Saturday, January 3, 2009

Letter to Governor Paterson: Kennedy Appointment Turns My Stomach

PO Box 130
West Shokan, NY 12494
January 3, 2009

The Honorable David A. Paterson
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Paterson:

I oppose the appointment of Caroline Kennedy to the Senate. Ms. Kennedy lacks meaningful political or business experience. Indeed, she lacks meaningful work experience of any kind. While experiences gained in motherhood can be transferable to work, a series of responsible but more limited posts leading to the Senate would be an appropriate career path.

Rather than basing your interest in Ms. Kennedy on her experiences, achievements or characteristics, you are basing it on her family name and background. Sociologists would call your fixation on her background ascription- as opposed to achievement-based. Ascription of status is characteristic of feudalism and aristocratic societies, not of growing or successful ones.

Retrogression to medieval aristocratic privilege has increasingly become characteristic of our society in general, and of New York State in particular. That is, the nation and the state have become increasingly fixated on privilege and status at the expense of achievement. This, in turn, is related to excessive power of Wall Street and big business reinforced by government whereby business success is no longer based on innovation but on political power and access to government, particularly to Federal Reserve Bank credit. Your appointment of Ms. Kennedy is symptomatic of New York's culture of privilege. It turns my stomach.


Mitchell Langbert, Ph.D.


Anonymous said...

Dishonest Langbert doesn't like people exposing his dishonesty on this subject that he ignores Kennedy is a lawyer applying to be a lawmaker.

Mitchell Langbert said...

Dear Anonymous: You have submitted two responses to this blog, neither of which made much of a point and both of which used an ad hominem slur (calling me "dishonest"). I have posted this one mainly because I need more readers.

There are over 1.1 million attorneys in the United States. My guess is that 80% or more actively practice their craft. That would make Caroline Kennedy less qualified than 800,000 other attorneys, and no more qualified than 1.1 million of them, that is, if being an attorney has much relevance to becoming Senator or lawmaker, which it does not.

Better qualified than Kennedy would not only be the tens of thousands of active lawyers in New York (which is the center of the legal profession) but almost anyone who has ever held a responsible job. Showing up is a large part of a Senator's job, and Caroline Kennedy has not had to show up anywhere for the past 25 years.

I review Caroline Kennedy's college and law school on this blog:

I suppose you believe that it is random chance that Caroline Kennedy was chosen over any one of the 800,000 practicing attorneys, or over the millions of better-qualified New Yorkers. Her family name and connctions had nothing to do with her appointment.

Please keep reading my blog. I promise you an education. You need one.