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America hasn’t had a king since the late 18th century, so we’re coming up on 250 years sans a royal family. For the most part, I’m okay with this. I personally find that the idea of any type of hereditary government goes against both logic and democracy under most definitions of the two. The act of being born shouldn’t automatically qualify anyone for anything. Is it surprising that Stephen King’s son became a writer? Eh, debatable. Should he have been more or less required from birth to succeed his father? Absolutely not. Regardless of how wonderfully or terribly anyone thinks his or her government is doing, at the very least, Those Who Lead should also be Those Who Get To Choose Whether They Even Want The Job. So yeah, not a huge fan of the whole divine-right, “I am your king and you’ll do as I like” deal.

However.

I absolutely think that there is merit in a nation having a non-governing royal family, a group that is traditionally meant to represent the people, entreat with foreign heads of state, acknowledge the outstanding acts of the “common man,” and generally inspire during times of inspirational lack. We do not have this in America, and I think that’s unfortunate. National unity is often difficult when virtually everything is politically divided. I don’t presume that an apolitical American royal family would necessarily fix all of that, but I do think that it would remove politicalness from areas where it isn’t really welcome/helpful. During times of national mourning/rejoicing, critics always find something negative to say about the way a President handles the situation—either his comments were hypocritical or too sincere or against the current platform of his party or whatever. It also gets sticky when a head of government has to meet with foreign heads of state who are perhaps at war or otherwise opposed to his/her allies. As someone who does not make policy decisions, an American King/Queen/Prince/Princess wouldn’t have to worry about that to such a degree. A royal personage would certainly be put under much scrutiny, but that scrutiny would be less political.

Speaking of scrutiny, clearly Americans need an outlet for their voyeuristic tendencies. Maybe I’m wrong, but I highly doubt we would be as obsessed with The Kardashiad if we already had a royal family to gawk at incessantly. Luckily the current iteration of the British Royal Family are for the most part fairly responsible and upstanding, but that certainly hasn’t always been the case, and I wonder how the pressures of royal life would translate to an American setting. It would probably be much the same, but without the accent.

I don’t know who that royal family could have ever possibly been (the Washingtons? Adams? Jeffersons? Roosevelts?), but it’s clear that we missed a major opportunity by throwing out the idea of monarchy 100% when we shrugged off George Three. Seriously.

Okay, not seriously. Mostly I’m jealous the Brits get a Lilibet and we don’t. What a babe.

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