Throughout the history of mankind labor dynasties were a norm. Shoemaker’s son became a shoemaker, the son of a baker became a baker. In India, this system was enshrined in the concept of the caste.
In Europe, the dynastic concepts were more flexible, social lifts – good or bad – still worked. The brave soldier of the townspeople could get a knighthood, and then pass it inherited…
The main proponents of the dynastic principle were, of course, the monarchs. They sought to transfer their power from generation to generation. In what, in fact, most of them succeed. Change of the dynasty is an extremely rare event in the historical background.
In our time, it took a form of political dynasty at which we might be surprised as it seems not to be totally democratic to transfer policy authority to own children. Then again – it was a norm throughout the history of mankind.
While in the countries considered democratic (or positioning themselves as such) the transfer of power by inheritance is contrary to the established norms, it is the “rules of the game,” by which the civilized world plays.
The political dynasties exist in the U.S. since the early years of the country. However, nowadays it is the most widespread.
According to the data published by the USA Today, more than 50 U.S. statesmen have relatives or Parliamentary until recently sit in the America legislature. This is not about distant relatives, but about the immediate family: children, widows, brothers… For comparison, 20 years ago, only 24 statesmen had close relatives in both houses of the Congress. The most famous example is Senator Hillary Clinton – the wife of the U.S. President Bill Clinton. However, in the political arena there is a new star: the son of the U.S. President Jimmy Carter. Jack Carter got nomination for senator in Nevada Democratic Party. During intraparty primaries elections 80% of Democrats voted for him.
In the same Nevada, Republican Congressman Jim Gibbons is running for governor, and his wife, Dawn Gibbons, State Assemblyman, vying for her husband seat in the Congress.
In the state of Michigan, the nepotism is spread even more: lawmakers pass the seats in the Assembly and State Senate on to their children, brothers, or spouses. One of the reasons experts see that you are limited to only one re-election. Thus, in the Lower House you can sit only 6 years in a row, and the Uppers allows you only 8 years. Therefore, politicians seem to be trying to retain political influence, pushing relatives into their place.
There is nothing illegal, and it fits in the American tradition. We can easily recall at least Presidents: John Adams and John Quincy Adams, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Kennedy and Bush dynasty… Incidentally, the grandfather of the current U.S. president and the father of former President Bush Prescott Bush was a senator in the middle of the last century.
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