Is our current democracy contaminated by nepotism? While history is fraught with examples, historians consistently damn this dubious practice. When kings appoint their dimwitted sons instead of their most able men to lead them, the empire invariably quakes and crumbles like a fruit cobbler in a centrifuge.
If you don’t believe in the cyclic patterns of history, then try this on for size. Anyone remember Marcus Aurelius, arguably one of the greatest emperors in Roman history? He chose his moronic son, Commodus, as his successor and, well, I think they eventually named the commode after him. (I’m guessing his first name was probably Loo or John, or maybe Crapper John A.D., but I digress…)
Never heard of Marcus Aurelius? How about Julius Nepos? You know… the inspiration behind the word “nepotism.” He ascended to the throne in 474 AD, and he was only crowned because he was the nephew of another emperor—and could belch the entire alphabet in Roman numerals (backwards). As one of his first fateful decisions, he chose Orestes to command the Roman Army. Apparently a big Musharrif fan, Orestes soon ran Nepos out of town during a coup. In 475 AD, Orestes placed his own 14-year-old son, Romulus Augustus, on the throne. A few years later, in the immortal words of Porkelus Pigelus, “Th-th-th-th-that’s all folks!”
See any parallels today? George Herbert Walker Bush, a self-made commander-in-chief like Orestes, wins the Gulf War and eventually banishes Julius Clinton from the White House by placing his own son, Incurious George (emotionally only 14 years old) on the throne. And once again, “Th-th-th-th-that’s all folks!”
Even more compelling is this: Both Commodus and Augustus were born-again Pagans who successfully dodged the Hunnic wars by joining the Palace Guard Reserves. OK, I made that part up. But regarding the Rome’s last imperial rulers, Wikipedia notes that they “had a much more tenuous connection to the land and its traditional cultures than the Republic’s peasant farmers had had. These rich men enjoyed the wealth that poured in from Rome’s conquered provinces…”
Is this ringing any bells yet? Certainly not the Liberty Bell. Fast-forward a few centuries, and now we’d have better luck fixing Humpty Dumpty with a barbwire egg beater than salvaging the rule of law. The Bill of Rights and the systems of checks and balances that once sustained our precious liberties have been hijacked — not by Bush Jr., but by the head of another Senate Dick…or dickhead, if you will.
Do rotating family monarchies really work in a republic? I mean, it’s worked sooo well lately. I’m talking to you John Quincy Adams. Is nepotism leading us to a hereditable monarchy? Or, is it leading us to even bigger words than hereditable…perhaps hereditarianistic? Now, back to our dynasties for a moment: Was FDR power hungry, or simply unskilled at counting? Thankfully, his Full-Term-for-Each-Initial-Plus-One-for-Good-Luck amendment was eventually overturned, much to the chagrin of George HWB. Post-FDR, an amendment was passed to limit a person’s stay in the big house to two four-year terms. This was done to keep our executive branch from becoming despotic and long-named. After witnessing the Clinton and Bush dynasties, do we need to revisit the FDR amendment? Just think how many years the Clintons could remain in office if they were to pass their own multi-initial amendment! WJC + HRC = …well, you do the math, JFK! What if Hillary in 2012 passes the Equal-Initial amendment and her middle initial becomes fair game?
Our Electoral College system simply does not work the way our forefathers intended on ethanol. A dysfunctional two-party system has developed, powered by political connections, family affiliations, money, and Thai hookers. (Sorry, it’s the only way I could work them in this week.) By handing down money, political connections, and affiliations, we forfeit free and fair elections. Furthermore, this marital arrangement between the Clintons is obviously a way to circumvent our term limits. I say “arrangement,” because I believe this is a political marriage of convenience. And as for the Bush family…they may not share a bed, but they do share a Dick (and several other advisors).
I feel that this topic needs to be addressed now, not later, or else it’s Hillary again in 2012. We need to seriously look at nepotism in our government, as well as this trend toward dynastic monarchies. We need to pass new laws limiting such encroachments on our democracy. This proposed legislation should be called the I-Live-in-Fear-of-Chelsea amendment.
Of course, I would be willing to forgo my campaign if Nancy Reagan would consider joining the Republican ticket. But alas, she’s already gone and just said, “No.”