A recent letter to the editor suggested that monarchy would be an improvement on our current political system.
In a monarchy, an open letter calling for the replacement of the country’s political system would likely result in swift punishment for both author and publisher. In a democracy, the opinion can be disseminated, discussed, and, I hope, dismissed.
Our elected leaders do not rule us. We hire them. If we are uncomfortable with the results, we should consider changing the way we interact with politics. We should consider changing the qualities we look for in politicians. We should consider that everyone else’s deeply held beliefs are deeply held for a reason, and that being receptive to good-faith criticism is not losing: it is democracy.
In a democracy, we rule ourselves. If our politics do not meet our standards, the onus is on us to change. A benevolent dictator has never existed. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Moreover, a monarch would not solve our fundamental problem: we disagree with one another and are losing the capacity to discuss it civilly.
Have an honest political conversation with someone you love and disagree with. Be open to changing your mind. Listen for what they are trying to express, for the human drivers behind their ideas: hope, fear, excitement, convenience. Democracy requires more than votes. It requires an open-minded, engaged, cooperative citizenry.
The answer is not monarchy, it is decency.