The Trump family demonstrates why America shuns hereditary rule
THE hereditary principle is not just unAmerican but harms the children of great men, Benjamin Franklin declared soon after the revolutionary war, as rumours flew of plots to establish a new aristocracy with George Washington at its head. To honour parents is reasonable, Franklin averred. But to reward descendants for an accident of birth is “not only groundless and absurd but often hurtful to that posterity”.
Much about President Donald Trump would dismay the Founding Fathers. The rows now embroiling his children and son-in-law would surely have nudged them towards outright alarm. Even Franklin, a prescient sort, might have struggled to imagine an American president’s child expressing willingness to receive “very high-level and sensitive information” about a political opponent from a hostile foreign power—as Mr Trump’s eldest son, Donald junior, did during the election of 2016. But long before that was known, the president’s use of his progeny as White House…Continue reading