America is not a monarchy.
We’re not just “not a monarchy.” We were founded in treasonous opposition to a monarchy. Our philosophical ancestors demanded liberty. That liberty could come one of two ways: willingly granted by the British Empire, or at the end of a royal executioner’s rope.
For years before that, they pled for more self-governance in the administration of the Colonies. Repeatedly denied, they took up arms and spilled blood to assert their voice.
In a monarchy, the decisions of the king are beyond scrutiny, even when his decisions deprive you of self-determination. The will of God is manifest in the jewel-encrusted crown upon the head of state.
Under a monarch’s reign, you are not a citizen; you are a subject. You owe fealty to the sovereign and his noble appointees. You bow to the prince because his father is the king. And he is the king because God said so.
The English people accept that Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry can speak on their behalf, even though the best qualification each possesses is royal DNA. No amount of hard work and luck and skill will ever grant anyone other than Queen Elizabeth II’s bloodline the right to be treated as a Prince in that country.
They could be the worst people on the planet, and they’d still outrank every other Englishman by simple virtue of their blood. Their name means so much more than anyone’s good or bad deeds.
“There’s something really un-American about all of that English royalty stuff.” -Americans
We were founded upon the self-evident truth that “all men are created equal.” It continues to take us a painfully long time to live up to that simple, incredible statement. But the signers of the Declaration believed it was their divine right as humans being misgoverned to “dissolve the political bonds” between the Colonists and King George III. They did it because “all men” included the King himself.
They bet their lives on a rare proposition: we didn’t choose him, so he was illegitimate as our leader. The Americans said they were within their rights to challenge him, not as their divinely ordained sovereign, but as a fellow man with whom they disagreed.
In fact, most believed we were obligated to challenge him.
After we won our long-shot wager, the Framers put checks in place in the Constitution. They worried that this new, experimental nation would quickly slip back toward monarchy. As former subjects themselves, they understood that the natural order of history had time and again led commoners to pledge their allegiance to a king. And allegiance to anything other than the law was unacceptable in America.
There was debate as to the efficacy of farmers and smiths governing themselves. Still, there was little doubt that the grand experiment on the American continent was ripe for beginning.
“We’re not gonna take it anymore.” – Colonel Dee Snider, 1st Colonial Militia, Massapequa, New York.
We’re a rowdy, cantankerous bunch, we Americans. We always have been. People around the world will tell you how we’re ugly, rough people. We’re fat, loud, and self-centered. And screw you if you don’t like it.
But we’re also rugged individualists. We’re the kind of group you wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of, both because we’re heavily armed and because we have a tendency to be impulsive. Sure, we don’t know squat about anything that happens beyond our shores, but it’s only because we are fabulously rich and isolated enough to be protected from almost anything.
We have the kind of swagger that comes from generations of unchallenged self-determination. All those years ago, we told the King to go self-fornicate, and the rest of the world heard us. We were saucy enough to literally demand Liberty or Death, and we won liberty for ourselves and our posterity. Self-governance is more important than life itself to us.
That ethos makes us envied and admired by those who yearn for freedom. And it leaves us respected (from a safe distance) by those who would destroy liberty.
What’s supremely baffling, however, is how disposable our fierce self-determinative nature has proven to be in 2017.
We have a President who has sent his 36-year-old son-in-law – a real estate executive with no international diplomatic experience – to negotiate Middle East peace. We’ve allowed the President’s 35-year-old daughter – a fashion designer and marketer – to work as a primary advisor to the President and represent our country in international meetings. We’ve watched as the President’s son and namesake – a 39-year-old real estate executive – met with Russian lawyers on the campaign’s behalf. And each has been granted unprecedented access to the White House.
The Senate did not vet any of these people. While I’m sure each is qualified for roles in their own fields, each is nonetheless objectively unqualified for the job at hand. To be fair, the President deserves and gets wide deference to do his job. But I’m finding it hard to imagine a situation where out of the 330,000,000+ inhabitants of the United States, these three people were literally the most qualified for their roles.
If we’re being honest, each got their role in the Executive Branch of the most powerful, longest self-governing nation on Earth, purely because they are related to Donald Trump.
No amount of hard work and luck and skill could have granted anyone other than those of Donald Trump’s bloodline the right to be treated as such in our country. There’s something un-American about that reality.
Not a single American voted for Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, or Donald Trump, Jr. And other than the President himself, not a single American signed off on the level of responsibility and access these three presidential family members have.
I am especially shocked that my conservative and libertarian friends have become apologists for this early entrée into quasi-monarchy. Are Republicans happy in a nation where three people get to represent us simply because they are related to the president? Aren’t they embarrassed that 240 years after we told King George III to kiss our collective ass, we’re back sheepishly bowing before a new royal court?
Republicans, I challenge you to do the right thing on something that should be your natural, pro-business, pro-capitalism instinct:
Demand that our President surround himself with the most qualified people for each and every role.
Insist that he is never torn between holding his staff fully accountable and protecting his children’s interests.
If he won’t voluntarily do what our American legacy demands, hold the House and the Senate accountable to use their Constitutional power to make him do what’s right, or leave.
Unlike monarchies, we the people are the sovereign.
And if Mr. Trump has forgotten that, we the people must step in and protect the blessings of liberty for our posterity from this would-be king and his court.