Dateline: Prague, Czech Republic
As with most of Europe, the modern-day Czech Republic is no stranger to its share of historic political dynasties.
After the establishment of the Great Moravian Empire in the ninth century, the Premyslid dynasty took over politics in the modern day Czech Republic, where Prince Borivoj, moved the seat of government to Prague. Over the years, those that followed him would build a series of castles as monuments to their excellence.
Of course, elsewhere in Europe, many believe that groups such as the Illimunati – which attempted to influence eighteenth century French politics – are still working behind the curtain in global politics today.
Over the weekend, I popped in to see the legendary Prague Castle. To be honest, I’m not nearly as enamored with Prague as many are. I spoke with a few groups of tourists from Japan and China who similarly told me they were a bit let down by the city after such a huge build up from friends.
However, while wandering around Prague Castle, I happened to stand next to an English-speaking tour group as the guide was telling a story of the political dynasties here in the Czech Republic and its predecessor states.
Lo and behold, some of the people running for top offices in the Czech Republic now are descendants of the same people who ran for office or were in positions of power twenty, fifty, and even 200 years ago.
The power of political dynasties is very much a force in much of western Europe.
However, it’s also quite the force in The Land of the Free these days, as well.
Americans have always prided themselves on not having a King and for being different from Europe, with its fancy monarchs and unnecessary pomp and circumstance. Americans viewed this as a great way to show off “their freedom”, figuring that political rulers who changed with the winds made for a more democratic system.
Of course, I’m not one in favor of “good government”. Just look around the world and you can see that pretty much everything the government does results in disastrous and heinous consequences for those involved. The government does nothing that the free market couldn’t do better.
However, the argument that the United States enjoys more freedom because of its lack of European-style political dynasties makes it more accountable is a total farce these days.
While I read little US news, it’s hard to avoid the headlines cooing over a potential Bush vs. Clinton presidential race in 2016. The mainstream media, which has totally avoided stories on the kidnappings in Nigeria, the Benghazi cover-up, and other real news of note, can’t help but fawn over the prospect of, yes, a political dynasty re-match.
“Patriotic Americans” like to point to stories of the Founding Fathers and speak of their desire for the average Americans – farmers, schoolteachers, and other non-politicians – to put down their pitchforks and chalk and head to Washington to serve as Congressmen for short stints before returning to public life.
Of course, like all other aspects of allegedly accountable “good government”, that desire has long fallen by the wayside. However, the rise of political dynasties in the United States is much more troublesome than the average American suspects.
Take the Bush family. After running the CIA spy agency, George H.W. Bush bumbled his way past a supermarket checkout counter to become the 41st president of the country. Only eight years later, his son took over the job. Now, the latest Bush – Jeb Bush – is widely believed to be running for the Presidency in 2016.
Forget that Jeb Bush, a career politician and former governor of Florida, hasn’t done anything in eight years. In the era of American political dynasties, that means nothing. Another Presidency is nothing more than a notch on the Bush family’s belt.
Beyond the Bushes, consider Hillary Clinton’s run. Haven’t Americans had enough of her family? Not according to the media. Not only are Americans supposed to be fired up about Hillary, but the idea that First Daughter Chelsea Clinton might run for public office made headlines recently as well.
Add these latest examples of political dynasties such as the Kennedys, the Cuomos in New York, the the Rockefellers, and the Roosevelts.
For a nation built by founding fathers who intended “dynasty” to be a dirty word and enshrined that “no title of nobility shall be granted” in the Constitution, it seems political dynasties are quite alive and well in The Land of the Free.
Heck, how long did “Mayor Daley” run the city of Chicago into the ground before handing over the reigns of power – only for other members of his family to get into the “public service” racket as well?
As the United States becomes less and less relevant in the world, the political elite are becoming more and more entrenched. Quite frankly, it’s ironic that Americans lambast countries like Monaco as insignificant relics based on their structure as a principality and the weak influence of the country… all while the United States is moving to that very sort of system itself.
Does anyone think Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush have any new ideas? They are merely the latest keepers of the keys for a nation the political elite believe can be run on autopilot.
As the Paris Hilton of countries, the United States is only years away from having its trust fund bubble popped and having to get real leaders to run the place if it intends to survive. I don’t see either of those things happening.
While some emerging markets around the world are run by dynasties – or more commonly, former leaders who return years later – those nations have the luxury of fast-growing, increasingly affluent populations.
As I mentioned on a national radio interview today, politicians in countries like Cambodia or Nicaragua just aren’t as significant as they are in developed police states like the US. Nobody in Cambodia is waiting for cues from some politician to determine how to set up their business. They just do it.
While political dynasties have always been a part of the American political landscape, they are increasingly becoming the entrenched reality that signals how a tiny group of elitists are running the country into the ground.
This system of dynasties is what you are sacrificing your life – and your money – for if you choose to stay and fight. I don’t care to do so.