Donald Trump, King of America

The Queen is dead. God save the Queen. Now Charles is king.

Trump, trying to grab the spotlight as always, predicted (who cares?) that “King Charles III, who I have gotten to know well, will be a great and wonderful king.” (See story here.)

That remains to be seen; the first King Charles lost his head, and the second King Charles lost his crown and was exiled. In any case, Trump failed to read the intelligence reports again; the third Charles is an environmentalist and climate change activist (see story here), which is anathema to Trump’s own thinking.

But does he really care? For Trump, being king is all about the trappings and adulation. That’s the real reason why he wants to be King of America.

I’m not making this up. Lots of people who know him say he wants to be America’s king. For example, in 2019, a federal judge had to remind him he was not a king (see story here). Fiona Hill, a former Trump adviser, flatly said “he wanted to be king” (see story here). So did Sharon Waxman, a New York Times and Washington Post journalist (see story here). Trump even alluded to himself as a king (see story here).

Vox thinks that’s a good idea.

If pomp and ceremony is what he wants, they argue, then give him a throne, crown, sceptre, and a full schedule of royal duties. And turn over governing to the vice president or House speaker. It’s a win-win; everybody comes out ahead, especially the governed.

A Vox writer floated this idea in 2016 (here), before we knew what a President Trump would be like; and while that’s water under the bridge, that hindsight makes elevating him to kingship look even more attractive should he be elected president again. Here’s the reasoning:

“If a New York Times report is to be believed, Donald Trump doesn’t want to do the hard work of actually being president. … Evidently, Trump is interested in the prestige and public attention that comes with the presidency. But he doesn’t want to spend a lot of time worrying about niggling policy issues ….

“While the idea of a president with no power sounds crazy to American ears, it’s actually how a lot of advanced democracies work …. Many countries have a ceremonial figurehead — either an elected president or a hereditary monarch — who represents the nation at state dinners and ribbon-cutting ceremonies. And they also have a head of government, usually the prime minister, who makes all the important policy decisions.

“So here’s a modest proposal: Let’s make Donald Trump king of the United States. This seems to be the job he actually wants. And replacing America’s powerful elected president with a powerless hereditary monarchy would improve the American political system. … The role of a monarch is to preside over important occasions and accept the adoration of the public without doing any real work. No one’s personality is better suited to this role than Donald Trump’s.”

I have to admit I’m intrigued. This is something we should’ve done in 2017 and could still use as a fallback in 2024, if necessary.

As Vox says, “America needs a tacky orange monarch.” Under this scenario, “King Donald would rule for life, but … he wouldn’t have the power to veto legislation or appoint judges, ambassadors, or members of the Cabinet. He wouldn’t command the military or negotiate treaties,” and “once he has secured a lifetime role as America’s figurehead, he’d have little reason to stoke racial animosity.”

Also, “he wouldn’t reign for very long,” and then with appropriate pomp and ceremony, we could put him on a barge and push him out to sea (watch video here). As for succession, as Vox pointed out, Trump’s children are all tabloid celebrities. Just like the Queen’s kids.

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