December 9, 2008

America's Full-Blood Princess

Washington Post op-ed columnist Ruth Marcus gushes in "A Vote for Senator Caroline:"

On the question of Caroline Kennedy for Senate, my head says no, on balance. My heart says yes! Yes! Right now, as you might guess from the hedging on the former and the exclamation points on the latter, my heart is winning. ...

There are any number of intriguing subplots at work here. Her uncle's illness, and the "dream will never die" emotion of having Caroline in place to carry on his work. The don't-mess-with-my-family payback dynamic of putting in for the job to shove aside Andrew Cuomo, her cousin Kerry's former husband.

Imagine, by the way, how Hillary Clinton must be feeling. After all that work, after all those years, she not only lost the presidential nomination to Barack Obama, she now may be yielding her Senate seat to a woman who emerged from the political shadows to give Obama the benediction of the Kennedy legacy.

What really draws me to the notion of Caroline as senator, though, is the modern-fairy-tale quality of it all. Like many women my age -- I'm a few months younger than she -- Caroline has always been part of my consciousness: The lucky little girl with a pony and an impossibly handsome father. The stoic little girl holding her mother's hand at her father's funeral. The sheltered girl, whisked away from a still-grieving country by a mother trying to shield her from prying eyes.

In this fairy tale, Caroline is our tragic national princess. She is not locked away in a tower but chooses, for the most part, to closet herself there. Her mother dies, too young. Her impossibly handsome brother crashes his plane, killing himself, his wife and his sister-in-law. She is the last survivor of her immediate family; she reveals herself only in the measured doses of a person who has always been, will always be, in the public eye.

Then, deciding that Obama is the first candidate with the inspirational appeal of her father, she chooses to abandon her previous, above-it-all detachment from the hurly-burly of politics.

I know it's an emotional -- dare I say "girly"? -- reaction. But what a fitting coda to this modern fairy tale to have the little princess grow up to be a senator.

Dynasticism is one of the dominant emotions in 21st Century American politics. Barack Obama just found a more sophisticated way to position himself as a rightful dynastic heir than all the Bushes, Clintons, and Kennedys.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

17 comments:

testing99 said...

The more female voters, particularly single female voters, the more dynasticism appears.

Steve, Marcus's comments are par for the course with female voters. They vote dynasty. It's understandable, as is the female obsession with bloodlines and that sort of thing the Da Vinci Code.

Now, men tend to vote anti-Dynastic, particularly in this country, because opportunity = better selection of women. For women, better selection of men is dependent on beauty only, so dynasties work better, given that there are more dynastic heirs and courtiers easily identified, as opposed to dynamic societies where today's loser can be tomorrow's winner, and vice versa.

It's easier for women to select on power/status, particularly when overwhelmed by choice, than by character which is much harder to determine (though more important in chaotic times).

In short: women -- dyansty, stability, stasis, change-unfriendly. Men -- chaotic, dynamic, opportunity, change-friendly.

Anonymous said...

If Caroline was a Nobel prize winner with a cure for cancer and a world authority on depression era economics I still wouldn't vote for her. Bush put an end to family business politics for me forever. Much props to him for this, if nothing else.

Dennis Mangan said...

Caroline has a much better shot than Hilary at anything because her thighs aren't as huge.

Eric said...

"Steve, Marcus's comments are par for the course with female voters. They vote dynasty."

Uh, yeah. That explains all those females who voted for Bush II.

Big Bill said...

Women generally want to be serviced, fertilized and protected by a prince.

Why on earth we gave them the vote is beyond me.

And why any newspaper would print the drivel that Ruthie came up with is also beyond me.

It surely helps one understand why newspapers are going bankrupt, however.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

If Caroline was a Nobel prize winner with a cure for cancer and a world authority on depression era economics I still wouldn't vote for her. Bush put an end to family business politics for me forever. Much props to him for this, if nothing else."

I completely agree. No more dynasties. For one reason, it seems to be a rule that the first member of a dynasty is always the best one - it's all down-hill after that.

Anonymous said...

people either don't understand what to expect from government or have forgotten. we cling to familiar signs and totems. all these opinions, no information. emotion takes the lead.

anony-mouse said...

'One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing'

-Oscar Wilde

koos said...

"s is the female obsession with bloodlines and that sort of thing the Da Vinci Code."

Strikes me as odd. Women in general are multicultural and support parties on the Left. They also always obsess about the poor downtrodden and the poor immigrants. The children of these poor immigrants then either marry some of those women or their daughters. Bang, there goes the blood-line.

