I’m writing today from Ketchikan, Alaska, on the last leg of the first real vacation my family has taken in a very long time. For my Sunday newsletter, I thought about directing you to this marvelous tribute to Queen Elizabeth II by Andrew Sullivan and calling it a day. I don’t hold myself out as any kind of expert on the British royal family, and I certainly can’t fully grasp the nature of the connection between the queen and the British people.
Andrew, however, helped me understand. He wrote this:
You can make all sorts of solid arguments against a constitutional monarchy—but the point of monarchy is precisely that it is not the fruit of an argument. It is emphatically not an Enlightenment institution. It’s a primordial institution smuggled into a democratic system. It has nothing to do with merit and logic and everything to do with authority and mystery—two deeply human needs our modern world has trouble satisfying without danger.