We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
In Line for the Throne?
The Royal Romney Undertaking
Republicans are royalists. They’re groupies, attracted by star power and into hierarchies which hold out the promise of taking a turn in the spotlight for even the briefest moment of fame.
Although the Latin scholars among us know well the ‘re’ in Republic refers to ‘res’–i.e. the things or concerns of the people (publius), Republicans think it’s short for ‘rex.’ That makes it more consistent with their preconceived notions about how society ought to be organized–in layers. Similarly, the ‘re’ in responsible is cut off and reduced to signify repetition. So, a responsible act is one that answers to or reflects a prompt, like an echo. In practice, to be a responsible conservative is to do what one is told without question and the moral import of the act isn’t even considered. Responsible Republicans are automatons.
It makes the rex gig easy, if the subjects are compliant. Better yet, if they’re adoring fans, eager to do the adored one’s bidding, especially if all that’s demanded is a vote. Moreover, since a vote is worthless, unless it’s used, the candidate for the royal role need not even demand. All he has to do is ask for the chance to take a turn as a rotating ruler for a term or two. Rotating royalty is the genius of democracy. Every man can aspire to be king, or just share the spotlight during the primary rounds. Indeed, any man can be elected. Ronald Reignin’ proved it.
The only problem with this route to the royal throne is the fans. Fans are fickle. They have to be constantly entertained and rewarded for their attention. Obviously, Rex publican operatives have figured this out and it accounts, in addition to the need to depress the thinking electorate, for the constant barrage of teasing tidbits of scandal to keep the fans’ attention from wandering.
On the other hand, the adoring fan base and general disaffection otherwise with the political process, makes the royal presidency an easy gig, as both double ‘R’ and Dubya demonstrated in spades. It would seem tailor-made for Willard, except for the fact that his moralistic robotic demeanor seems to be turning the fan base off. His apparent preference for euphemisms led me to think of eulogies and thence to the hypothesis that perhaps what people perceive is a certain resemblance to the local undertaker — a necessary fixture in our communities, but not one that’s courted.
So, I wondered if there’s a tradition of the undertaker as eulogist — a person called upon, when no-one has anything really false to say and a general praise for having lived at all is sufficient. That’s when I found a poet undertaker, one Thomas Lynch, who happens to live in Michigan, whence Romney hails, and who, if nothing else, is proof that speaking true can still be found there. Listen.
Comparing Willard to an undertaker is probably unfair. And then there’s John Cleese Eulogy for Graham Chapman which alerts us to the phrase, “mindless good taste.” Is that what Willard brings to the table, upon which there’s not enough food for the children?
Then there’s Bruce Springsteen’s new offering, “We take care of our own,” in which the first line refers to the “door that holds the throne.” Seems like there’s something to that royal theme.
- Photo of Mitt Romeny: by Gage Skidmore and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Crown licensed by LikeTheDew.com on iStock.com © Ivan Ponomarev and composited by LikeTheDew.com.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
About a quarter century ago, when Hercules Specialty Resins was still spewing its sulfurous emissions across the marshes of Glynn to be dissipated by mingling with the off-shore breezes, local wags dubbed the odiferous environment “the smell of money.” They may have been more right than they thought. For, within a decade, all profits had apparently gone up the chimney, even as every rain storm deposited more toxins to poison the marsh. That profitable enterprise depends to a large extent on avoiding waste is a lesson the new owners of Pinova seem to appreciate. On the other side of town, the Read on →
I think of myself as a realist. A diehard realist. I believe I am truly a child of the Age of Reason. But can reason explain all things, unlock all mysteries? Don’t think so. My Uncle Lehman, for instance, my Aunt Mary Grace’s husband, could talk warts off. As I write this, I can see you shaking your skeptical head. Well, I didn’t believe it, either. Nor did Meredith, my first wife, who once was his “patient.” But he did it anyhow, and it couldn’t be called faith healing, for the subject’s disbelief was no deterrent to the cure. You ready for this? We go by their house one night in Read on →
At age 5 I told anyone who asked, and lots who didn't, "I want to be a doctor in the daytime and a preacher at night." Likely that was connected to the two people outside my family whom I most admired, our doctor who lived in the big house on the corner of our block, and our preacher who lived in the big house on the corner of the next block over. The preacher and my dad were classmates at college and in the vacant lots behind our house and in front of his they planted a Victory Garden together -- Read on →
Grandpa was not a storyteller. It was only later, when Grandma wasn’t around, that he told me a few stories about his life and parents. He never talked about the hard times during the Great Depression, but he said enough to encourage me in later life to research his family history. When he died all of Grandma’s and Grandpa’s personal things, letters and photographs were given to my older cousin because she was the only granddaughter. By the time I became interested in our family history everything had been thrown away except some old photographs. I started the long and frust Read on →