Saturday, May 06, 2006

Camelot Tarnished Again

The new problems with the young Congressman who is the son of Edward Kennedy are a new sign of the tarnished armor of Camelot. While this family has been tarred with scandals involving drinking, sex, mental illness, drugs, even rape and murder, it is also a sign that America is still ruled by some political family dynasties similar to England.

The U.S. never really totally broke with the monarchy traditions of England during the war of independence. Instead of having a king or queen, the U.S. has political family dynasties. And even the National Anthem of the U.S. is merely the British anthem, "God Save The Queen", sung with American words and lyrics.

But the problems that plague Camelot are no different than other political families. The Bush political dynasty has been tarnished by the political failure of both father and son. And the son survived a turbulent young adulthood of alcohol and drugs, and questions about his military service, only to be narrowly made president in a questionable election, but only to have his presidency ruined by starting a new Vietnam War in Iraq.

The Clinton dynasty is limited by less children in the family for a large future rule, but both the father and mother are powerful leaders with a real following, but also real political liabilities. The sex scandal of Bill Clinton casts a long shadow over the future of his wife, Hillary to rule after 2008. The Clintons have nearly as many that adore them as don't.

As much as Americans want to believe that their government is their own design, as though they themselves developed the concept of democracy, as though it's early history in Greek history did not really exist, or that England's impression of monarchy did not impact rule in America, nonetheless the U.S. is ruled by a national ruling class. C. Wright Mills and Sociologist, G. William Donhoff, both asserted something similar in the premise of the classic, THE POWER ELITE, and the later, WHO RULES AMERICA?

But with so much tragedy and well as scandal in the national ruling class families, it seems as though there is a "pox" on all their houses. Even Shakespeare would have been hard pressed to write a much better tragedy as the one that has fallen on the house of Kennedy for example. It seems as if the fictional Capulet and Montague families of Verona seem to have inspired the real lives of the Washington familes of Kennedy, Clinton and Bush, with so much advantage coupled with so much heartache, failure or tragedy.

In a Mel Brooks comedy, the line that "It's good to be the king" is used. But the real life truimphs as well as tragedy in the houses of Kennedy, Clinton and Bush prove that this is not always the case.


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