Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is sounding like he’ll be a candidate for president in 2016. Brother of our 43rd president, G.W. Bush, and son of our 41st president, G.H.W. Bush, Jeb thinks he has broader vision of where our country needs to change and grow.
I think I can practically guarantee that no matter what he believes he can bring to the table, American voters are not interested in seeing another Bush polarize and divide Capitol Hill, ushering a return of the gridlock and stalemates that plagued his brother’s presidency. Why is Jeb’s “broader vision” so blind to the fact that having a third Bush in the White House would be highly toxic knowing that Capitol Hill will always be a place where Congress stands ever ready to argue the time of day if it will prevent him from accomplishing anything on his agenda?
So read my lips, while Jeb’s views aren’t extreme or out of the mainstream of political thought, Americans will never warm up to the thought of a Bush family dynasty having a hold on the presidency for a potential 20 years altogether.
Equally disconcerting is the looming candidacy of Hillary Clinton.
Speculation is growing that she’s gaining political and financial support if she decides to jump into the 2016 race. Of course she’ll have to deal with former President Bill Clinton influencing her grip on the reins of power, and she’ll need to address her scandalous cover-up and mishandling of the terrorist attack at Benghazi, which cost our Libyan ambassador and three other Americans their lives while Hillary and Obama ignored repeated memos and calls for increased security. Not to mention that Hillary blamed the Benghazi attack on an inconsequential video produced by an obscure and unknown professor who remains under arrest for publishing his anti-Islam video.
With her checkered past, Hillary has three years to climb the mountain and ascend to the Democratic Party’s top spot. Time will tell what she’s made of, if she can indeed overcome her scandal plagued record and win the nomination and the election.
So, between the Bushes and the Clintons, we have three former presidents, and we have Hillary and Jeb waiting in the wings eying a run for the White House, hoping to join the political royalty afforded presidents. Do we really think putting another Bush or another Clinton in the White House will be good for the country?
With America’s population well in excess of 315 million, surely we can find and elect someone other than a Bush or a Clinton to occupy the White House! We have a well educated citizenry from which we should draw an ample slate of proven and skilled leaders who possess the statesmanlike qualities and characteristics that will enable them to lead and govern the nation.
The question is whether anyone capable and strong enough to be president is willing to put themselves thru the ordeal of a two-year campaign to be elected to the toughest job on the planet. Is such a person really out there? I think not!
Why would any sane person want it?
Which explains why every four years we’re stuck voting for career politicians, political has-beens and dinosaurs who have name recognition but seem incapable of crafting any new or positive ideas to solve our nation’s economic and social problems.
The problem is not just the creation of a Bush or Clinton presidential dynasty, but it is also antithetical to our founding principles, which envisioned average citizens temporarily giving up their careers to serve the country for one or two terms in office and then returning to private lives to resume their careers as ordinary citizens —all the wiser but certainly not richer.
To prevent the establishment of a ruling class aristocracy in America, it’s time we consider a constitutional amendment to require the passing of one generation of 40 years before a member of the same family can run for Congress or the White House. Our Founding Father’s view was that aristocracies and accumulated powers concentrated in the hands of a few posed a threat to the freedoms and rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Public service was never contemplated to be a life-long career or a family business. Nor did it embrace family dynasties increasing their wealth by holding onto the seats of power, passing the torch forward from one generation to the next.
Such an amendment would restore and preserve the integrity and trust that should be ascribed to elected office. While it is our patriotic duty to serve our government in some capacity, it is even more patriotic to step aside after an established period of service and pass the reins of power and leadership to the next ordinary citizen who chooses to contribute his or her skills and experience in the service of government and the nation.
No person or family should hold the power of office for more than one or two terms. Limiting government service in this way prevents the acquisition of executive or legislative power in the hands of those who hold office for purposes other than ensuring the common good and fairly representing the needs and views of the people who elected them.
Serving in our elected government should never be for the express purpose of accumulating power and control over the electoral, legislative, and governing process to such a degree that our leaders are rewarded with vast opportunities to accumulate wealth and create powerful dynasties.
The passing of political and government powers through lines of succession within wealthy, aristocratic families establishes a royal class that is blatantly anti-democratic, anti-American, and unconstitutional. Placing the power of the presidency in the hands of an emerging dynasty led by either Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton would be yet another nail driven into the heart of the principles of democracy and freedom that have kept America the shining symbol of hope for all those who yearn to be free!
Randy Haslam is a retired accountant who has lived in Carpinteria for 23 years.