God Save the Queen
The rank is but the Guinea’s stamp
The man’s the gowd for a’ that. Robert Burns, A Mans a Man For a’ That
The visit of the President to England has got my democratic blood up. Every time one of ours visits the Queen or she comes over here, my rage comes out again against royalty and rank. I shuddered when I saw video of the Obamas walking into the Palace receiving room. At least Michelle had the good sense and patriotic strength not to curtsey. This whole country went gaga over curtseys when the Queen visited here during our bicentennial. No rich matron wanted to be missed curtseying to the Queen. Television networks even hired female British commentators who would comment on the quality of the curtsies. Today some commentators are upset about our gift of an IPod to the royal family. Why did we get them anything at all ? The Obamas did not pay for the gift, you and I did, and no one asked me what I thought about it. I’d have opted for a bottle of wine, the same thing I bring to anyone kind enough to have me in their home. An American wine, probably a California white, and I’d have expected a glass of it.
While in the truest sense, I must admit that the British have a right to their own form of government, but I think that there is ample precedent for my justification in complaining about it. I complained very hard about apartheid in South Africa and (then) Rhodesia, both of which were remnants of the colonialism of that part of Africa by Great Britain and directly linked to the British view of rank in society. We talk over here about our “royalty”, Hollywood and political, but the truth of the matter is that a Hollywood star has done something for his/her supposed rank. You may think it is trivial, or that they are being rewarded far beyond the gifts they have brought to society, but they have done something. They were not simply born into it and got to live their lives as billionaires in return for opening shopping malls, greeting foreign dignitaries, and making a speech to open Parliament and a speech at Christmas, neither of which they had to write.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of bile to spend on the U.S. royalty too. For years I have advocated a tax system that is more appropriate to the spirit of our nation. A 100% confiscatory estate tax at the death of every citizen (offering modest allowances for widowers). In exchange, we would give up income tax. Think about it, when would you rather pay taxes ? When you are alive or after death ? I don’t want to hear any whining about family, every child in this country should stand on his/her own two feet. If a parent dies early, I would allow a scholarship to a state university for the orphan so that everyone has a chance at a quality education.
I had always hoped that I would live to see (as Churchill might have put it) the liquidation of the Monarchy in Britain. I realize now that I probably will not. However, I hope to live to see the royalty over there “marked down” to where they don’t live in castles and ride around in chauffeured cars. I’d like to see them be more on par with most of the rest of the remaining European royalty. They have been a leech on society for long enough. In Britain, for 1,000 years and more. As Paine once said, “’tis time to part.” Hell, ‘tis long past time.