Caroline Kennedy: Fitness v. Equality

What would appointing Caroline Kennedy as U.S. Senator do to our practice of equality?–I have no questions about Caroline Kennedy’s fitness to be a senator. For one thing I’ve read two of her books. She is thoughtful, intelligent, articulate with a grasp of many of the issues that matter to making us into a better society. She’s grown up amid politics and knows what it’s all about. She’s sophisticated, knowledgeable and savvy. But her political accomplishments, mainly raising money and supporting Barak Obama, were successful in large part because of her Kennedy pedigree. There’s nothing wrong with the name and with those who bore it before her, nothing wrong with their service and sacrifices for their country. Here’s the rub, it’s their service not hers, their sacrifices, not hers. We live in a modern society, whatever modern means in the academic literature, it is used to make us stand apart from those societies where status was derived from ascription, where one’s social class determined one’s place in the world, societies where equality was not for everyone. Without the Kennedy name Caroline Kennedy would be in a different social and political position. Without the Kennedy name her even thinking about being appointed as senator would be at best remote. However politically expedient it may end up being for Governor Paterson, or for those who support her nomination, from a larger philosophical point of view it does look it would weaken the principles of equal access and social mobility.