If women were obsessed with bloodlines they would worry about staying Greek, or German, or English or whatever, and not intermarrying with other races. Just look around you, most of the interracial couples in a country are by women of the host nation. It’s well known that women are the Trojan horse in western nations.

headache said...

"In short: women -- dyansty, stability, stasis, change-unfriendly"

Yeah, but they all voted for Obama. And wasn't Obamas slogan "Change"?

headache said...

"Big Bill said...

...

Why on earth we gave them the vote is beyond me."

Fully agree with you on that one! I keep telling my ma (who did a PhD in Germany in the 1950's when standards were high and can thus rightly claim to be an intelligent woman). She even agrees with me, execpt of course for her vote!

Danindc said...

Re dynasty...I would take Jeb over Obama any day

Anonymous said...

Men more change friendly? Hmm. Not on this blog they aren't. Get over it. Women are here to stay in public life. They run good and bad like the men, but when it comes to politicians, just about all of both genders are lousy. Obama positioning himself sophisticatedly? He has a whole hoard of handlers doing that for him. He'll collapse like wet ashes when and if they ever stand back from him. Heard about feet of clay? This man is made of paper machee.

Men are more change-friendly in youth, which, when you think about, makes perfect sense. In later years, men are more change-unfriendly and women more change-friendly. This has been borne out in various sociological studies.
Caroline is intelligent and honest, or at least not an active, enthusiastic liar, which would place her head & shoulders above virtually everybody else in Congress, including members of her own family, dead or alive. She once talked about how upset one of her son (then 5) was about Clinton telling lies, though I'm sure the little tyke didn't understand the full details. Ms. Caroline would probably be a lot like her cousin Kathleen (RFK's oldest) who held political office in Maryland. From all accounts an honest, not too remarkable public servant.
btw, I recall that Steve once wondered what happened in the gene-bestowal when looking at JFK Jr. and his less gorgeous sister. Well, Caroline was really quite exquisite in her post-White House childhood years. The beauty just sort of went away by adolescence. Never did figure that out.
But would I vote for her? Don't know, but after the election choices we just had, you think she's that bad a choice? You guys have problems.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Men are more change-friendly in youth, which, when you think about, makes perfect sense. In later years, men are more change-unfriendly and women more change-friendly. This has been borne out in various sociological studies."

I agree. Long about middle age, most men turn inward, and start to mutter things to themselves, like "Damned Kids!". We don't handle novelty well.

"But would I vote for her? Don't know, but after the election choices we just had, you think she's that bad a choice? You guys have problems."

Yes, we have problems. Chief among them have been the Kennedys (at least all of them since John). Regardless of what may be Caroline's many admirable traits, she can be counted upon to carry on the nation-destroying legacy of her uncle Ted. That makes her a very bad choice indeed.

Anonymous said...

Strikes me as odd. Women in general are multicultural and support parties on the Left.

Until very recently, that was not the case in western Europe. If anything, there was a pronounced gender gap with women favoring the right. In France for example, not for nothing did women not get the vote until 1945--a gift of de Gaulle who knew they would support his ideas and his parties.

Funny story--in the 1930s, the French premier Leon Blum was asked how he, as head of the "Popular Front" (Socialist/Communist coalition) government of the day, and supposedly the standard-bearer of progressive political thinking, could justify denying the franchise to women, 50+% of the population. Unguardedly, he replied, "because they'd vote us out of office".

Anonymous said...

"she can be counted upon to carry on the nation-destroying legacy of her uncle Ted. That makes her a very bad choice indeed."

They did what Dems did in those days and everybody does now if they want to remain professionally viable. Anyway Ted was scared big time and went around mumbling, "they're going to get me just like they got Jack and Bobby."
Never underestimate the power of "Them" when it comes to getting people to tow their line.
"They're" not too worried about Ms. Caroline, so she's not too worried about them. At least so far.
What I'm trying to say is, she'd be no worse than any other liberal or conservative and at least the vital stats of her life are an open book, which makes quite a contrast to the current potus-elect.

Anonymous said...

What kind of sexist crap is this? Women favor dynasties? Women shouldn't have the vote? SOME women vote for dynasties, just like SOME men do. SOME women are too stupid to vote, but I'd bet that more women are qualified to vote and run the country than are men. This column is silly, but at least Caroline has actually resided for a number of years in the state she wishes to represent, unlike Hillary, who was resident for at best a few months.