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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 4, 2012/14 Tammuz, 5772

Celebrating, royal-free

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Fourth of July is the only American holiday with a villain.

The Declaration of Independence, adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, is best known for its stirring preamble. But most of the charter is an indictment of King George III for his "history of repeated injuries and usurpations" -- a catalogue of royal crimes ranging from obstruction of justice to the imposition of martial law to the levying of unfair taxes. "He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people," Congress charged. The king had proved to be "a Tyrant unfit to be the ruler of a free people." Accordingly the American colonies were entitled not just "to be Free and Independent States," but also to be "absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown.".

It was no small thing to give up their attachment to a monarch. Many Americans had only recently been enthusiastic royalists. Writing to a friend from Paris in 1767, Benjamin Franklin praised Louis XV, whom he had just met at Versailles. Yet "no Frenchman shall go beyond me," he insisted, "in thinking my own King and Queen the very best in the World and the most amiable." That was a common sentiment for the colonists, who after all had been raised as English citizens and the subjects of a king.

But as disaffection with British policies intensified, so did Americans' aversion to royalty. They came to see George III as the personification of everything they hated about the Old World's political institutions. Hereditary monarchy and blood-based nobility, once regarded as necessary and natural, turned into the ultimate symbol of despotism. It wasn't only for national independence that Americans fought a revolution. It was for a republic, too -- for a government of the people and by the people, a nation in which citizens governed themselves and rejected as pernicious the very idea of kings on thrones or aristocrats born to rule.

Few ideals are as entrenched in our national character. Early on, Americans feared that the president would turn into a king. At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Franklin argued against paying the nation's highest official a salary, lest he be tempted to "follow the example of Pharaoh, get first all the people's money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants forever." Perhaps recalling his own former affections, Franklin wasn't sure that Americans might not allow such a monarchy to take root. "There is," he warned, "a natural inclination in mankind to Kingly Government."

Yet that inclination is one to which Americans have proved immune. When we broke with the British crown in 1776, we broke with royalty for good. The Constitution prohibits both federal and state governments from granting titles of nobility -- a provision Alexander Hamilton hailed in Federalist No. 84 as "the corner-stone of republican government." The First Congress rejected suggestions that the president needed a regal-sounding form of address -- "His Mightiness" was one proposal -- and no president has ever refused to leave office when his term ended. To this day we revere George Washington for voluntarily stepping down after two terms instead of clinging to power. (And when Franklin Roosevelt in 1940 failed to uphold the precedent, the Constitution was amended to require it.)

Royalty may be fine for lesser breeds across the pond, but it's one habit the American nation has never regretted giving up. Watching from afar, some Americans may enjoy the pageantry of a royal wedding or diamond jubilee, and for ongoing tabloid-style entertainment it's certainly hard to beat the soap-opera dysfunction of the House of Windsor. But envy the Brits (or anyone else) their monarch? Not us. Not a chance.

Americans, Lord knows, are apt to quarrel about everything. But one thing we never, ever debate is whether we'd be better off with a king. In Gallup polls dating back to 1950, nearly 90 percent of Americans have consistently said that a royal family would be bad for America. Alexis de Tocqueville reported the same thing. Americans' lack of desire for a monarch, he wrote in 1835, amounted to "a sort of consensus universalis."

Royalty is a superstition, long ago contradicted by the self-evident truth that all men are created equal. It's a scam, and a ridiculous scam at that. "All kings is mostly rapscallions, as fur as I can make out," said Huck Finn. No conviction could be more American.

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Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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