The Old Republic

The Unnatural Aristocracy

A little-remembered provision of the U.S. Constitution: “No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States” (Article I, Section 9).  By this proviso the Founding Fathers affirmed the republican principle that nobody is entitled to power merely because of who he is.  Americans wanted to repudiate the hereditary privilege of the Old World by which people had power in government by virtue of birth, often without merit or usefulness to the commonwealth.  Thomas Jefferson and John Adams agreed that republican government should be in the hands of a “natural aristocracy” of talent and virtue.  Jefferson said that no one is born with the right to ride with boot and spurs over the backs of the citizens.  Adams feared that the people might be misled by the glamor of high birth into choosing the wrong rulers.

If Americans took this provision of the Constitution seriously, Barack Obama would never have been allowed to run for president.  All of his adult life Obama has been treated as a privileged aristocrat because of who he is.  He came to every position he has filled without any record of legislative, administrative, or military service or accomplishment.  He has been raised to power entirely because of his birth.  There are tens of thousands like him spread throughout all the ruling institutions of the United States.  He has a smooth manner and a gift for low-key...

Join now to access the full article and gain access to other exclusive features.

Get Started

Already a member? Sign in here