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Once More Into the Breach

I watched more of the coverage of Queen Elizabeth: the ceremony, the mourning, the appreciation, and the funeral, in the last ten days, than I thought I would. I watched it on MSNBC, and a little on BBC. I am a big fan of Chris Jansing, who anchored much of MSNBC’s coverage. I don’t think there is anyone better than she at covering major events, so that was more of an impetus for me to watch. And so many good guest commentators from Britain, adding perspective and history, and a look forward.

Actually, I am going to miss the coverage. Not that it was not suffused with sadness, but it was still a nice change from what we will now go back to, which is coverage of all the bad people and things threatening our country and our democracy. Does anybody really want to see a picture, even with muted sound, of Trump glowering and shaking his fist in the air,? Hear Graham or McConnell or McCarthy with their propaganda which they make part of every sentence? Listen to more dire predictions about Democrats from people who would profit from being right about it?

Watching the enormous crowds in London and the rest of England, well-mannered and respectful; seeing and hearing the ceremonies, was rather encouraging, as we saw a nation which put other values over endless political rancor. There is something to be said about having a Constitutional Monarchy; which is not saying that I would want one here, though it would be nice to have someone of respect and some power, overarch the partisan politics, and the absolute evil, lies, inciting to riot, that comes from the Radical Right fascist theocrats who make up the Republican Party at all levels.

Of course, there have been bad monarchs, too. I know a fair amount of British history, though not at the level of the scholars. I was thinking that Queen Elizabeth II may well have been the best monarch they have ever had, though most of the rest of them were not very admirable . Her father, King George VI, was a decent man, and obviously she had a good role model in that regard. Of course she was not perfect, but taking into account the challenges she immediately faced, even while a girl while he was king; then her ascension at such a young age; her intelligence, general decency and kindness; appreciation for the ordinary working person; tact, almost unerring sense of how to handle things, she was incredible. And that is why she was, and will always be, loved by so many people.

The mourning is for her, and it is also a mourning for an Age which seems to have ended. Consider that she likely had met Franklin D. Roosevelt, and of course had known Churchill as a girl, and then worked so closely with him. For her to be alive and ruling, in her constitutional monarch way, was to somehow feel like things would be all right; she had helped to have gotten Britain and America through the storm, seen the defeat of Nazism and Fascism. I thought yesterday about how awful it would have been for her to see America possibly turn into what the two countries had given so much to defeat. If nothing else, we can try to honor her by continuing a fight which they thought had ended in 1945, but really never ends.

I am not English, I am not Christian or Anglican. But I still liked to feel that there were people in charge there who believed in humanity and democracy, and who had the background and sense of history to help it prevail. Queen Elizabeth will be profoundly missed.

As to the monarchy, that is a British issue. I don’t expect too much from Charles III, but maybe he will do decently, whatever that exactly means. At least he cares about fighting global warming, though of course he will have very limited power in that regard. It is said that Elizabeth’s daughter, Princess Anne, would have been the best heir, but the rules at that time did not allow for a woman to inherit the throne if there were a male sibling. This may be greatly regretted in that context. Then we have to wait for William and Kate, whom I like. Maybe George and Charlotte could help! Charlotte already knows all the protocols!

As to Harry and Meghan, I personally think that the focus of much of the media and public on them is not very useful. They left England to live in America, and Harry gave up his role as a ‘working royal.” No one kicked them out, the Queen wanted them to stay. They will get plenty of publicity here, but the monarchy goes on without them. I hope that the British press tones things down, out of respect for Queen Elizabeth. if nothing else.

We now go back to primaries to worry about, and corrupt judges, and literal nazis running for office, like the Republican candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania. A seemingly relentless onslaught, which we have to defend against. Queen Elizabeth, in her 90’s, still represented, and actually was, a foundation against those forces. Her spirit and example will always be there. But we will need others to step in, if we are going to preserve what her and her courageous father’s and husband’s life were dedicated to.

And for various people who are complaining on Twitter that this was a waste of time, they should have been covering the attempted fascist takeover, and had more about the hurricane which hit Florida, I understand the concern, but I don’t think that they realize that Queen Elizabeth II was one of the greatest public figures of the last hundred years; and that she represented far more than pomp or pageantry to the British people, while she and her family were an emblem of strength and steadfastness at a time when much of the world was filled with immense foreboding, not too much different than now..

And we’re off

We’re leaving murky Miami behind and there’s blue sky and sunshine ahead. Keep up those prayers to the weather gods to keep Fiona away.

Haven’t had my margarita yet but I think it’s time. Thanks to all of you for fueling my 5 days of idleness and dissipation.

This song sums it up for the last 10 years. Five o’clock could come soon enough.

Good night.

And away we go!

Now, if I can only get from Fort Lauderdale Airport to the Port of Miami without spending all my latte money on Uber…