The Crown is like American politics – populated almost entirely by villains with no one you really want to root for
Michael McCaffrey is a writer and cultural critic who lives in Los Angeles. His work can be read at RT, Counterpunch and at his website mpmacting.com/blog. He is also the host of the popular cinema podcast Looking California and Feeling Minnesota. Follow him on Twitter @MPMActingCo
The Crown, Netflix’s smash-hit royal drama, premiered its much-anticipated fourth season last week and I dutifully binge-watched the whole thing.
The high-quality historical drama, which follows the travails of Queen Elizabeth II and the rest of the royals, is exquisitely produced, for the most part gloriously acted, reliably entertaining and somewhat perversely addictive.
But maybe I am suffering from presidential election PTSD. Because as I watched The Crown, I couldn’t help but be triggered into thinking about the horror show that is American politics – most notably because I simply had no one to root for.
The Crown, like American politics, is populated almost entirely with villains… wicked, corrupt, cold-hearted, duplicitous, self-serving villains.
On one side, we have the royal family, who remind me of the Democrats. The show, like the establishment media here in the US, works hard to humanize these entitled elitists, but it is a Herculean task for me to empathize with such a bunch of spoiled, self-absorbed, raging mediocrities.
These modern royals are, like the decrepit and deceitful Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, well past their sell-by date.
The Queen, similar to our soon-to-be-crowned commander-in-chief Sleepy Joe Biden, is an empty vessel completely oblivious to reality, who becomes aggressively indignant when confronted with it.
The rest of the royal clan – the abrasive Prince Philip, the boozy Princess Margaret, the bitter Princess Anne and the depraved Prince Andrew – are like the greedy harlots in the halls of American power, arrogant and entitled knobs born on third base acting like they hit a triple.
Princess Diana (masterfully played by the luminous Emma Corrin), is similar to the Democratic firebrand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as she is a young, pretty, dynamic breath of fresh air injected into the stuffy and stilted establishment.
As Ocasio-Cortez is thrown into the deep end of public life, she will face the same existential threat as Princess Diana before her… either bend to the establishment’s will or be broken by it. The Crown shows us that Diana was broken by it, but AOC seems to be leaning more towards bending the knee, betraying her principles and kissing the right backside.
Then there is that silver-spooned sad-sack Prince Charles, who, like woke Democrats, mopes around his completely unearned luxurious lifestyle because he can’t be with the woman he loves, Camilla Parker-Bowles, but instead has to settle for the stunningly beautiful Diana. If ever there was a man who needed a punch in the face and a swift kick in the ass, it is Prince Charles.
As the indignant and self-pitying Charles gets all fussy over his love life like a baby in a wet nappy, I couldn’t help but think of Don Corleone in The Godfather slapping his weepy nephew Johnny Fontane and telling him to “act like a man!,” something I’ve wanted to do to the whiny Democrats for the last four years.Also on rt.com Galloway: Netflix’s The Crown reminds us Thatcher was just like Trump – an outsider to the ruling class, surrounded by a ‘swamp’
On the other side of the ledger, at least this season, is the Iron Lady herself, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher – Gillian Anderson, a disappointment in the role – who ruled Britannia from 1979 to 1990. Thatcher perfectly reflects the mindless, malignant and mendacious modern-day Republicans like Mitch McConnell and Mike Pence.
Thatcher, and her American counterpart Ronald Reagan, were loathsome and diabolical creatures who used flag waving and soaring rhetoric to deceive the masses and led a conservative revolution that brought about the destruction of the two things it claimed it wanted to conserve – the nation and the family unit.
Most of our major problems of today can be directly traced back to Thatcher and Reagan’s revolution, which unleashed a tsunami of financialization, free trade and muscular militarization that destroyed unions and devastated the working class.
It is symbolically significant that both Thatcher and Reagan later in life suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, as their approach to governing was fueled by a rapacious myopia, historical illiteracy, selective memory and a relentless lack of any foresight or consideration of consequences.
Republicans (and corporate/Clinton/Obama Democrats) still suffer from Reagan’s dementia, as they are completely incapable of coming up with a bold, new idea or any idea at all. Even Donald Trump, who won in 2016 running against the economic globalism and neo-conservative foreign policy of establishment Republicans, suffered Reagan’s dementia as he unimaginatively governed like the swamp creature he promised to abolish.
Season four of The Crown shows that the royals despised Thatcher, who they thought uncouth and beneath them, just as much as Thatcher despised the poor men that she gleefully sends to war, as well as the working-class union men she economically castrates.
The same is true in American politics, as both the Democrats and Republicans claim to be for the working man but do everything in their power to crush the working class in favor of the investor class.
Even though The Crown triggered my election PTSD, it is a high-quality show I thoroughly enjoyed watching. But the thing I liked most about it was that I had the power to turn it off whenever I wanted – unlike American politics, where I am entirely powerless to put an end to the never-ending nightmare.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.