Home > Congress > Is America becoming an Aristocracy…or have we always been one?

Is America becoming an Aristocracy…or have we always been one?

I was reading the paper today and there was a letter on the Opinion page commenting on the December 15th Editorial Cartoon by Rex Babin.  The letter commented on the fact that there has been a major shift in our nation since its founding.  During the early years of our nation, once people had finished their civic duty they went back to their life before politics – farming or running businesses.  These days however, we have people who have done nothing but politics their entire life, or even for several generations.

Today, we are governed by professional politicians, many of whom represent dynasties such as the Kennedys, Bushes or Browns. None of them ever held down a job, farmed, or built anything.

I know from studying the founding of our nation that alot of the Founding Fathers were wealthy and very educated for their time, but they were also hard working people before they helped govern.  While there were some like  John Adams who were lawyers, there were several who were farmers by trade (George Washington had a very successful tobacco plantation) or were very successful merchants (Joseph Hewes from North Carolina or John Hancock from Massachusetts).

At that time, it would be people such as these who could be called “American Aristocracy”, but there is a difference.  The people who took up the cause of American Independence did so because of the beliefs they held, not for the desire of power over others.  They wanted a country that was not ruled by a King, but ruled by men all with the same concerns and passions they held.  They felt that the governance of the colonies by a group of people not in their boundaries, where their issues and ideas were not represented, was wrong.  They wanted to be able to make their own laws and not be under the oppressive thumb of another nation.  The Declaration of Independence, as well as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, were written so that this nation could be free of tyranny and oppression.

But in the years since, it seems that a drastic change in the way this nation has been governed has happened.  Today we have people who are making policy who have never taken a hand to build or contribute anything.  Some are going into the politics solely for personal gain.  We even have groups of people who do nothing more than cater to those who we have elected in order to curry their favor.  It could be said that the people who govern us today are the wealthy and intellectual elites.  The majority in Congress are lawyers by trade, and are absolutely nothing like the average citizen of this nation.  Is it the truth that in order to effectively govern this nation, we need people like that?  With the complexities of international politics and the staggering billions of dollars we spend each year on military and social programs, are the people that we need to govern us are people who are so drastically different than us, people who have basically groomed from the start to be in this arena?

Have we become the nation our founding fathers did not want us to become?  Have we become a nation ruled by an aristocracy who has completely lost touch with the people they govern?

What are your thoughts…..


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