The Queen? Going, going gone! Buh bye, super dead; respectfully of course. Shout out to the royal family for giving me such a big piece of news for my first blog post.
All jokes aside, I am sure all of you have heard of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing on Thursday, ending the longest reign of any British Monarch in history. She gives way to the less likeable, more controversial, and probably cousin 3 times over somehow Prince Charles (73 years old).
Of course, when I heard this, I did a deep dive into the monarchy, Old English Castles, and what Queen Elizabeth was known for. Come to find out, her rule was most known for the decreasing power of the monarchy and the increasing power of the more democratic parliament. Britain held over 70 territories when she started ruling, which decreased to 15 during her tenure. I don’t think can be directly attributed to her, but more so a result of the changing times and rise of democracy over the past century.
But this got me thinking, Queen Elizabeth seemed to be pretty unanimously loved by the country, but how much of that is due to the fact that she had little to no political power? Maybe it makes sense to separate the decision-making body (in this case the Parliament) from the country figure head (the Queen).
Just look at some neighboring governments, like Ireland. Their President has little power and acts more as a “representative” than what Americans think of when they hear the word President.
I mean look at this guy (second from the left). He’s a professional poet, only 5’4”, looks like he belongs in a Harry Potter movie, and is adored by almost all of Ireland.
This is much different than the United States, where the President is almost always seen as a polarizing figure who only serves one side of the political spectrum. I always hear that politicians are power hungry individuals, but I wonder if we stripped the United States Presidency of its executive power, simply making it a figurehead, if we would see the public’s opinion change while the controversy between the left and right became more subtle, only noticed by those who actually follow politics.
When presidents began using social media for campaigning and general updates, you began to quickly see the public form opinions and post them more openly than before. I used to be told not to disclose my political beliefs to others (and still try to stay out of it), but now you see people laying out all their beliefs and opinions on the internet, which I think contributed to the view of our country as divisive since this is mainly composed of what is posted on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Maybe the United States should make the president powerless and let politics take the backseat. Or maybe they shouldn’t. I don’t know, just some food for thought.
If the president was just symbolic, I vote Morgan Freeman.
If you enjoy learning about the history of global powers and how they shift between countries, check out Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail by Ray Dalio here: https://frommatt.com/book-reviews/
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