In my republican indignation, I look in despair at my poor Patria, succumbed to the allure of monarchies and one strongman on the throne. This is not a right-wing or left-wing ideology, but at this point, it is coming from both parties.
I realize that for some nations such as Denmark, Sweden and Norway, monarchy works well in a constitutional way—and as Montesquieu said, to each their own. However, in most of the world, monarchy degenerates into an authoritarian strongman rule. The United States is more similar to France in this sense, for every king of France centralized his authority and became an unchecked usurper of power.
For the sake of this article, I'm defining "monarchy" as a strong leader who has all the power. This leader may or may not have a constitution, but he can make decrees and change a country with the tip of his pen.
The Americas, in general, have proven to be ripe spots for the usurpation of power. As a hemisphere of former colonies, we are drawn to greatness and grandeur. We know and despise usurpers of power—they are the reason this hemisphere declared independence, after all—but sometimes, we fall into our old habits. The liberators of the Americas tried desperately to keep our checks and balances, but only Washington succeeded. Even now, in the Patria of Washington himself, we find ourselves broken, stuck in an economic crisis and searching for a strongman to save us.
My friends, my dear readers, I have warned against the romanticizing of absolute monarchies, and now I see it again: both sides calling for a strongman leader to bring the other side under control. Alas, this cannot be so, my dear Patria. We already have about 10 million citizens abroad, and that number is increasing daily. I realize things in the United States are looking terrible, but centralizing authority into the hands of one will only make it worse. Trust me. I know.
The system of checks and balances, the flying buttresses of our cathedral of democracy, should not be removed, or else it will all come crumbling down.
I realize that we have many problems facing us, and it seems like a strongman may save us—but, my friends, this will only result in our collapse as a society. I wish I were being dramatic, but it has happened to prosperous nations before, nations that never thought they would bend to the rule of a strongman.
Student loans? It is terrible but true—an entire generation is in debt, and we are trying to flee abroad to seek better lives.
Low wages? Alas, coupled with the overly inflated cost of living, this is a recipe for hyperinflation if it continues.
Wages that look high? They might appear this way, but inflation cancels everything out. I am very well aware of this, my dear readers.
High medical costs? Yes, and diseases like tuberculosis are coming back because people can't afford treatments.
Food shortages? Ahhh, a new one that I feared seeing on the list. Starting with the new tariffs that are harmful to farmers, it now is a very real possibility that we will have food shortages.
These are real problems facing the United States, and, my friends, if we give one man all of the power in this country, the problems will only intensify.
Ego is very central to humanity, and if a leader is in charge of a nation with the problems I described, he may very well deny there is any serious situation happening. These problems? Ahhh citizens, they are clearly caused by my opposition or perhaps a foreign power. The leader will say anything to keep his pride intact.
I'm afraid we all can picture that image in our minds: a struggling nation and a leader who denies that the nation is struggling. This is not simply "positive thinking"; rather, it is done so that the leader feels powerful and his closest supporters stay loyal. This is a very serious place for a nation to be when one person has the power to deny the suffering of the people. That behavior is a sign that the people have completely lost their voices, and the disconnect widens even more.
Power checks power, and ambition checks ambition. In our cathedral of democracy, we have stained glass windows reflecting the diversity of the nations, and we have flying buttresses (our checks and balances) to support us. Well, what if our great strongman strengthened the branch most loyal to him and took down the others?
Citizens, this will result in the collapse of our cathedral. It is up to the other branches to reclaim their power and balance out the power that has been taken away. Through these checks and limits on power, democracy can prevail. If we remind people of those checks and why they are in place, and if we look for a leader who isn't trying to get revenge on the other side and sincerely wants to work with others to fix this country's problems, we shall do well and live forever in the land of liberty.
If we vote for somebody who denies that we are facing serious problems or only blames it on "the opposition" (whomever they may be) or on "China," we have already voted for a strongman leader.
Monarchy will never work in the Americas. Our culture of emerging as former colonies makes us more likely to choose the strongman leader, and it is even more necessary that we secure the "cathedrals" of the Americas with extra checks and balances—because trust me, after George III and Ferdinand VII, we know what usurpation of power is, and we all declared independence from it. But the old habits and usurpers of power are sure to come back to haunt us if we do not pay extra close attention to our checks and balances on authority.
Citizens of the United States, of the Americas, citizens of the world—you have been liberated from usurpers. Instead of longing for the old days when one man controlled us from abroad, let's embrace this liberty and be careful not to mistake it for license, but to use it to once again fill the world with ideals of liberty.