Classical political theory always defined constitutional government as an advance beyond tribalism, since the first discovery of democratic politics in Cleisthenes’ Athens.
But we seem to be devolving back to the rule of the tribe, the first-cousin, and the family clan, well apart from the Bush and Clinton genocracies.
Consider—Caroline Kennedy, who has never run for, or been elected to anything, is now assumed to be entitled to a N.Y. Senate seat (replacing Hillary Clinton whose election was energized in turn by her marriage to Bill); Jackson, Inc. in Chicago bids for a Senate appointment seat, Blago assumes the governorship on the basis of a political career based on familial networks in Illinois. And on and on. I suppose the Senate will soon look like the imperial Roman version where a few great families and clans passed on ceremonial seats from generation to generation.
Note that so far no one in New York has a clue about what Ms. Kennedy feels about any issues of concern to New Yorkers, or whether she has any political skills or is familiar with the constituents of her state or how she performs under the glare of press scrutiny.
How aristocratic familial entitlement jives with democratic egalitarianism and liberal cult of the common man, I have no idea…