There was a discussion on Channel Four news last night about the Kennedys. It disturbed me because it seemed to be pandering to some ridiculous notion that a famous politician is by definition on useful because of their fame.
The panel were positing whether or not certain US ‘dynasties’ were in effect. They mentioned the Kennedy s, the Clintons and the Bushes.
The gist of their conversation was that these people got into power because of their name.
Now I understand that in politics name recognition is important and it must play some part. But to make it seem as thought name recognition is the major reason why someone like Senator Kennedy was what he was is disrespectful.
The panel didn’t pay much attention to his actual political career – legislation he had put through, issues he had championed. They just kept on about the name. At one point the news anchor Krishnan made some point about the Americans being fascinated with political dynasties because they don’t have a royal family! How silly.
From what I have read, the Kennedy’s have been a family that believe in public service. And not all of them went into public service. Also, I don’t see how the Bushes or the Clintons can be seen as dynasties.
Basically, if a news show is going to discuss something important such as the passing of an influential man like Ted Kennedy they should do it a lot better than they did it last night.