|Charles I, Oliver Cromwell the Lord Protector, and me--British Museum, August 2010|
My dad took me to a great movie when I was a teen. I have a DVD copy of it now. It is 1970's Cromwell with a great cast led by Richard Harris long before he was the first Dumbledore (but more tragically, about the same time he recorded MacArthur Park, the mesmerizing, top-rated song on my iPod "bad songs" playlist. But I'm seriously digressing). It also has the incomparable Alec Guinness in his pre-Obi-Wan days as Charles I, the British Monarch who lost his head.
I don't mean to disparage or over-simplify the English Civil War, I have one identifiable distant relation who fought on the side of the Royalists or Cavaliers. I'm sure I have some Roundheads in the mix too. But the main cause of the British Civil War was the conflict between King and Parliament over war and taxes (oh, and religion).
|"It's good to be the King." until they bring out that big ax.|
|The execution of Charles I|
Sadly, Cromwell was unable to "impose" his version of "divine will" on England even becoming the supreme law of the land as Lord Protector (i.e., dictator). His son failed to preserve the Protectorate at Oliver's death. And when Charles II, whose dad had lost his head, was restored to his father's throne, Cromwell's body was dug up, hanged, and beheaded. As I said, it was a mess all around.
|Cromwell's head displayed on a pike|
Nowadays, our U.S. Congress doesn't worry about taxing for war, they just go ahead and borrow the money without a regard as to how we pay for it. They still seem to justify themselves to some extent with concepts of "divine right." Then after they borrow trillions of dollars and the economy crashes, they say we have to do away with all the other parts of government because heaven forbid they ever raise taxes! If they would only just keep cutting those taxes on the rich, it's bound to trickle down eventually!
Oh, and can I borrow a few bucks to go bomb Iran?
Let's not lose our heads, people.