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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

A Prince is Born

What is a prince to do if he’s not a soldier?, opined Dr. Andrew Roberts, an NBC News British correspondent. What indeed. More important, why even ponder the new Prince of Cambridge's occupational potential? Like so many of his ancestors, and those of other European monarchies, he might even be one day wind up insane (think George III).
     NBC and it’s progressive cable news affiliate MSNBC have abandoned their endless banter about the one percenters and  talk about inequality, with so much power in the hands of just ta few, in order to present American viewers with laudatory blather about the birth of an ultimate .10 percenter, a  prince and  future king. 
     While CEO’s, captains of major industries and banks, most of whom worked for their wealth and position, are vilified on a non-stop basis,  apparently there can’t be enough adulation and praise about a kid who will inherit one day the Bank of England. Talk about entitlement!

     Like it or not, even if power is mesmerizing, do you  suppose if Hitler and Eva Braun had a munchkin,  RKO’s News of the World would have speculated on its name or give odds for an Otto or Hendrik?  
     Just how much of these networks are owned by Brits anyway? 
     Whatever happened to the concept, “All men were created equal”?  
     And I was fascinated to see and hear my favorite American iconoclast and pro-choice advocate, Melissa Harris Perry advise me in the days before the royal bundle of joy popped out that the presence of a baby in the womb was a matter of feelings. “When does life begin? I submit the answer depends an awful lot on the feeling of the parents. A powerful feeling," she said.What a fascinating quandary. Do you suppose for an instant that if Kate, the commoner, decided she didn’t feel like she wanted the kid she could chose an abortion? 
     Still this was a sideline, as I am told time and again, along with the silly display of all things royal. Number one of these should be our joy and gratefulness to the British monarchy. Why? Because, as the sage of TV spittle, Chris Matthews,  declared (original as always), Americans secretly want a monarchy.
     Allow me to invoke my innate queenly response to all of this. “We are not amused."
     We are, after all, a nation born out of a revolution against a monarchy.
In a letter to Governor John Langdon of Virginia in 1810, Thomas Jefferson wrote down his thoughts about kings and breeding.
     Now, take any race of animals, confine them in idleness and inaction, whether in a sty, a stable, or a state-room, pamper them with high diet, gratify all  their sexual appetites, immerse them in sensibilities, nourish  their passions, let everything bend before them, and banish  whatever might lead them to think, and in a few generations  they become all body and no mind; and this, too, by a law of  nature, by that very law by which we are in the constant  practice of changing the characters and propensities of  the animals we raise for our own purposes. Such is the regimen in raising Kings, and in this way they have gone on for centuries. While in Europe, I often amused myself with contemplating the characters of the then reigning sovereigns of Europe. Louis the XVI was a fool, of my own knowledge, and in despite of the answers made for him at his trial. The King of Spain was a fool, and of Naples the same. They passed their lives in hunting, and despatched two couriers a week, one thousand miles, to let each other know what game they had killed the preceding days.  The King of Sardinia was a fool. All these were Bourbons.  The Queen of Portugal, a Braganza, was an idiot by nature.  And so was the King of Denmark. Their sons, as regents, exercised the powers of government. The King of Prussia, successor to the great Frederick, was a mere hog in body as  well as in mind. Gustavus of Sweden, and Joseph of Austria, were really crazy, and George of England, you know, was in a strait-waistcoat. There remained, then, none but old Catharine, who had been too lately picked up to have lost her common sense. In this state Bonaparte found Europe; and it was this state of its rulers which lost it with scarce a struggle. These animals had become without mind and powerless; and so will every hereditary monarch be after a few generations. Alexander, the grandson of Catharine, is as yet an exception. He is able to hold his own. But he is only of the third generation. His race is not yet worn out. And so endeth the book of Kings, from all of whom the Lord deliver us, and have you, my friend, and all such good men and true, in His holy keeping.” Too bad TJ never got to see the Monte Carlo Grimaldies of today.
     Well, somehow, the Brits kept the holy grail of kingship alive and kicking because, I suspect, everyone over there who thought this a folly ended up over here.
     The late, dearly departed King Farouk of Egypt, described by a friend as a stomach with a head and a total embodiment of Jefferson’s observations; when finally booted off the throne averred that  one day there would be only five kings left in the world, “the King of England, the King of Spades, The King of Clubs, the King of Hearts, and the King of Diamonds.”
     I prefer the former Huey 'The Kingfish' Long’s  take on the prospects of prerogatives in the world. "Every man a king. Every man to eat when there is something to eat; all to wear something when there is something to wear. That makes us all sovereign.”
     Maybe one day, God willing and the creek don’t rise, the new, young prince will learn this privilege. Maybe one day, MSNBC’s pitchman Perry might, instead of drooling all over a royal birth, respect everyone’s right to life.