On the eve of this tumultuous election I think it remains a big "if" unless we begin to do the work required of citizens of a free republic. One way to do this is by rejecting oligarchy. The most obvious manifestation of this in our time is Bushes and Clintons running to succeed each other. Are we Perón's Argentina? Do we really desire to become a Banana Republic? In my view, another way to resist oligarchy is to break the two party duopoly, especially given that some 60% U.S. of citizens admit neither party represents their views or interests, thus making us agents of our own repression.
Yesterday's New York Times featured a piece by Nikolai Tolstoy, who serves as chancellor of the International Monarchist League (such a league could certainly not have something as lowly as a chairman), in which he argued that the United States of America should consider establishing a monarchy. His argument struck me as rather convoluted and his examples cherry-picked. Perhaps the best argument against Tolstoy's case for monarchy is that constitutional monarchies didn't spare many European countries ceding their sovereignty to the E.U., of which Queen Elizabeth II is merely a citizen. Is this the French Revolution succeeding by other means? The folly of this was highlighted in an article featured in the current edition of The New Criterion by British MEP Daniel Hannan, who was driving force behind the Brexit vote: "Populism, III: Insects of the hour."
Tolstoy invoked the decision by Truman and MacArthur not to oust Emperor Hirohito at the end of World War II as a tacit acknowledgement that monarchy is the best form of government. It really serves no such purpose. It was an exercise in the kind of pragmatism missing from our recent Iraqi, Afghani, Libyan, and Syrian adventures. Churchill's blaming Hitler on the U.S. is laughable. Let's talk about Treaty of Versailles, which the U.S. Senate refused to ratify, forcing us to make a separate peace with Germany. In addition to being opposed to joining the League of Nations on the grounds it would negatively impact U.S. sovereignty, some thought it too punitive and counterproductive, which it turned out to be.
Tolstoy cites Edmund Burke in favor of monarchy. But he leaves out that Burke argued in favor of granting the American colonists representation in Parliament, a move that more than likely would've avoided the American Revolution. One might ask, where was the wisdom and saving grace of monarchy when that reasonable argument was made? Our own history, including the madness of King George (a great movie, by-the-way, is The Madness of King George with Nigel Hawthorne playing King George III), remains the best argument against a monarchy.
Of course, George Washington vehemently declined to be crowned king. When he voluntarily left office after serving two terms as president, no less than King George III said he had "the greatest character of the age." I am not a thorough-going republican. In other words, I don't favor the abolition of British, Spanish, Belgian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, or Thai monarchies. But the United States was founded as a republic and can only be true to itself by remaining one.
A monarchy? If you're a U.S. citizen, be a patriot and perish the thought. Then get to work keeping our republic. You're never beaten until you quit.