No matter your personal opinion of journalist Glenn Greenwald, his partner David Miranda, or of their work reporting on documents exposed by Edward Snowden, I think all Americans can and should appreciate the following passage. Writing about a British court's finding that Miranda's detention for carrying documents was justified under UK anti-terrorism laws, Greenwald goes all Jeffersonian on them:
That such repressive measures come from British political culture is to be expected. The political elite of that country cling desperately to 17th century feudal traditions. Grown adults who have been elected or appointed to nothing run around with a straight face insisting that they be called “Lord” and “Baroness” and other grandiose hereditary titles of the landed gentry. They bow and curtsey to a “Queen”, who lives in a “palace”, and they call her sons “Prince”. They embrace a wide range of conceits and rituals of a long-ago collapsed empire. The wig-wearing presiding judge who issued this morning’s ruling equating journalism with terrorism is addressed as “Lord Justice Laws”, best known for previously approving the use of evidence to detain people that had been derived from torture at Guantanamo.
None of this behavior bears any relationship to actual reality: it’s as though the elite political class of an entire nation somehow got stuck in an adolescent medieval fantasy game. But the political principles of monarchy, hereditary privilege, rigid class stratification, and feudal entitlement embedded in all of this play-acting clearly shape the repressive mentality and reverence for state authority which Her Majesty’s Government produces.
It's difficult not to want to start chanting U-S-A U-S-A U-S-A after reading those paragraphs. Anyone even remotely proud of the American fight for independence from both foreign control and the undemocratic abuses of monarchy can surely appreciate Greenwald's rhetoric.