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Friday, July 19, 2024

Dealing with a modern King George

As I was saying to a fellow peasant just the other day, it is ironic that this country should rebel against one King George only to bow down before another monarch of the same name more than 200 years later.

As I was saying to a fellow peasant just the other day, it is
ironic that this country should rebel against one King George only to
bow down before another monarch of the same name more than 200 years

That our own King George — he of the House of Bush — is truly of royal
blood has become clear in recent days with the announcement that he has
empowered the National Security Agency to spy on whomsoever and
whatsoever it wishes under royal decree.

Happily for him if
not his subjects, this cannot be challenged by the picky laws and
constitutional concerns that rule us poor common folk. It cannot be
challenged because he says so, which is the traditional way of kings.

Previously, before His Majesty assumed his sovereign powers, the
president — as he was then quaintly known — had to go to a secret court
if he wanted permission for his agents to snoop on enemies within the
realm. The esteemed judges of this court would take out their official
rubber stamp, and the matter would be handled satisfactorily for all
concerned except for the knaves and scoundrels, hopefully not all of
them Democrats.

Although a rubber stamp administered in secret
was about the same covering for civil liberties as a lace pasty applied
to an exotic dancer, the common people nevertheless rested easily,
because a genuflection had been made to their beloved Constitution.

But kings do not bow down before anyone or anything. It is for us, the
commoners, to prostrate ourselves before their highnesses. Thus did
King George decree that it was too risky for the security of his
kingdom to rely on a rubber stamp, which, after all, might wear out.

Moreover, it was insulting for his agents to be kept waiting while the judges came in from the golf course.

So he reasoned that, as he was fighting a war, one that conveniently
for him was never going to end, he could do anything he liked because
he was the king, or the commander in chief in the old manner of
speaking. Laws, shmaws _ what were they to one so noble?

everything is changed. Faith-based policies have rediscovered the
divine right of kings. I hope the royal court realizes that I am
writing this in the groveling position like the uncouth but humble
person that I am.

To show my fealty, I tug my forelock in the
old ritual of subservience except that I haven’t got a forelock, as a
result of male pattern baldness, and therefore, as a substitute, I tug
my back mullet-lock in all honor and obedience.

I pray King
George for his gentle forbearance because he has said that even
discussing his new royal powers may aid the enemy. Of course, the last
thing I wish to do is aid the enemy. It’s just that the old habit of
free speech dies hard.

Now that King George has enthroned
himself, it is only right that he assume the other trappings of
monarchy. May I, his lowly and worthless servant, suggest a coat of
arms? Perhaps a church built on the ruins of the wall of separation
between church and state. Maybe lobbyists rampant on a field of money.

His Majesty also needs royal titles tailored to the American context.
It is my honor to suggest the following, which I hope the NSA will
record to my credit …

Henceforth, throughout the land, let
him be proclaimed as His Royal Texas-ship, Defender of the Faith,
Interpreter of the Constitution, Protector of the SUVs, Guardian of the
Malls, Warrior King, Scourge of the Liberals, Bane of the Activist
Judges, His Most High Majesty and Most Excellent King George W. the
First of Many.

We beseech you, your kingship, to institute a
system of hereditary peerage based upon merit and loyalty (i.e.,
campaign contributions) so that we peasants will have someone to look
up to other than the tawdry celebrities on TV. Sir Rush of Bloviation,
Sir Karl of Spin, these will be names to conjure with in the future
days of dynasty. Perhaps, as a goodwill gesture, you could name Bill
Clinton as a knight of the garter belt.

Please, sire, forgive
us our petulant Bush-bashing of former days before we realized you wore
a crown. Spy on us as much as you want because we understand now that
your knowledge of the Constitution is infinitely greater than our own.

Indeed, it is good to be the king, at least for the king.

Reg Henry is a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. His e-mail address is rhenry(at)