When he assumed his nation’s highest office, he had no previous governmental experience. Born wealthy, he’d never worked for anyone else. Now his nation’s commander in chief, he had never served in the military.
For his every move, he relied on a secretive, eccentric advisor bent on reshaping the nation’s political order. Demanding absolute loyalty, the new ruler did not trust anyone more popular than he was, and detested all opposition.
If these facts sound familiar, they fit not only President Donald Trump but America’s last king, George III.
Original painting (with apologies to Nathaniel Dance)
George III, shunned by his dissolute father, lived with his mother and eight siblings until the day he inherited the throne. Home-schooled by the reclusive John Stuart, Earl of Bute, he learned to abhor Parliament and opposition of any kind.
Still unmarried when a courier interrupted his daily ride to tell him the old king was dead, George promptly fired his brilliant and popular prime minister, William Pitt, replacing him with his tutor, a man so unpopular that crowds often attacked his carriage.
While George prided himself on being the first Hanoverian king born and bred in Britain, he feared an Englishwoman would have powerful court connections. Bute advised him to seek a bride in Germany, home of his ancestors. George never met 17-year-old Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz until she arrived with her ladies-in-waiting and went right into isolation.
Suffering from porphyria, a rare hereditary metabolic disorder, George took advantage of severe insomnia — he once went entirely without sleep for 72 hours — to write nocturnal notes, letters, critiques of cabinet ministers and generals, letters to citizens with complaints. Nothing was too great or trivial, from the stipends of parish clergy and the royal laundress’s pension to his comments on military campaigns.
Even as Parliament refused to pay for a private secretary, George advocated importing cheaper workers to drive down wages and increase employers’ profits.
[H]e lavished money on renovating the new royal residence, Buckingham House.
And George III chose a playwright as the commanding general of his most fateful military expedition.
At first, as Americans protested Parliamentary taxes, George wrote he believed the “mother country” should practice “moderation” and “firmness” with her recalcitrant colonies. But after the Boston Tea Party, he wrote, “The colonies must either submit or triumph. . . . We must not retreat.”
Read the rest at the SALON link above. I just wanted to wish the lovely Raisinettes a wonderful and safe Fourth of July as we celebrate our independence from a tyrant who once said: