Tuesday, July 23, 2002

I went on vacation during the week of the Fourth of July, and I took the opportunity to think about what it really means to be an American. I also got some perspective by being in Canada for much of that time. As in, what makes a Canadian differ from an American? We're both nations of pioneers; we can both invent our ways out of problems. (I went to the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology for that.) We both enjoy great amounts of freedom. We indeed have a parallel history. So what's the difference? Royalism - Canada has it in the form of the British Crown; we in the U.S. do not. Canada became a nation because the Crown declared them to be an independent nation 135 years ago; we became one because we rejected the Crown 226 years ago. (It's for another post later to celebrate how the US and Canada have fought side by side against the expanding royalism of Germany in the first half of this century.)

Specifically, the Declaration of Independence is an Englishman's rejection of the divine right of kings. The first part asserts that our rights as human beings are not to be at the whim of the king; the second part is a list of grievances against the king; the third part declares that we are no longer to be subject to the king. We fought a war against the Crown for another five years - the Royalists fled the Confederation to the colonies that were still under British control.

We go forward two centuries to the present. The Republican Party like to remind everyone that we live in a republic, not a democracy. One problem - even they don't believe that. To put it quite bluntly, the so-called Republicans are now believers in the divine right of kings. They seemed to be moving in that direction under Richard Nixon. They have since moved farther under the Bush family. It was Barbara Bush who was infuriated by the Clintons because they won the White House, which she felt belonged to her and her family. It was George Bush himself who claimed to have been chosen by God to lead. And the belief has only been amplified by sympathetic ministers and politicians since then. From a Gene Lyons column at RB Ham's site, "The president hit his apex a few weeks back when Meet the Press's Tim Russert and Rudy Giuliani actually urged Laura Bush to affirm that her husband had been chosen by God to save the United States." So even our mainstream media (in the form of GOP errand boy Russert) is espousing the divine right of kings. That is, the party in power, in their assertion of George Bush's divine selection, is setting back the entirety of US history.

Given all of this, the Democratic Party should strike at the heart of their opposition. Cease calling the GOP the "Republican Party", as the very name would be a false description. Refer to them as the "Royalist Party". Remind Americans we fought wars to prevent our rights from being at the whim of our leaders. Remind Americans that should Royalism return to the nation, all other issues will no longer be subject to their consent, but to the whims of the leaders. Quite simply, the opposition as it stands to the Democratic Party needs to be painted, truthfully and accurately, as anti-American to the core. I'll do my part here at GeekPol.

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