Heritage Foundation Determined To Stop American Liberals From 'Canceling' The British Monarchy
Earlier this month, as you surely know by now, Oprah did an interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, in which they discussed some of the issues with racism within the Royal family and those in their general orbit. Curiously, many of the same United States conservatives who never stop screaming "1776!" all over the place were absolutely shocked and appalled that anyone would so rudely disparage the monarchy.
And somehow, they're still on this particular jag. Later this week, The Heritage Foundation plans to host an online symposium titled "The Crown Under Fire: Why the Left's Campaign to Cancel the Monarchy and Undermine a Cornerstone of Western Democracy Will Fail."
"Cornerstone of Western Democracy" is certainly a fascinating way to describe a monarchy.
Let's look at the description for that event, shall we?
In order to launch an assault on the British monarchy, the American radical Left has seized upon the claims from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, that the Royal Family created a hostile, racist environment for the couple. Britain's constitutional monarchy—among the most powerful conservative institutions on the world stage—represents everything the radical Left despises: tradition, authority, hierarchy, patriotism, and the political and religious ideals of Western Civilization.
It's not that we hate tradition, it's that sometimes things are bad and we should stop doing them. Like racism. Or sexism. Or paying one random family $67 million a year just to exist and be fancy and wear giant hats. And who likes hierarchy? Or authority? Or telling other people what religion they're supposed to be? You'd think if they were trying to drag us, they'd come up with things that are more objectively good for us to despise.
If you happen to be interested in checking out this discussion, it will be happening on Thursday at 11am and will be presented by TheSimon Center for American Studies and the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, the latter of which is not a hilarious joke I just made, but a real thing that actually exists and is called that on purpose.
The event will be hosted by James Jay Carafano and moderated by Joseph Laconte, who published a completely batshit article in this week's National Review titled "An American Defense of Britain's Constitutional Monarchy." The gist of this article is that, actually, the monarchy is great, colonialism was a force for good, and American Leftists are bad for wanting to "cancel" it. Which like ... I do not think we actually have the authority to do?
The radical Left has seized upon Oprah Winfrey's televised spectacle with Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex in a crusade to invalidate one of the most consequential conservative institutions on the world stage.
Accusations of racism within the royal family are not the point. The aim of modern liberalism can be symbolically discerned in William Walcutt's painting, Pulling Down the Statue of George III at Bowling Green, July 9, 1776. It is to tear down everything the monarchy represents: tradition, authority, virtue, duty, love of country, and biblical religion.
Oh wait. So we are 1776 now? And 1776 is bad? OK then!
A Bunch Of Evil Liberals Pulling Down the Statue of George III at Bowling Green
Laconte admits that sure, the Monarchy did do some colonialism and traded human beings as slaves, but they also stopped doing that even before America did!
It is true, of course, that Great Britain built a massive colonial empire and was deeply engaged in the African slave trade. The monarchy approved, through royal charter, the forcible enslavement of millions of human beings. With the support of Parliament and the Royal Navy, Great Britain earned the lamentable status as the lead slave-trading nation in the world. The Left views this history as an indelible stain on the monarchy: It is a racist institution to its core, they claim.
Yet the monarchy, as the political guardian of the Church of England, was eventually confronted by the Christian conscience of Parliament, quickened by evangelical reformers such as William Wilberforce and Hannah More. Once Parliament outlawed the slave trade in 1807, the British Crown authorized the Royal Navy to enforce the new law on the high seas. Decades before the United States faced the issue head-on in the Civil War, the British monarchy led the world in abolishing the institution of slavery.
Leftists just never give anyone credit for anything!
Laconte also suggests that nations that "violently rejected" being colonized by Britain turned out badly.
Nations that have violently rejected Britain's model of constitutionalism—China, Russia, the Arab states—have created human misery on an industrial scale. There is a reason that the democratic reformers in Hong Kong, a former British colony, often display the Union Jack.
The whole thing is just ... a very interesting take.
Perhaps surprisingly, there are actually several ways in which I personally believe the United States would benefit from a monarchy. For one, it would give right-wingers some place besides war and hating immigrants to direct their desire for nationalism and pomp and circumstance. I say give them a bajillion patriotic parades and that ought to distract them while we get busy actually making life better for people. For another, I think we would actually all benefit from a peerage system. The way I see it, in England, people see a Lord or Lady before someone's name, they know that person didn't come by their wealth all on their own, all through meritocracy and hard work. They know they inherited some shit, and I think there's a benefit in making that more clear. Pretending we don't have a class system does us no favors.
I also think it would allow us to have more effective leaders, in a way. In the US, the President is kind of meant to fulfill the function of both the leader of our government and the role of a monarch. They're supposed to grace magazine covers, "look Presidential," make everyone feel good and, frequently, be charming and attractive (45 being an obvious exception). If we had a monarchy to fulfill those functions, we could just have a President who was just there to do the actual work. It would be like Milli Vanilli, but for government.
Of course, there would still be the problem of paying a random family $67 million a year to exist, be fancy, and wear giant hats, which is a very weird thing to do, even if that family is not incredibly racist.
We could always rejoin the UK, if only to appease Laconte and the Heritage Foundation. If conservatives truly want to live in a country with a monarchy, reasonable gun control and health care for everyone, we should at least do them the kindness of considering it.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse