“It would be understandable if they were families of a most extraordinary natural distinction and self-sacrifice. But these are not the Adamses of Massachusetts we’re talking about. You’ve noticed, right?” (Click here to read the full column)

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