Many things in our culture tend to repeat themselves, such as “Friends” episodes, Taylor Swift songs and apparently the names on our country’s voting ballots.
In the upcoming election, we will most likely see both a Bush and a Clinton in the running to be the next president. Aside from the vote in 2012, U.S. citizens under the age of 38 have always seen a member of one of these two families campaigning for either president or vice president.
Whether or not each candidate is qualified for the position is a different issue. Instead, the question is whether or not it is beneficial that we continue to elect the same families? This isn’t Greek life, where being a part of a legacy automatically gets you in. It’s time to let the other kids play.
Have millennials and Generation X become accustomed to these names or can they them aside and focus on the policies for which each candidate actually stands?
Neither Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush have formally confirmed their presidential candidacy for the 2016 election. However, this past November, CNN reported that a member of Clinton’s team had stated, “If she hasn’t said no by January 2015, it’s a sign she is running,” while on Dec. 16 Jeb Bush tweeted, “I am excited to announce I will actively explore the possibility of running for the President of the United States.”
Bush’s tweet linked to a Facebook post that went into more detail about his decision to run for president. Under the post were multiple comments that primarily spoke to him as a member of the Bush family rather than his political efforts.
This shows that ties to the family name run deeper than what each person has done in the past. Already, American citizens are basing their views and potentially their votes on the past four decades.
Bush is a Bush. Clinton is a Clinton. They can’t escape that, but as for the Bush family: three presidents … really? The first time was exciting, for most. The second time was endearing, due to the whole father-son relationship, but a third time?
What does this say about our society? Is it presumptuous of me to say that we have learned to let the politicians fend for themselves and when voting day comes, we cast our vote for whichever dynasty we prefer? Do we see the two candidates as capable or as American poster children? Or are we going to care about the issues that each candidate discusses?
Change is a word that politicians like to throw around, but it’s time for the word to be put into action.
Though campaigning for the 2016 presidency has yet to begin, I have to make sure that I won’t look at the pasts of the candidates’ families and instead focus on the future change they will enact. Even with the scandals and the decisions that each family has been scrutinized for, I know I can’t have those at the forefront of my mind. That is not the way to vote for the leader of the free world and certainly not the way to vote for a person who represents me as a citizen. In the next election, I will vote based on the candidates’ plans, rather than his or her last name, and I encourage you to do the same.