Stevenson: Family political dynasties

Are family political dynasties right for America?

Commentary by Jack Stevenson

Commentary by
Jack Stevenson

America has produced dynastic political families on both sides of the political spectrum.  Is America so impoverished of talented people that we must rely on a few families for political leadership?  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 122 million adults aged 35 to 64.  Citizens in that age group are constitutionally eligible to serve in the office of president of the United States.

If only one person in each 10,000 in that group is supremely qualified for public service in high office, there are 12,000 potential candidates from whom we could choose.   The notion that we should rely on a few family dynasties is an insult to Americans.  We have millions of talented and responsible citizens.

One political family has recently held the office of President of the United States 12 years.  If another member of the same family succeeds to the office, the dynasty could run to 20 years.  Another political family held the President’s office eight years, and a successor could push it to 16 years.  Those potential tenures do not describe a functional democracy.

Business corporations search far and wide for their leadership. Even company founders are often booted out.  Diversity is required to meet new challenges.

Regardless of political party, regardless of individual competence, family political dynasties are not what America needs; they are a vulnerability that we need to avoid.

Jack Stevenson, now retired, served two years in Vietnam as an infantry officer. He retired from military service and worked three years as a U.S. Civil Service employee. Mr. Stevenson also worked in Egypt as an employee of the former Radio Corporation of America (RCA). He currently reads history, follows issues important to Americans and writes commentary from his Florida home.

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