The Economist: America’s Hereditary Aristocracy

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Economist published a fascinating and disturbing article about the hardening of class lines in the U.S. most of us grew up believing that anyone could grow up to be President. Maybe it was never true, although the examples of Abraham Lincoln and Harry S Truman encouraged us to believe it was true. But now?

“WHEN the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination line up on stage for their first debate in August, there may be three contenders whose fathers also ran for president. Whoever wins may face the wife of a former president next year. It is odd that a country founded on the principle of hostility to inherited status should be so tolerant of dynasties. Because America never had kings or lords, it sometimes seems less inclined to worry about signs that its elite is calcifying.

“Thomas Jefferson drew a distinction between a natural aristocracy of the virtuous…

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