Signs of the Apocalypse: The Post-Kennedy Congress

This past Sunday, Representative Patrick Kennedy announced that he will not be seeking re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives.  Once he has left the House it will mark the first time in nearly a half a century that there has not been a Kennedy serving in one of the houses of the US Congress.  What is this world coming to?

Probably nothing that much different actually.  Yes the Kennedys have been staples of United States politics for a long time now, but we must remember that we are a Democratic nation and that means that really there is not a lot of weight we should really put into a dynastic family like the Kennedys.  I say this to mean that I think the Kennedys have failed to serve this nation well (I am sure this is an area for debate), but more so I mean it to say, there is nothing about having the surname Kennedy that makes an individual any more suited for office than any other surname.

And will Patrick Kennedy be the last of a long line of Kennedys serving this nation?  Quite possibly not, it is really hard to say. Part of the greatness of the American democratic system is that anybody can theoretically run for office (I say theoretically because there are unquestionably factors that could limit the potential of successful campaigning).  With that in consideration a Kennedy may very well run again, or there may never be another.

But still, the Democratic Party must be feeling a little bit of a tiny apocalypse in Mr. Kennedy’s announcement.  Patrick Kennedy’s father, the late and great Ted Kennedy past away this past year, leaving a Senate seat open which was just won a month back by a Republican, Scott Brown.   The exit of the Kennedys marks the end of a chapter of American Democratic Party politics.  But the question now for the Democrats should be, “what’s next, and how can we do it well?”

We’ll see how it all turns out.

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~ by Nathaniel on February 12, 2010.

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