The Y2K Presidential Election Prediction - A Landslide Vote for Primogeniture on Historically Low Turnout

One thing is already clear about the person who will succeed President Bill Clinton. He will be a man. And like Clinton, he will be the oldest son.

But unlike Clinton, he will have received massive amounts of help from his father. In fact, all the major candidates for President are where they are today in large measure because of their fathers. And every one of the major contenders has been running for president since he could spell president.

George W. Bush's grandfather was a United States Senator from Connecticut and his father was a Congressman from Texas, head of the Republican Party, head of the CIA, Ambassador to the United Nations, U.S. Representative to China, Vice-President of the United States and then President of the United States. George W., on the other hand, is just serving his second term as Governor of Texas and is already front runner for President having raised more money than in less time than any other candidate in history. Did his dad help? Not at all. He has done this completely on his own.

John McCain's grandfather was an Admiral in the United States Navy, as was his father. McCain attended the Naval Academy where he spent most of his time just barely hanging on by his fingernails as a consequence of his own misbehavior. Was dad's rank the deciding factor in keeping him on when others might have been shown the door? Of course not.

McCain barely escaped death in the Forrestal fire which claimed 138 lives, and then, anxious to get back into the war, volunteered to go back on combat duty. Shot down over Vietnam, McCain's status as the son of the Admiral who was CINCPAC (Commander in Chief, Pacific) earned him less severe punishment and better medical care as a prisoner. Had McCain been anyone else's son, he probably would have died in North Vietnamese hands. Jeremiah Denton, another Vietnam POW, was good for one term in the United States Senate. And James Stockdale, another POW, was the losing candidate for Vice-president with Ross Perot in 1992. But McCain has served in the House, the Senate, and now is running for President. Like George W. Bush, he has made it completely on his own, with no help from his father.

And while McCain has written a book called FAITH OF MY FATHERS, his wife Carol, who was almost killed in a car accident while he was being held prisoner, spent months recuperating in the hospital and undergoing operations on her legs which left her 4 inches shorter than she had been before the accident, while raising three small children, has now been divorced and McCain is running with his second wife, Cindy. McCain is the Bob Dole of 2000. Faithful to the boys club, but divorced from his wife and the mother of his child.

Al Gore, Jr. is the son of the Albert Gore, Sr., a member of the House of Representatives and the United States Senate. At least Al, like McCain, served in Vietnam. But like Bush, his political career was handed to him and he was groomed for it by his father.

Bill Bradley is the oldest son and only child of a Missouri banker. In spite of writing several books, information about Bradley's childhood is scarce. But he complained in his 1976 biography LIFE ON THE RUN, "When I told reporters I was interested in politics they wrote that I wanted to be President or Secretary of State." Bradley had a privileged childhood. Until he was 13 years old, he spent the winter in Palm Beach, Florida, attending private school. Like George W. Bush, Bradley served in the Air Force reserve during the Vietnam war. It is not clear whether he supported or opposed the war. Her certainly didn't volunteer to put himself in harms way, like McCain and Gore. But he didn't join any demonstrations or support any of the peace candidates in 1968 when he was playing with the New York Knicks. Basketball, not bombs, bullets or beatings. Bill played it safe.

And Steve Forbes, the son of Malcolm Forbes, the publisher of Forbes Magazine, inherited everything he has. Just like Donald Trump who started his real estate career by getting unsecured loans from the banks. Another private school graduate, every one of the major candidates (and maybe even some of the minor ones too, for all I know) graduated from private, preparatory or military high schools.

It can not be said that the major party political structure has put up a cross section of the United States as candidates for president. They are all men, private school graduates, who have been given most of what they have achieved in life. The voters will respond with overwhelming apathy. The 2000 presidential election is going to have the lowest turnout, certainly since 1948, and possibly since women got the vote. But regardless of who the candidates are, primogeniture will win in a landslide.

Contact: Joshua Leinsdorf

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