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A Real Imperial Presidency: Monarchy for America

One of the terms which often applied to the presidency of Barack Obama is that he is at the head of an “Imperial Presidency” – that is to say, a presidency that is autocratic and overstepping the boundary set by the Constitution. Not good, certainly. We presume that the Framers did not want Presidents fiddling around with executive orders and forcing Congress into doing his bidding. An overbearing head of state was one of the key reasons that America threw some tea into a harbour and started the American revolution.

Now, that head of state in question was George III of Great Britain. He was, aside from being mad as a hatter, a monarch. A hereditary royal who became head of state by virtue of his blood.

Terrible, some may cry. How unfair it is that a man attains sovereign power because of who his parents were. How unjust that the people were not consulted to elect this man.

Well, America, I invite you to take a look at your elected President. Say hello to Barack Obama, recently of Chicago. He is, at least by what some people say, the most hated man in America. I don’t doubt the man’s principles or ethics, but there is no doubt that his presidency has hindered the United States greatly, and it is imperative to get the man out of the White House.

But the man most likely to replace him isn’t particularly spectacular either. A gaffe-prone technocrat with a knack for idiocy and a track record which is in places further left than President Obama. I, like everyone, will accept Mitt Romney, but I certainly won’t relish having him as the leader of the free world.

In fact, let’s take a look back at the Presidents of the last century. I can only think of two great presidents – Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. Perhaps FDR and Bush might make the list on a good day. But this list also includes such luminaries as Warren Harding (most corrupt President in history), Richard Nixon (“I am not a crook”) and Jimmy Carter (where to start…). Most Presidents, in short, have been uninspired; a good few have been downright awful.

I am a great supporter of democracy – I believe it is a strong force for good in the world. But the people have a penchant for picking poor Presidents (see what I did with the alliteration?), and having the wrong man in charge of the country can be disastrous.

So what if I told you there was a way to defang the Presidency, to ensure the head of state was always a good man we could rely on, a man who could unite the country? What if we could return to a country where the President was not a tyrant, a country where America is great?

I present to you – the American Empire.

With little more than a few constitutional amendments (more on them later), America can remove the possibility of ever electing a lemon again. We will never have an Obama or a Nixon. We will never have to waste money on Presidential elections again. We will never be a nation without a heritage. We will be the Roman Empire anew!

Monarchies can unite nations in a way that republics can’t. When Ronald Reagan (who I use because of his massive popularity) was elected, 40% of the country was still against him. With Barack Obama, I’d imagine that figure was a lot more. But with a monarch, the public has no choice but to unite around him. And that means, as President Obama put it, “more civility in our public discourse”.

Whatsmore, royals can act as more of a check against tyranny. Juan Carlos of Spain proved that when he managed to prevent the 23-F coup from succeeding, saving Spain from another Francoist junta. Bolshevik Russia would never have existed had the Czar been able to stop Stalin. With far-left forces massing (OWS and the communists spring to mind), a far-right reaction may well occur – a hereditary, apolitical monarch who commands the respect of the nation would be well equipped to prevent extremism.

Kings and emperors, unlike elected Presidents, have a view of the world much longer than four years. If President Obama vetoes a bill, he does so at least partially because he won’t get re-elected if he doesn’t. Indeed, everything a President does is designed to ensure that he can maintain power. On the other hand, a monarch has no such compulsion – he can do what is best for the country without worrying about public opinion. To give an example, the Ryan budget or Simpson-Bowles have not been passed because of political expediency – a king would be able to make a tough decision which would ultimately save the country.

There are quite literally hundreds of arguments for monarchies. Take, for instance, the fact that until the Great War every country in Europe bar France and Switzerland were monarchies, and that was sometimes considered the Golden Age of Europe. Consider that the Italian Kingdom was one of the greatest nations on earth; the Italian Republic is a joke of a country. Examining the Economist’s Democracy Index, we can see that seven of the 10 freest nations are monarchies, whilst only one of the 10 most authoritarian is (and Saudi Arabia is an anomaly, being a Wahabist Islamic state).

Oh, and in case you were wondering about the cost; the Presidency right now is a multi-million dollar affair, with security alone in the hundreds of millions. A monarch could live in the White House and perform the same duties for the same amount, if not less.

But enough about the advantages of monarchism – how could we implement it in America. The Constitution does specify a “republican form of government”. That, of course, is where the aforementioned amendments come in. The whole process could be done quite easily with four amendments:

  • AMENDMENT XXVIII: 1. All uses of the phrase “President of the United States of America” shall be replaced with “Emperor of America” 2. All uses of “Vice-President of the United States of America” shall be replaced by “Crown Prince of America”
  • AMENDMENT XXIX: 1. The office of the Emperor of America shall be hereditary and shall go to the eldest male child of the incumbent. 2. The Emperor shall reign from the age of 18 till death; a Regent appointed by the Senate shall perform his duties until the Emperor reaches majority. 3. The entirety of Article II, Section 1 shall be struck down, barring the oath of Office.  4. The entirety of Article II, Section 1 shall be struck down.
  • AMENDMENT XXX: 1. Article IV, Section 4 shall be struck down in its entirety

I am decidedly not a constitutional scholar, but I’m sure that those with more knowledge of the document could pinpoint all necessary changes to be made to institute a monarchy in America.

The next problem to raise its’ head is; who should be the monarch in question? Whilst Europe and even Asia is blessed with hundreds of royal families to choose from, America has no history of royalty or even nobility. This leaves us with three choices.

Number one, we trace the eldest male relative of George Washington and crown him Emperor. Most likely he will be a harmless fellow, and will be universally popular, as well as being descended from the greatest American of all time. The main problem with this is that said relative will not be able to act like a monarch, and neither will his children. True royalty (of the sort you read about in fairy tales) have a certain aura of majesty and greatness, and picking some guy off the street is not going to generate that immediately.

Number two, we get each state to elect a representative to a monarchical convention, in which an emperor will be elected from their number. Obviously this means that we get a geographical spread of candidates, as well as giving it a degree of democracy. The problem, of course, is that the initial ballot is susceptible to the rich and powerful manipulating the poll.

Number three, and my favoured solution, is that we import a royal from Europe. The system of royalty in Europe is highly developed, leading to monarchs from there acting as genuine monarchs, not parvenu newcomers having a crown thrust upon them. The British royal family stands out by virtue of linguistic reasons, but many members of German and Italian royalty speak better English than a few Americans I can think of. Potential people we can offer the throne to include Prince Harry (who doesn’t love him?), Peter of Yugoslavia (although unlikely to relinquish his throne, an excellent candidate), Jean-Christophe Bonaparte (descendent of another republican-turned-monarch) and even Prince Andrea Casiraghi of the Monegasque royal family. It doesn’t matter – let the people choose.

I believe that a monarchy is the only way for America to escape a nightmarish downwards spiral of partisan politics that will culminate in the downfall of the United States. The American Empire will be a return to a great America, the America that once was. Just hope that your vote for Mitt Romney will be the last time you have to vote for a President.

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