Who is Jeb Bush, Jr. and why am I hearing about him?

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
Font Size:

Until this morning, I had no idea that a Jeb Bush, Jr. existed. (I had, of course, heard of George P. Bush, but never a Jeb Bush, Jr.).

But he does exist — and apparently he is a big deal. (I gather this from the fact that he is endorsing Jon Huntsman for president today — and that this is somehow deemed newsworthy.)

Obviously, the Huntsman folks secretly hope he will be confused with his famous namesake dad, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (who is, himself, the son of a former president). But the fact that the Huntsman folks have the chutzpah to roll out the 20-something son of someone famous — as a “major announcement” — speaks to something else that bothers me about politics: This is all basically a big reality show.

Once upon a time, people were famous for (hopefully) having a talent. At some point, though, that changed and people became famous for being famous (or for making a sex tape). But we’ve now arrived at the point where people are famous for being related to someone who is famous for being famous. (This is why Khloe Kardashian is now famous.)

Of course, their mere existence does not bother me. What’s troubling is the notion that their mere existence somehow bestows upon them a sort of expertise. Sadly, this reality show model has found its way into the once serious (sort of) world of politics. (See Meghan McCain and Bristol Palin for further proof.)

Politics is not only a reality show; it is also a prime example of nepotism. Sure, there are some children of the famous who go on to do something substantive on their own. They shouldn’t be punished. (At least Sarah Huckabee ostensibly does real campaign work.)

But let’s be honest: Being involved in politics is now a cottage industry and a family business. I can only hope to start such a dynasty myself, with the hope that my son will actually be talented (see Bill Kristol, Jonah Goldberg, et al).

Personally, I can barely tolerate the real politicians at this point. I have zero tolerance for their “lucky sperm” offspring.

Matt K. Lewis