Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News Is America turning into a Monarchy?

  1. May 15, 2007 #1
    I read this interesting article in the economist this week, regarding American Democracy and Monarchies.
    In the light of the Queen (of GB) Visiting the USA, it does seem to be highlight a rather ironic fact that:

    George Bush 89-93
    Bill Clinton 93-03
    George w Bush 01--09
    Hilary Clinton?? 09--

    See a pattern?

    Ironic? :cool:

    I just thought this was very Ironic, that the self-perceived beacon on Democracy seems to only have a few families brokering all the power, just like a Monarchy. The difference with GB is:
    To me this is against all of what a Democracy should be about.....
  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2007 #2
    The 25th Amendment is still in place. So is the ability for Congress to overturn a Presidential veto. I do not think that Congress or the SC would allow a change of either on a whim.
  4. May 15, 2007 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Well, even if our last few and next few presidents come from the same families, they aren't exactly ruling autocratically by the divine right of kings, and they don't own the country either. We've also had two Adamses and two Roosevelt's in our history, and might have had two Kennedy's had Bobby not been killed. We've certainly got our capitalistic version of an aristocracy. The older families that have had money the longest do accumulate power, and in most of the oldest cases, they were simply the first to claim large plots of land.
  5. May 15, 2007 #4
    i dont know a lot about presidents but i think its been a while since the son of a farmer/factory worker/shoe maker has been a candidate for president.

    ps. its tough to say there is a monarchy in american politics, but people seem to be hiring their friends/family over more qualified people for government positions. there is a "you scratch my back and ill scratch your back" culture in american politics that amounts to more of a class centered monarchy then an ideal democracy
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2007
  6. May 15, 2007 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Not since Jimmy Carter. He was a peanut farmer, although a rather well-to-do peanut farmer.
  7. May 15, 2007 #6


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    If you considered Ralph Nader a serious candidate in 1996, 2000, or 2004:
  8. May 15, 2007 #7


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Harry Truman was the son of a farmer.
  9. May 16, 2007 #8
    Extreemly Rich farmer?
  10. May 16, 2007 #9


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Nah, just a normal farmer. Abe Lincoln was also born to farmers living out on the frontier. Andrew Jackson was the son of recent immigrants, both poor, and his father died right after he was born. He actually ended up joining the military when he was 13 and was a POW for a while and nearly starved to death in prison. Those are the only three I can think of that came from notably humble beginnings, though, and they're all from a while back.
  11. May 16, 2007 #10
    Why do people automatically think that becuase someone grew up from humble beginnings that they somehow are going to care about the person down there? Lots of people become sellouts for power and wealth, and would spit on you rather than help you when it comes down to it.
  12. May 16, 2007 #11


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    How can anyone forget John Edwards' upbringing? :rolleyes:
  13. May 16, 2007 #12
    The Cliton's go way back:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Clinton_(vice_president [Broken])

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  14. May 16, 2007 #13
    Bill Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III. He adopted his stepfathers surname at 14.

    Not exactly a dynasty. Bill Clinton, though not a farmer, was not a child of privilege.

    His father William Jefferson Blythe was killed in a car accident before he was born.

    There is some speculation that Blythe was out of the country when he was conceived and he is descendant of Thomas Jefferson through his slave concubine.

    http://www.samsloan.com/billsdad.htm [Broken]

    The Clinton coat of arms is Scottish.


    The Bush geneology traces it's roots to Konrad King of Burgundy in the 10th century.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  15. May 18, 2007 #14


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    I'm just answering a question. I hate Andrew Jackson more than any other single figure in American history.
  16. May 18, 2007 #15

    P.S. You guys still have nothing on the USSR, Khrushchev didn't learn to read till he was like 30.
  17. May 18, 2007 #16
    Bill Clinton's biological father was a travelling salesman who died 3 months prior to Bill's birth. His mother re-married, and his step-father was the co-owner of a car dealership.

    Ronald Reagan's father was a shoe-salesman.

    Jimmy Carter was born on a farm, and famously became a peanut farmer.

    In the last 30 years, only the two Bushes have come from aristocratic backgrounds.
  18. May 18, 2007 #17


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Jackson was a pretty controversial person.

    As a general, he decided on his own to invade a foreign country (Florida, which belonged to Spain at the time). You would think President Monroe would have gotten pretty upset about a general starting his own war, but the war turned out pretty good, since it resulted in the US obtaining Florida (we had to pay Spain $5 million, though).

    As President, he was responsible for evicting the Cherokee out of Georgia to land west of the Mississippi (around 25% of the Cherokees died on a cross country march from Georgia to their new reservation). Chief Justice John Marshall and the US Supreme Court ruled against him on this, saying US law had no jurisdiction over a sovereign nation (the Cherokee), but he just ignored them ("John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it!" ).

    He also had the obnoxious habit of appointing friends and party loyalists to government positions regardless of their qualifications.

    When John Marshall, the US Supreme Court Chief Justice that ruled against him on the Cherokee, died, he appointed a Chief Justice more in tune with Jackson's own beliefs. Chief Justice John Taney wrote the Dred Scott decision, giving the opinion that African-Americans (free or slave) could not be citizens of any state because they were "beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect."

    In a lot of ways, Jackson encompassed the things a lot of people fear about Bush.
  19. May 31, 2007 #18
    Monarchy? Read National Security Presidential Directive/nspd51

    If not a Monarchy then how about dictatorship.
    Homeland security Presidential directive/HSPD-20

    This is really scarey stuff...too much power and ANTTECH has a brilliant observation going....
    Clinton....but............don't forget JEB Bush.....he isn't in YET...maybe?

    and with the power the President has given himself, no less, he may not need Jeb to keep the Bush in office.

    I don't know but it's all very interesting.
  20. Jun 3, 2007 #19


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    The current situation is more like an oligarchy or perhaps a political aristocracy. Certainly there are those who have a vested interest in controlling the socio-political system. That has always been the case.

    In discussions with many on the left and right of the political spectrum, there seems to be widespread and common dissatisfaction with the current system. But people fear change or are adverse to the axieties brought with change, so the current system persists.

    When I suggest that those dissatisfied with the current order should run for office, all decline because of what one has to undergo, e.g. attacks on one's character or family, which makes the political process unpalatable to many. Clearly, there are those who enjoy the political process - but are the majority of those really the people we want in control?
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2007
  21. Jun 3, 2007 #20
    What distinguishes many monarchies which remain for any significant period of time is intelligence.

    Would the Bush family qualify?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook