Sunday, January 11, 2009

this isn't a monarchy

De facto President George W. Bush and ex-President George H. W. Bush took a ride out to the latest aircraft carrier in the US Navy - the USS George H. W. Bush. Note the initials - the Navy clearly wants to leave room for a USS George W. Bush, too.

This bugs me. No, not specifically that we are honoring Poppy Bush and, much worse, may well honor Bush Junior in this way.

More generally, I don't think the United States Navy should name ships, subs, bathrooms, or ANYTHING after living American politicians, active or retired. And to extend that further, I don't think the Federal government should name buildings, installations, or anything after LIVING politicians.

Why? First, it's like living in a monarchy. Naming aircraft carriers (or nuclear subs, in the case of Jimmy Carter, a former submariner) for you is the closest thing the United States has to a title of nobility. And it smacks of monarchy, which is fine for Britain and Canada and Thailand and all, but I think is inappropriate for our Republic.

Second, it is an invitation to bribery and corruption. How much crap in Alaska is named for Ted Stevens? I know that pork-barrel spending will exist without naming roads and bridges and schools after members of Congress. But anything that removes the ego-boost part of the incentive I think would be an improvement.

Believing in the separation of powers and all that, I am perfectly fine if the states or private organizations want to name things after living national or local politicians, soap-opera actresses, or characters from the Simpsons. For starters, we could let the airport located on the Potomac River jettison the "Reagan" name it was forced by the Republican Congress to swallow at pains of losing $$$$, and let it return to its former name honoring the Father of our Country - George Washington National Airport.



Blogger Sona said...

Hear, hear. At least, let's not name things after people until they've been dead 20 years.

9:02 PM  

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