America might consider a monarchy

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II said, “My whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service,” said before she was queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Head of the Commonwealth and Defender of the Faith.

As Gordon Rayner, chief reporter of The Telegraph, said in the same article he used the preceding quote, “It is a moment that may never come again.”

As an American, I can never image a U.S. president, who acts as both king and prime minister, ever uttering these words.

It is ironic that in a democratic republic – a government type which is supposed to embody supreme faith in the human being – we somehow practice the opposite. By some magical imposition of grace during the inauguration of a new commander in chief, an American politician is supposed to become more than just a partisan. She or he is supposed to become the focus of unity and embodiment of the nation.

We all know this to be an abject lie. Despite his best efforts, President Obama still embodies the will of the Democratic Party. Former President Bush did the same six and a half years before him.

History does present plenty of examples where the president presented the best America had to offer. More often than not, however, this instance of poise comes at a moment of crisis.

The queen, however, embodies poise as the rule rather than the exception. Her life has been devoted to duty, her people and incarnating the best of the British state.

Moreover, Britons need never worry about a real estate mogul, mere neurosurgeon or democratic socialist becoming head of state and face of their country.

They have the quaint old lady, the grandmother of the Commonwealth, to show the world. The political quacks get to contend with Parliament as prime minister. Her Majesty stays above, or more often outside of, the political fray.

There are many who would call me crazy for advocating monarchy, but in many ways we already have one.

Historian David Cannadine said in an interview with the BBC, “although America claimed to be a republic, because it had no hereditary sovereign, it was in reality a disguised monarchy – whereas Britain might claim to be a monarchy, because it had a royal head of state, but it was in fact a concealed republic, because the politicians rather than the sovereign were actually in charge.”

In truth, the queen in Britain presides, and the U.S. president wields almost regal authority. The mansion, presidential marching songs, deference by many people in his presence and the vast entourage a president often keeps reek of kingship.

The only problem is that the president does not have the benefit of being an ex-politician. He is, especially during a first term, still looking to come back into office.

A monarch need not fear this.

For those concerned about someone rather uninspiring, like Prince Charles, or crazy, like King Charles II of Spain, inheriting a throne, there are remedies.

Malaysia elects and rotates the crown among the hereditary heads of its princely states. The Holy Roman Empire elected the emperor, and the Roman Catholic Church still elects its monarch.

The beauty of the monarchy lies in its ability to embrace duty above politics, country above party and the long term interests of the realm above pillaging in the name of special interests.

For a monarch, the country is a long term asset that requires steady and regular investment. A king, especially when limited by a constitution, cannot and need not rape a government treasury to appease those donors or voters.

I understand no king or emperor will likely ever reign in these United States, but we might seriously consider how our highest offices are structured. Being elected is not an evil in itself, but a president should be chosen in such a way as to lend dignity to a person who is supposed to be parent and face of the nation.