Saturday, December 29, 2012


Walter Russell Mead opines on (Connecticut resident) Ted Kennedy Jr.'s recent announcement that he would not seek the Massachusetts's Senate seat being vacated by John Kerry:

"We at Via Meadia think this is good news, not because of any animosity toward Mr. Kennedy or the Kennedy family, but because the trend toward dynasticism and a hereditary political class is something every red blooded American needs to fight. An elite always wants to convert political power to family power, and one job that lovers of freedom need to take on at all times is to resist the ambitions of pretender royal families. From George Washington’s refusal of a kingship to the Presidential term limits enacted after FDR’s long reign, Americans have a noble tradition of resisting the creation of political aristocracies.
That doesn’t mean we favor knee jerk opposition to every candidate with a famous last name. But if a famous name was a hurdle to be overcome rather than a springboard to power, American society would be a healthier place, and American democracy would be more secure."

Reading Mead's post (in full here) brought to mind a monologue delivered by Sgt. Buster Kilrain to Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain in Michael Shaara's fabulous book, Killer Angels:
"Colonel, you're a lovely man.  I see at last a great difference between us, and yet, I admire ye, lad.  You're an idealist, praise be.  The truth is, Colonel, that there's no divine spark, bless you.  There's many a man alive no more value than a dead dog.  Believe me, when you've seen them hang each other....Equality?  Christ in Heaven.  What I'm fighting for is the right to prove I'm a better man than many.  Where have you seen this divine spark in operation, Colonel?  Where have you noted this magnificent equality?  The Great White Joker in the Sky dooms us all to stupidity or poverty from birth.  No two things on earth are equal or have an equal chance, not a leaf nor a tree.  There's many a man worse than me, and some better, but I don't think race or country matters a damn.  What matters is justice.  'Tis why I'm here.  I'll be treated as I deserve, not as my father deserved.  I'm Kilrain, and I God damn all gentlemen.  I don't know who my father was and I don't give a damn.  There's only one aristocracy, and that's right here (Kilrain says while tapping his head with his finger)...............The point is that we have a country here where the past cannot keep a good man in chains, and that's the nature of the war.  It's the aristocracy I'm after.  All that lovely, plumed, stinking chivalry.  The people who look at you life a piece of filth, a cockroach, ah.......I tell you, Colonel, we got to win this war."
Or, for those who favor video, try this version:

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