What If The King Hadn’t Fallen?

Tintin in Africa

Tintin picture courtesy of ADAGP, Paris, 2009

What If The King Hadn’t Fallen?
El País: ¿Y si no se hubiera caído?
Antoni Gutiérrez-Rubí blogging April 14, 2012

King Juan Carlos has lost contact with reality. At least, that’s how it seems. Only profound disorientation and disconnection with the society which he should serve would begin to explain why it would seem like a good idea for him to hunt elephants. The trip was absolutely untimely, uncalled for, and unwarranted.

Untimely, because the current moment is one of the most critical for Spain’s international reputation. The monarch’s trip, an inopportune caprice, does not contribute to the image of moderation, force, and sacrifice that we should give in our fight for our reputation in the markets and communal institutions.

Uncalled for, because the king cannot, and should not, ignore that hunting elephants for pleasure is obscene and profoundly offends millions of people’s sensibilities. It has all the elements of a despicable action. In addition, because he went to a hunting ground especially prepared for enjoyment, he fed all our mental images about the perversity of opulence and power.

Unwarranted, because there was no reason for him, at his age, with his physical condition, to make a hunting trip, and of elephants to boot. No explanation can make such a mountain of imprudent and unnecessary errors comprehensible.

But the key question is: what if he hadn’t fallen during the hunt? Then we still wouldn’t know about this trip because the Royal Family does not give information about the king’s private activities. It’s very debatable that in the 21st century, a trip of this kind can be considered private.

But what’s truly alarming is the discovery that no one tried to stop it. How is it possible that no one saw the physical, aesthetic, and ethical danger of this little adventure? The monarchy does not exist to satisfy the caprices of its members but rather to serve as Chief of State. It must always act in accordance with this high responsibility. Who else knew about this trip? The Prince? Did no one advise the king against this absurdity? What planet are they living on?

The accumulation of errors committed by the monarchy in recent years is proof of an institution that already does not understand its mission in society. It is difficult to serve a community with which you no longer identify, which you know longer comprehend, and to which you no longer pay attention. This insensitivity is the first step of a rupture. It is not that Spanish society is distancing itself from the monarchy; it is the opposite. And when it loses modesty, as it did in the case of this impudent hunt, it can no longer have dignity. Not even rouge can restore that.

Explore posts in the same categories: Politics, Spain, Translations

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