I am a Monarchist. This is a statement I have often made, and in the country of my birth, the United States, has almost as often been greeted with reactions ranging from merriment to disbelief to pity. How could anyone who does not obviously drool at the mouth make such an outrageous claim, and expect to be taken seriously? Surely it is a joke (I am known for making them), an expression of mere anti-sociability, or else a fanatical devotion to the outlandish (like being a flat-earther or a UFO contactee).
But the truth is --- it is a very serious claim. First and foremost, I am a Monarchist because I believe that an hereditary Monarchy, with a Sovereign who believes that God will punish him after death if he does not rule his people well; who wields his authority to protect his subjects from the powerful in the land; and whose role was thrust upon him by accident of birth rather than by being the most industrious pig at the trough is a better form of government than those under which most of the planet groans today.
This is a very broad brush-stroke we are painting with here: but so too are those of the opposition, whose reasoning generally runs thusly: “Nero was evil, and a Monarch; Lincoln was an elected president; therefore republics are better” --- usually couched, of course, in subtler terms. This will be followed up by claims that a republic is more “democratic” than a Monarchy. So long as we do not define what we mean by democracy, but leave it floating in the air as a sort of vague impression of popular rule, that may well be so. But the minute we try to give democracy a practical meaning, the assertion collapses. The truth is that every nation that has ever existed has had a ruling class or a dominant clique. By the nature of things, these have always been a smallish minority. In modern societies, these are constituted by the various factions of the political classes, supplemented and assisted by their friends in the diverse media. In contemporary republics, these folk are supreme, and their hapless subjects are only free in the sense that they may vote for what- or whoever may be presented to them. In most of the Constitutional Monarchies of today, the Sovereign exists as a reminder that there are and were higher and better things than the political classes, and as a quiet assertion that the highest office in the State is outside of their purview --- hence the ever-ongoing efforts of such folk to minimize the role of the Monarch whenever possible. There are a number of reasons --- historical, religious, even cultural --- why I prefer Monarchy; but a loathing of the political classes is certainly a major one.
A large part of my views were stimulated by lifelong research, some of which has resulted in various historical works: Vicars of Christ, a history of the Popes; The Pope’s Legion, the story of the young men from all over the world who volunteered to fight for Pius IX in 19th century Italy; Puritans’ Empire, a history of the United States; and Rum, a cultural investigation into the afore-named drink. The honest historian would be hard-put to uncover a single case in which a Monarchy --- however unpleasant, as some most certainly were --- has ever been replaced by a government under which the people were happier. Even in these United States, the unity of the republic was only maintained at the cost a bloody civil war; a conflict in which more Americans --- military and civilian --- died than in any other.
As Western U.S. Delegate of the Grand Council of the International Monarchist League (headquartered in Great Britain), it is my task to attempt to contact and bring together Monarchists on the Western United States: there are two other delegates whose purviews are respectively the Eastern and Central States. As written elsewhere on this site, American Monarchists are a diverse group; moreover, since in this country Monarchism is an interest rather than a political cause, for most likeminded people their adherence to the institution is more of a hobby than a burning ideal. Yet, given the state of global and domestic affairs as we commence the second decade of the 21st century, more and more people are becoming interested in alternatives to the current state of affairs, here and abroad. As outlined in that article, it is NOT the desire of the American branches of the League to alter this country’s form of government: rather, we hope to a) bring together Monarchists of all stripes for social and cultural purposes; b) educate the American public as to the benefits of Monarchy for foreign nations, in hopes of combatting the anti-Monarchical prejudice which has helped to propel this country into so many bloody adventures overseas; and c) remind our fellow Americans of how much we owe in this country, in every aspect of public and social life, to past and present Sovereigns. The re-launching of the Los Angeles branch of the League is an important step in attaining these goals, and I am very happy indeed to assist in this effort.
-Mr. Coulombe is an historian, writer, and lecturer. He is the Western U.S. Delegate for the Grand Council of the International Monarchist League. He is also the Los Angeles Chapter's Roy Green Scholar-in-Residence.