It’s practically a national anthem on the political Right these days. A Jeb Bush presidential candidacy is a non-starter because his Dad flip-flopped and raised taxes, or his big brother twisted conservatism to justify bigger government, or twisted “the common defense” to justify military adventurism and to breach the 4th Amendment in that Orwellian place now called “the Homeland.” Or, you can supply whatever it is that you didn’t like about 41 and 43.
However, some folks don’t oppose a Jeb candidacy on the basis of his kin’s presidential performance, but simply on the precept that the American republic has no place for political dynasties. We fought a revolution to escape that, they say.
I’ll grant you that, if George W. Bush had chosen Jeb as his running mate then resigned in order to cede power to his brother, I would join you at the White House gates, aggressively hefting my pitchfork.
If George H.W. Bush had re-assembled his old CIA buddies to execute a clandestine coup d’etat to place his youngest son on the throne, I’d come to the gate with a tool whose efficacy is measured in fps and stopping power.
And if Barbara Bush had ordered the executions of Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Rick Perry, Nikki Haley, Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence, John Kasich, Rick Santorum and The Rent is Too Damn High Guy, I would join you in your doomsday bunker with a backpack full of freeze-dried, hollow-point and bullion to wait out Armageddon.
But none of that happened, nor will it.
If Jeb Bush ever becomes the GOP nominee for president of the United States it will be because he earned it at the ballot box. If he gets elected as president, it will come as a result of garnering at least 270 electoral votes.
Of course, you may be one who believes that any electoral outcome with which you disagree was accomplished through extraordinary, extralegal, or even extraterrestrial skullduggery. If so, I’d like to meet with you personally offline to discuss this. Let’s have coffee on the movie set where NASA faked the moon landing. In particular, I’ll want to know how the candidates who you like occasionally get elected.
One of the great benefits of leaving the Old World — with its patrimony and primogeniture — and coming to America was that the second son, and the third son (and beyond) each had equal opportunity to test his mettle in the arena of commerce and ideas, and to soar has high as his industry, character, intellect and perseverance would take him.
You can hate/reject/ignore Jeb Bush for his ideas, for his track record, for his vision, for his bland personality, for his flat elocution and for his hipster horn rims, but in an American meritocracy we don’t judge a man by the “sins” of his family.
Most of all, in these United States, we have kicked down the age-old barrier of genetics, so that no man is damned to live in the shadow of his father or his brother.