Friday, December 19, 2008

Krauthammer 12/19/08

The US House of Lords?

My take on Charles Krauthammer's latest. His column was published in the Washington Post.

Summary: While we always had some unqualified people in the U.S. Senate, the trend is getting worse. The problem with Caroline Kennedy's candidacy is not her lack of qualifications; it is her sense of entitlement. The campaign finance laws, favoring the rich, are partly to blame.

Yes, the Founders were not democrats. They believed in aristocracy. But their idea was government by natural -- not inherited -- aristocracy, an aristocracy of "virtue and talents," as Jefferson put it.

My Views: Rich people can spend gobs of money while normal people have to scrounge for contributions in approved amounts. This is why Corzines, Rockefellers, and Kohls can just plop into office from nowhere. But this is just part of the problem.

Others parachute into office just using their celebrity or name recognition. Family connections, wealth, or celebrity may have been the path to political office in the past but this has become a trend in our time. It is a trend we should not encourage.

Charles Krauthammer is a more establishment columnist. He came to punditry by way of psychiatry (at Massachussets General Hospital) via the New Republic Magazine. He appears on TV where you never see his wheelchair. Here's his Wiki bio.

He wrote a book which is pictured at the right. I am drawn by the substance and the thinking than any particular writing flair.