Not My President!
Karl Keating, the wise founder of Catholic Answers, has put up a post saying it is time for Trump supporters to wise up, take their medicine, and acknowledge Biden as "my President." His argument, as one would expect from such a man, makes good sense. Of course the Democrats cheated, just as the Republicans cheated. Both sides always cheat, and they have rigged the system to be a strictly two-party system in which the two gangs of scoundrels will take turns grabbing the boodle.
I am not happy with the outcome, but if the Democrats are better at playing the game, crying "Not Fair" like children in the play-yard gets us nowhere. The only point I would take issue with is a linguistic one. I have never understood what is meant by "my President." Neither Trump nor Biden are "mine" in the sense that I own them, like the books in my library, nor in the sense that I say "mine" in reference to wife, children, relatives, and close friends. I am not in the military so he is not "my commander-chief" as people like to say, imagining our President is invested with dictatorial powers--though since Lincoln, they have tried to make us think they are.
I am not a monarchist, but I understand how patriotic Brits can say "my Queen," because her relationship to the peoples of Britain is not that of a politician competing for wealth and power but of a parent who has inherited a position she will pass on to her heirs. I am perfectly willing to say people like Trump and Biden--both of them odious enough to justify the hatred and contempt of their opponents--are THE President and leave it at that in the same way that I obey speed limits and seatbelt laws, even if I think they are unnecessary. Clinging to the fiction that America is a republic, I can be a model citizen in my behavior. All I ask is not to be required to respect, much less admire the political class that has made a mockery of American political traditions.
At least in a monarchy or Empire or dictatorship, we don't have to pretend we had something to do with choosing our oppressors, and a Roman military officer could go about his duty without worrying his head about whether the Emperor was Caracalla or Macrinus the Usurper. The cruelty of the American system lies in the fiction that the ultimate source of authority is "we the people," which means it's my fault when we murder people around the globe or pay for a soldier's or criminals trans-gender operation. No, we live in a Party State.
The fact that the party of the Clintons and Obamas contends for power with the party of the Bushes only means it is a two-party state instead of a one-party state. I vote and pay my taxes, just as I would, as a Roman citizen, pay my taxes and shoulder whatever civic responsibilities were incumbent upon a man of my station. But just like the Roman or the Byzantine subject, I should never be foolish enough to think my opinion on the choice of rulers counts for anything. Evelyn Waugh, when asked how he was going to vote in an upcoming election, replied that he would not presume to advise the sovereign on the choice of ministers. How I envy his clarity.