America is an addict to nepotism and glamour. When I started this article on Chelsea Clinton I began with the premise that Americans did not want American royalty. We were tired of the same people looking down on us from their castles in DC. But I realized something, American’s are not tired of elitism. The rejection of Hillary Clinton was not a rejection of the elite but rather “their” elite for “our” elite. Americans want Chelsea Clinton. They just want “their” Chelsea Clinton.
I do not mean to pick on Ms. Clinton but she embodies my thesis. It is almost a weekly ritual at this point for her to make the news somehow. “They” are pushing her and by “they” I mean the fake news media, DC liberal elites and political establishment.
Whatever you call them, they are the entrenched power that controls American politics in the American center-left. And while they push for Ms. Clinton’s ascendancy and their base clamors to stand with her another part of America will push against her railing against elitism while pouring into mega-rallies for their elite.
2016 was supposed to be the year against the political elite. Outsiders rising up with the backing of the people to fix politics, destroy the elite and save “the people”. One was supposed to bring a revolution to Washington DC and another to drain the Washington swamp. Both to give power back to the people but in a sweet taste of irony, both provided a political dichotomy between their ideal overarching ideas and their proposed actions.
Take Senator Bernie Sanders. He promised America a political revolution to bring power from the elite to the people but what was his plan? The largest transfer of political power from everywhere outside Washington DC to Washington DC. His revolution was not to give the power to back to the people, it was to remove power from those his supporters despised for their wealth and transfer it to himself and an army of bureaucrats. From their Chelsea Clinton to their Chelsea Clinton.
The same could be said for the businessman who was supposed to take Washington DC by storm, break the political process, drain the swamp and Make America Great Again. Another candidate to crusade against the political elite, but from the right this time. But alas, his promise was never to give power from the elites to the people, although he said it was. His promise, if you listened, was always to wield that power himself. His campaign was not to end the political elite but make himself one. Instead of a crusade against political power, his crusade was to give himself power. Americans wanted a change their Chelsea Clinton to their Chelsea Clinton.
We can also see this on the micro level. After peaking in 2001, Congressional approval dropped until about 2011 when it leveled off at the ten to twenty percent range. But no matter their approval rate, the reelection rate for Representatives has never gone below eighty percent since 1964. During the 2012, 2014 and 2016 elections and between, Congressional approval got to twenty percent or higher less than five times according to Gallup’s monthly tracker. In each of those elections, incumbency reelection rates increased from ninety percent to ninety-five percent to ninety-seven percent. Americans dislike those Chelsea Clintons but they like their Chelsea Clintons.
Up until recently, America had three major political families. The Clinton’s, the Bush’s and the Kennedy’s (arguably four but I do not think the Obamas have not established themselves as a political family…yet). Last November, in an effort to crush these families, we added a fourth, the Trump’s. The irony should not escape you. In truth we did not stop political royalty, we just elected “ours”. But do not let last November fool you. 2016 was the year we got rid of Hillary Clinton but not the year we got rid of Clinton royalty– nor did we get rid of Bush royalty. We simply moved on from Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush to Chelsea Clinton, Michelle Obama, and Caroline Kennedy. All three of those ladies are on the left and I can happily say that I have not been able to figure out who will replace Jeb Bush as our king in waiting.
Royalty is not good if it is from a Republican or from a Democrat. These families that consider themselves American royalty and they are not wrong. Americans consider them a royalty of sorts as long as they are their royalty. This centralization of power into three or four major political families are undermining the basic premise of the great American political system. While the American system is specifically designed to decentralize power from one center to many centers (today, over fifty) these royals promise to restructure our power structure. No longer should it be spread but, it should be given to your Chelsea Clinton and Washington DC.
This problem is the most important one facing America. It can not be broken down into ones and zeros. It is a problem that goes into our character and what makes us American. This can not be fixed by legislation but by a war of attrition for the culture. It starts by making sure that new political royalty can not their claws into our political fabric. A good starting place would be to banish Chelsea Clinton to join her mother in the upstate New York forest. Political worship should be left for the fanboys and fangirls that worship the Ivanka Trumps and Chelsea Clintons of the world and not for politics.