Good for the Bushes and the Clintons, but Not Good for Americatags: Hillary Clinton, Bushes, Clintons, political dynasties
Jonathan Zimmerman teaches history and education at New York University. His most recent book is Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory.
A few years ago, I found myself sitting on an airplane next to a gentleman from Egypt. Talk quickly turned to the upheaval in his country, where the so-called Arab Spring was in full bloom.
"We want a real democracy," he told me, "not like yours." When I pressed him to elaborate, he shot back with a question of his own. "How many times have you voted," he asked, "when someone named 'Bush' or 'Clinton' wasn't running?"
The answer, I sheepishly admitted, was once: in 2008. Before that — going back to 1980, the first year I cast a ballot — every single presidential ticket featured someone from one of those two families.
That's not good for our image overseas, or for our democracy at home. We tell the world that we're a land of opportunity, where anyone can grow up to be the president. Then we limit ourselves to a handful of political dynasties....
comments powered by Disqus
- Joan Baez, Sly Stone, Steve Martin, Ben E. King -- all honored by the Library of Congress
- StoryCorps to Launch Global Expansion With $1M TED Prize
- Hofstra Event Looks at Bush Presidency
- Did Israel steal uranium from a town in Pennsylvania in the 1960s?
- Sequel to Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom to be published next year
- OAH denounces anti-gay legislation signed by Indiana governor
- Emory’s Leslie Harris says we should remember the racist roots of American colleges as we think about what went wrong at OU and other schools
- Stanford historian looks to the U.S. Postal Service to map the boom and bust of 19th-century American West
- U.S. historian denounces Japanese scholars' statement over wartime sexual slavery
- Timothy V Johnson Named Head of Tamiment Library