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The Royal Wedding on TV, Part 2

Why should we give a royal damn?

But why us? Why this obsession with a family who fundamentally believe they deserve the attention and money thrown their way, because — as they also fundamentally believe, make no mistake about it — they're better than you are, simply because of who their parents are and who your parents aren't? Why do we bother joining in their celebration of this profoundly anti-democratic hooey? What could be farther from American values of hard work and advancement on merit — of all of us being created equal? What have William and his princess done to deserve this adulation, especially from us? (A friend of mine, when I posed this question, pointed out that the royal family's descendants actually worked hard to get Elizabeth and her crew to where they are today: They beheaded their wives, married their cousins, pillaged their countrymen and tortured their opponents.) Why are we letting this overwrought spectacle of royal narcissism plunder our brains, ravage our media, burn our self-esteem and destroy the sleep of our people?

I wish I knew. Here, instead, is what I do know: When I wake up at 6 a.m. Eastern time on Friday morning, I'm not going to turn on the television. Instead, I'm going to light a candle in the memory of every American who's given his or her life in the fight against tyranny, monarchy, injustice and those who believe they were born better than you or me. I'm going to listen to the soundtrack from Oklahoma! so I can hear Aunt Eller shout out the American creed. And I'm going to re-read the Declaration of Independence, with its stirring conclusion in which the Founders "mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

In their sacred honor, I invite you to do the same.

Bernard Ohanian is editor of AARP.org.

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