On Tuesday, American Republicans in the state of Illinois had the chance to vote for their choice to face Barack Obama in November. They backed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who needed a win in Illinois to begin to pull decisively ahead of his opponents in the race for the Republican nomination.
Yet Romney has a problem, even with his win in Illinois. It is a problem that is familiar to Indians, because Rahul Gandhi has the same problem. They are both trying to be someone they are not, and it is not working.
In the recent weeks, the democratic systems of both India and the US have been on display, with all their imperfections. Both systems give candidates born of wealth and privilege a huge initial advantage. Both systems let established political parties, with the money and patronage they control, stack the decks against upstart parties. And both systems have an enduring affection for dynasties, no matter how poorly the scions of those dynasties perform.
Lecherous Kennedys. Dictatorial Nehru-Gandhis. Bushes on the warpath. We do not care. Let the dynasties live on. We will always give the next generation another chance.