By Justin Akers
Jun 3, 2015
I was born in 1980. I’ve lived my entire life under the Bush-Clinton dynasties.
From 1981 to 2013, a total of thirty-two uninterrupted years, the Bush-Clinton families either occupied the White House or were close to the top of the list in the Presidential line of succession.
The Presidential line of succession defines who may become President if something happens to a sitting President.
The line of succession is an interesting way of looking at the problem on entrenched family political power. If you think of the line of succession as a crude ranking of political power in the US, then you can easily see how the Bush-Clinton dynasties have dominated the US political system during the last 35 years.
Here is the order of succession:
Speaker of the House
President pro tempore of the Senate
Secretary of State
Now let’s take a closer look at the Bush-Clinton dynasties and their place in the line of succession since 1981, the beginning of the Reagan administration.
From 1981 to 1989, George H.W. Bush, as Ronald Reagan’s Vice-President, was first in the line of succession.
From 1989 to 1993, George H.W. Bush was President.
From 1993 to 2001, Bill Clinton was President.
From 2001 to 2009, George W. Bush was President.
From 2009 to 2013, Hillary Clinton, as Obama’s Secretary of State, was fourth in the line of succession.
As you can see, during the last three and a half decades, the Bush-Clintons have established themselves as our ruling families. We may not be living under a traditional, hereditary monarchy, but we are not far from it. We live in a corporate oligarchy dominated by two families.
President Obama was forced to define his campaign in relation to the Bush-Clinton dynasties, but he did not repudiate their entrenched power. Obama had to defeat a Clinton in a grueling contest to win the Democratic nomination in 2008. Obama’s election was in large part a repudiation of a Bush. Obama appointed a defeated Clinton as his Secretary of State. Obama’s administration has been bookended by the Bush-Clinton dynastic feud. Obama’s years in office have been but a brief, unsatisfying interlude in the midst of decades of Bush-Clinton supremacy.
Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush are considered to be the two current Presidential frontrunners. If either of them were to win in 2016 and occupy the White House until 2025, then these two families will have been in power for nearly 45 years. That’s approaching half a century, not an insignificant amount of time.
If the 2016 Presidential contest becomes another contest between the Bush and Clinton families, then democracy will have been extinguished in this country, and we will be forced to helplessly witness another dynastic feud between our country’s two ruling families.
A Bush-Clinton contest in 2016 would be another restoration for entrenched family political power. I don’t believe I am being too alarmist if I say that a Bush-Clinton matchup in 2016 is a terrifying prospect.
Any sensible agenda for a political revolution in the United States must include the demand that we overthrow the Bush-Clinton dynasties. Simply put, we should not vote any more Bushes or Clintons into the White House.
This is not a personal attack on any of the individual members of the Bush-Clinton dynasties. I’m sure they’re all lovely people. What I am attacking is the existence of the Bush-Clinton dynasties. The existence of ruling families who monopolize political power through close corporate ties is incompatible with democracy. If the Bush-Clinton stranglehold on our political system hasn’t already destroyed the last vestige of democratic rule in America, it is certainly very close to doing so in 2016.
What we saw with the Obama movement in 2008, and what we are seeing come to fruition now with the Bernie Sanders movement, is a mass repudiation of the Bush-Clinton dynasties as well as a repudiation of the sickening social inequality that has defined the Bush-Clinton corporate dynastic era.
Right now we are fortunate to be taking part in the birth of an American Spring, powered by social media, an American Spring that is attempting to wrest political power from entrenched corporate and family control and put political power into the hands of the people.
The Koch brothers are not the only family whose power needs to be reigned in. A genuine political revolution in this country necessitates that the Bush-Clinton dynasties be overthrown as well. There is no hope for Democracy if these two families remain in power.
We declare our independence from the Bushes and the Clintons.