Editor's note: This column was authored by Alex Grass.
Today, presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton breathes a little easier. Two weeks ago, her husband met Attorney General Loretta Lynch on a tarmac in Phoenix. While Republicans have cried foul, and Lynch herself has acknowledged the rendezvous to be in poor judgment, it is hard to shake the icky feeling that someone’s been suborned.
Let’s credit Bill and Loretta, though, and say this isn’t a House of Cards-style intrigue. Fine. But most people aren’t let off so easy. Consider the zealots who work at the Department of Justice and the low threshold they set for prosecution. Federal prosecutors believe that tossing a red grouper off of the side of a boat is destruction of evidence, and they’re willing to defend that lunacy all the way to the Supreme Court. It’s reasonable to believe, then, that anyone besides the Baroness of Clintonia would be indicted for risking state secrets.
When people of pedigree and power receive superior treatment under a separate law structure, this is a feature of aristocracy. When the privileged few receiving this treatment are running the country, this looks more like monarchy.
Neo-monarchism favors the few over the many, federal power over local control, bureaucrats over business owners. It puts control in the hands of elites, and exempts them from the law. And when those new monarchs choose the law they do desire, which is invariably a law that the citizens reject, neo-monarchism demands complete enforcement so that free choice is eliminated.
Other writers have warned that America is tilting towards Crown Government. Few, however, have noted one of the most important characteristics of this shift: Crown Government in America mirrors the accretion of state power in the European Union. Perversely, this new era can be distinguished from the old monarchism, because of the vulgar duplicity that sees rulers at home and abroad paying lip service to “democracy,” and “the will of the people,” even as they mock the notion of the Rule of Law.
What, then, is happening in the rest of the world?
First, there was Britain’s divorce from Europe and now, other countries—France, Austria, the Netherlands—are looking for an exit too. Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s Front National party, has promised a referendum on independence if she wins the next presidential election. Italy’s stunted growth—which Italian politicians blame on the Euro as a universal currency—evidences a bridling against Jean-Claude Juncker & Co. as Europe’s leaders absolute.
The Leave campaigners knew that as time went on, more power would concentrate in the cushioned salons of Brussels’ diademed technocrats. And we should recognize the same danger.
Here, an imperious Supreme Court decides the government can take your home as long as they promise to build something that caters to patrons much wealthier than the original residents. There, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) abrogates the laws of the EU’s member states and overrules their respective high courts. Here, the Attorneys General of more than twenty states are busy shaking down and threatening organizations that deviate from the left’s climate change breviary. There, Europe’s high court rules that suppressing criticism of the EU is just fine. Here, the IRS burns through tens of millions in cash throwing parties and buying nonsense (when they’re not busy targeting political dissenters). There, the ECJ’s Justices are ferried back and forth in private cars to their gilded half-a-billion euro palace and are budgeted nearly three-hundred-million-euros a year, all in the name of “One Europe.”
The King’s power lost is the people’s freedom gained. Brexit is evidence that even the worse tides can be turned. Europe is beginning to understand why neo-monarchism is bad for everyone but Brussels. When will America realize the same?
Alex Grass is a Young Voices Advocate and second-year student at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He lives in Brooklyn with with wife and two children.