It was said of Charles II of England that the king’s “desire of power … had less proceeded ... from ambition than from love of ease.”
The same can be said of recent Republican kingpins in the White House and the Senate, who conduct their sparse federal deliberations on the golf course or at luxury resorts.
One of the surest vehicles for securing Charles’ repose in long-term luxury consisted in his famous propaganda speeches in which he instilled fear of any security without his leadership.
For example, he noted that the “happiness” of the people depended upon him and could be obtained only by unity around his rule. Any lack of unity would bring “misery” imposed by those outside the patriotic circle and would be “no fault of mine.”
To bolster this propaganda, Charles added conspiracy theories to keep the people confused and occupied. One historian notes the king was associated with no less than 15 “false plots” that “inflamed them with dark suspicions against their fellow citizens.”
A kind of Christian jihad involving either clandestine or judicial killing of political enemies also framed public events, the former popularly justified by reference to the righteous assassins Jael and Ehud in the Bible.
With so much executive action afoot in Charles’ administration, the deliberations of Parliament came to be seen as merely “an amusement to the public.”
Formerly of Thurston County