On November 28, 2005, the Charlotte Observer published a letter from someone named Paul Kelly contemptuously arguing that the opinions of the King of Saudi Arabia on the world oil situation were not worth listening to because he was not elected, and that Americans only respect leaders who have a "mandate" from "the people." My response (scroll down to eighth letter) was published on December 5, more or less as I wrote it except for the omission of my parenthetical reference to the beatification of Emperor Karl by Pope John Paul II in October 2004.
Worse regimes often replace monarchies
I am no apologist for the Saudi regime. However, the attitude advocated in "If king's not elected, we need not listen" (Nov. 28 Forum) is extremely foolish and dangerous. During World War I, the saintly Emperor Karl of Austria-Hungary did everything he could to end that tragic conflict. But President Wilson, refusing to listen to an unelected monarch, insisted on the destruction of the Austro-Hungarian and German empires, paving the way for Nazism and Communism.
Indeed, a cursory glance at world history will reveal that nearly every monarchy that has been overthrown has been replaced by a regime far worse. Not all Americans share the neoconservative delusion that our system is what is best for the world. Some of us understand that different cultures require different political traditions, and monarchy, which is the oldest form of government and has dominated the majority of human history, may very well be what is best for most.
Monarchy and the Media