The Declaration of Independence boldly states that “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”

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The signers made a list of dozens of complaints against King George III including:

“Cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

Imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: and

Depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury.”

Our founding fathers really hated the King!

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Wikipedia

More than a decade later, the Constitution formally outlawed the future presence of a ruling monarch on this nation’s soil with the line, “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States.”

Could our constitution be holding us back, though?

A Modest Proposal

British comedian Stephen Fry trolled America in the New York Times shortly before our 241st birthday, presenting a “modest proposal” suggesting we install an American monarch. The phrase “modest proposal” is a wink to Irish essayist, Jonathan Swift, who in 1729 satirically proposed eating babies as a way to prevent starvation.

Fry, with his own brand of dry wit, suggests Americans choose “an Uncle Sam or Aunt Samantha by lottery (which is all the birth of a monarch is) and give this person the powers of a constitutional sovereign, with precedence of state over the elected president.”

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The satirist sets the scene for his proposal by noting that even Britain’s war hero Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, had to meet with a young Queen Elizabeth so she could “advise and consent” on the elected leader’s decisions.

The notion of an ego-driven elected leader having to explain his actions to a meritless superior isn’t completely ridiculous on face value. Perhaps someone could actually discover what “covfefe” means, for instance.

The satire is, of course, that so many Americans hated Obama and now so many hate Trump, that Fry’s proposal to force these elected leaders to answer to someone—anyone—would be worth throwing away our founding principles.

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Stephen Crowley / The New York Times

“Above all,” the satirist concludes, “put in your mind the picture of the current president being forced to bow himself backward out of Uncle Sam’s presence.”

For those that would love to see Presidents Obama or Trump taken down a peg or two, it’s hard not to lick their chops at Fry’s modern “modest proposal.”

Perks of a Patriarch

While Fry presents one potential perk of having a national monarch, he completely neglects the two greatest things the British royal crown has given the world:

The Queen’s corgis: The British matriarch has very publicly shared the throne with more than 30 of these diminutive doggies. In 1954, one of the queen’s corgis bit a police officer, proving that members of the royal family can be anti-authoritarian as well.

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Royal weddings: When Prince William and Catherine Middleton got married in 2011, it was an event straight out of a Disney movie, perhaps only recently rivaled by the 1981 wedding of William’s parents, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.

If only the U.S. had a king, our presidents would have to be modest towards someone, we could have adorable doggies across the land, and we, too, could have extravagant weddings at the public’s expense. Aren’t those three things better than the Declaration of Independence and Constitution?