Stay Out Of The Bushes!

Gollum - go away

It isn’t that I don’t like Jeb Bush. In fact, I have never met him or his famous ex-president relatives. But I don’t like dynasties in the American political scene, whether it is in the White House, the Senate, or the House. We were supposed to have a government by the people, and not by families who happen to have money and connections. Political dynasties are the antithesis of what American government is supposed to be.


The fact is that throughout American history there have been very few political dynasties until recently. There were the Adams’s, John and John Quincy Adams, but they were an anomaly. It wasn’t until the 20th century that such things began to become significant. One might suggest that it started with the Roosevelts, who were not father and son as some believed at the time. Things came into very sharp focus with the Kennedys.


Now, we have the Clintons attempting to become a husband and wife presidential dynasty, with the daughter waiting in the wings for who knows what. Then Bushes trying for the first three-member dynasty; a father and two sons. It is simply bad policy for the nation to engage in such practices. It goes against the concept of popular sovereignty and it also violates the idea of government being a temporary job for people with a public conscience, rather like Cincinnatus, who refused to become king of Rome and went back to farming after leading the city to a military victory.


But more to the point regarding Jeb Bush’s pending candidacy is the fact that anyone with an ounce of sense has seen that he intended to run for several years now. And there is another fact that cannot be avoided. If he is nominated, which is likely because he will have an expected inside track on early votes, then he is very likely to lose the following November. The reaction to his “exploration” of running has been extremely negative among the conservative base. It should be painfully obvious now that one needs that base to win in the general election. But with a disenchanted base, Jeb Bush condemns himself to losing and prevents a more electable candidate from having the chance to win.


The Bush Family has a history of service to the United States, and should be commended for that. But service doesn’t always result in good ends. Good intentions don’t always bring good results. And the history of the Bushes has been checkered. George Bush (41) came into office as Ronald Reagan’s Vice President and soon after broke his “no new taxes” pledge, which many believe was responsible for his subsequent loss to Bill Clinton.


George Bush (43) followed Clinton, whose scandal marred presidency probably contributed to the swing right, but not very far, as Bush was elected by slim majorities in the Electoral College and actually lost the popular vote in his first election. His “compassionate conservatism” turned out to be simply another name for big government with more bureaucracy, more spending and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, which may actually become a threat to the American people if it is allowed to operate unchecked. It would have been better (and cheaper) to tighten up enforcement of existing laws under the Department of Justice and Defense. The creation of a new department was a “big government” cure, which may be worse than the disease in the long run.


Jeb, the brother of George (43) has been a favorite of the old guard republicans and big business interests who favor open borders as a source of cheap labor, despite the security concerns that militate toward tougher enforcement. He also has favored the “common core” big government education program, which would, if implemented, eventually take control of schools away from local government and the people whose children are attending those schools. It would rely, again, on “experts” who have failed miserably because they are usually wrong on key issues, or propose one size fits all systems that may work in one place but fail horribly in others. It is another opportunity to eliminate local control, and achieve results that may favor big government interests, but not the people.


There are stories about that Jeb is actually a “conservative” but he fails to meet the expectations of the conservative base such as Tea Party groups who want smaller government, enforced borders and elimination of common core. They are seeking more local and state level control as a reaction to the effects of too much top down mandating from DC and its environs. They seek common sense solutions such as those advocated by Dr. Ben Carson. They see what big government has achieved, and react predictably. They see failures all around them and do not want to continue with more of them just because someone on a podium or in a big house in the national capitol says they will be a good idea.


One item I picked up in the wake of the Jeb Bush “exploration” announcement was, if I remember correctly, a twitter posting featuring the Gollum from the Lord of the Rings movie series. The illustration appears above. The sentiment is obvious. The person who posted this tweet was extremely antagonistic to the idea of another Bush presidency. It is also likely that they would be similarly antagonistic to anyone who follows in similar footsteps and simply more of the same.


Unlike Democrats who can generally count on their base to vote for them, regardless of the circumstances, Republicans have decisively fractured between big government old guard and newer, small government, conservatives. If the Republican Party truly wants to return to power then its road must be paved in part with conservative votes. It has also been shown that an extremely large portion of conservative voters will turn out for like thinkers, but will sit on their hands when it comes to candidates they do not agree with. It would be to the party’s benefit, long term and short term (not to mention the national interest) if the party told people with Jeb Bush-like credentials to Go Away and Never Come Back!

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