First of all, the reasons given for the American Revolution that most people have been fed all these years — with King George baring much of the blame – are pretty much a load of whooey. Either our founding fathers were ignorant or naive or both, or there were other reasons that were rarely — if ever told. By the 1700s King George had no power at all to govern. The English Civil War put an end to that.
Secondly, having a government based exclusively on a two party system was just asking for trouble. So the situation described by Henry A. Giroux in his current Truthout essay,is no real surprise. There is little or nothing that will change it since there is no institution, group or individual that can claim to be unbiased objectivity. This country is all about politics and finance, especially now. With one side claiming the high ground over the other or vice versa.
So when I read about something like melting roads in Yellowstone, I do get a bit concerned. Not about any volcanic eruption per se, but how this country reacts to any disaster, or rather overreacts. To examples. Before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the president had a hard time getting congress to approve money for fire hoses to send to England during the blitz. That was how isolationist we had become.
Afterwards … he got everything he wanted or nearly so. And getting men to sign up for the war was a piece of cake. Before 9/11 Bush would have likely been impeached for what he did. After ….
We have no institution to help maintain social or political stability or help hold the country together. It’s always “you are either for us or against us.”
So why did Parliament retain the monarchy after the civil wars, when they could have easily removed it entirely? Here is one good explanation as to what the sovereign does [from the Royal Family's web page]
The Queen is able to recognise success and achievement in a personal way. These include honours, awards, visits, patronage and sponsorship. At Investitures, for example, The Queen honours individuals for public service or outstanding achievement.
The Queen’s role is to:
Perform the ceremonial and official duties of Head of State, including
representing Britain to the rest of the world;
Provide a focus for national identity and unity;
Provide stability and continuity in times of change;
Recognise achievement and excellence;
Encourage public and voluntary service.
The Queen also hosts garden parties to which guests from all backgrounds are invited, most of whom are nominated by charities and public sector organisations for their service to their communities.
In the thousands of messages sent by The Queen each year to people celebrating their 100th birthdays or diamond weddings, Her Majesty is able to give special and personal recognition of remarkable individuals.
The Queen also supports service to others, through close relationships with the voluntary and charitable sector. About 3,000 organisations list a member of the Royal Family as patron or president. The Queen has over 600 patronages and The Duke of Edinburgh over 700.
In all these roles, The Queen is supported by members of the Royal Family, who carry out many of the engagements which Her Majesty cannot undertake in person.
In other words the Queen [or King] and royal family provides a non-political institution that is far above the fray that presents the kind of behavior that all can appreciate and aspire to regardless of ideology or standing. Nearly all other constitutional monarchies operate in a similar manner.
Yet here in this country, we are so enamoured of royalty that there are those here that celebrate the queen as well. Even to refer to the presidency of JFK as “Camelot.” But to try and hold any elected official up to those kinds of ideals is foolish at best.
Combined with a Parliamentary form of government that allows multiple party representation, it seems to work very well for them. It got the British through the blitz.
So God Save the Queen.