The Oprah Winfrey interview that aired on CBS last week shocked the world with accusations of racism and other pressures put on Meghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry by members of the Royal family and “the Firm”. Markle spoke openly about her relationship with her husband’s family and the effect that being a Princess had on her mental health. She spoke of how she contemplated suicide and how her mental health issues were pushed aside by the Royals and those surrounding them, telling a similar story to Princess Diana’s. The interview opened lots of eyes to the interworkings of the British monarchy, and how the royal family isn’t in total control over their own politics but rather lead as one entity by the firm.
As I was watching the interview and listening to all the commentary from news outlets, it made me realize how all politics are essentially the same, no matter the country or form of government. It all about power, and to keep the power, people will do anything to save their reputation from tarnish, even when it means bringing people down along the way. A parallel of this situation can be drawn to U.S. politics. Meghan Markle was an outsider, someone from a different country joining an institution that is very set in its ways from the centuries of tradition before it, and she was dismissed and bullied out of her position by her own family members. American politics isn’t very welcoming to newcomers either, especially those who want to come in and change the way things work. I think we’re at a big turning point in the world with who holds the power in our institutions. Citizens of countries like the U.S and Britain are becoming more and more displeased with how people in power have been acting and what they are doing to hold on to it. Under 50% of British citizens ages 18-25 are actually in favor of the monarchy as a whole, and as I think as time progresses the roles of the Royal family will be diminished. Young people are notoriously upset with the government and people in positions of power in America too, and I think as this next generation begins to use its voting power, our government and its functions are going to look a lot different.
Overall, the interview with Meghan and Harry really got me thinking about the roles of people in government, and how the overstepping of power and controlling other individuals using power, money, and influence is not the way we should be approaching governing. We should take a look at how the American version of “the firm”, those small numbers of people directly influencing politics, is negatively affecting the productivity and equity of our government, and look towards solutions on how to give the power back to the people.
By Andrew Kolar