I try to avoid discussing politics on this blog, with the exception of things like the Marketplace Fairness Act, but there's a pair of races here in Georgia that compel me to bring up an issue that has long bothered me about American politics, and it's one that I hope would transcend party lines and ideology.

Here in Georgia, we have Jason Carter the grandson of a former governor and US president currently running for governor, and we have Michelle Nunn, the daughter of a former US senator running for the Senate herself, and her opponent, David Perdue, is a cousin of a former Georgia governor. I'm particularly amused that both Nunn and Perdue are trying to position themselves as outsiders, despite these family connections.

In the US presidential race, two names that are being bandied about are Bush and Clinton, both names that we are all too familiar with and it seems like you can't turn around without bumping into a Kennedy when talking about politics in Massachusetts.

Political dynasties are nothing new in American politics, of course. Just look at John and John Quincy Adams, or the Presidents Roosevelt. I don't have to like it, though, and I don't. I'm not keen on when individuals serve long terms in elected positions, and a family that strives for it just takes it up to eleven. My concern is that people in these situations will lose touch with “normal” people. For example, for years when Congress passed workplace laws, they would exempt themselves from them, which means they wouldn't have to deal with any costs associated with compliance.

I certainly don't mean to imply that political families will set out to make rules that benefit them at the expense of others, but they do operate under different rules. Someone in a family with a famous political name will tend to have better connections, and easier access to financial institutions, regulatory agencies and so on. Bush Widgets or Clinton Sprockets will have more influence when it comes to lobbying members of Congress on the subject of legislation, such as the Punish Anyone Who Isn't Us Act, while Joe Bob's Cogs Emporium might not even be able to get a phone call returned.

Being in a political family is not a sin, and a famous name is no more a reason to vote against someone than it is to vote for them, but I do think it needs to be part of our calculus when trying to decide who to vote for.