All hail the King of Spain!
By J.K. Baltzersen
Por qué no te callas? -- King Juan Carlos I of Spain
In this day and age, kings and queens are expected to keep their mouths shut, smile, and cut ribbons at official openings. In cases where they have formal powers left, they are expected – without objection – to rubber-stamp all demands of the politicos.
What has happened now is that a king has asked an elected politician to shut up. What if we could have more kings who asked elected politicians to shut up, and did so quite often? That would really be great. Even better would it be if these politicians were told to mind their own business.
A king has asked an elected politician to shut up. It's immensely popular. The people loved it. Ringtones for cell phones are reportedly selling like crazy. The sales of t-shirts and mugs with the quote aren't doing too badly either. The incident is also a YouTube hit.
The king has asked a politico to shut up. Spaniards support it. People are quoting him like crazy. Especially, people who are opposed to Hugo Chávez and his policies are using the quote as ammunition. It's almost like in the old days, when kings would lead people against usurping politicians.
Of course, there is the normal nagging about royals not being supposed to get involved in politics. There is the normal nagging about monarchy belonging in the past. And in the case of Spain as a former colonialist and her former colonial territory, there is nagging about Spain not respecting the integrity of Venezuela. I have addressed this sort of nagging here.
However, seldom does this nagging stand out as so feeble and pathetic as it does in this case. The nagging drowns in the popularity of the king's straightforward question. You've got to love that if you believe that growing power of elected politicians at the expense of that of monarchs is civilizational decline [see Hoppe].
The popularity in Venezuela of the king's action suggests that people there don't buy the propaganda that they are free because they are no longer ruled from Madrid. This is heartening. Moreover, Latin America has – with little doubt, if any – gotten the poison of the French Revolution good and hard. It is good to see that a king from across the big pond can stand out as a real leader amongst people there.
Kings are normally told by politicians to shut up. Here we have a king who has told a politician to shut up. It's popular. The market loves it. We need more of this.
Viva España! Viva el Rey!