Usurpations and the winners who write history
England, America's political ancestor, occasionally had a usurper problem. At the end of the 14th century, Henry Bolingbroke had reason to be angry with King Richard II of England, who had exiled him and seized his lands. In 1399, while King Richard was away in Ireland dealing with a rebellion, Bolingbroke returned to England with friends enough to force King Richard to surrender and then abdicate his throne. This was not to be the only time someone stole a crown from a sitting British king.
Since August 22, 1485, people in England and elsewhere have argued about the legitimacy of Henry Tudor, better known as King Henry VII. Even though Henry VII reigned for 24 years, he was never able to shake the label of usurper that the many who questioned his legitimacy gave him. At his death, the crown went to his son, who became Henry VIII. This peaceful transfer of power did much to quiet the usurper complaints about Henry VII, although Henry's reign was bedeviled by "pretenders" challenging his legitimacy.
Henry VII became king of England when he defeated Richard III's forces in a battle on Bosworth Field and Richard himself was killed. I have no desire to rehash fifteenth-century politics. However, Richard III was a sitting king and Henry Tudor forcefully took his crown.
In the comparatively short history of the United States, we were mercifully free from "crown-stealing" or usurpations. Indeed, until very recently, we have had a proud history of peaceful transitions of power.
In 2016, the Democrats nominated Hillary Clinton to be their presidential candidate. Odds favored her. Her opponent, Donald Trump, was a former Democrat billionaire turned Republican who promised to stem runaway illegal immigration on our southern border and to keep "America first" in all his dealings as president.
Trump's slogans and style caught on in much of America. He held large exuberant rallies across America, where he preached this "America first" message. His message gained more resonance as November 2016 approached. Hillary's arrogance and sense of entitlement blinded her to the fact that Trump was giving her a run for her money. Hillary's blindness was cured late on November 8, 2016, when the Electoral College made Donald Trump the president-elect.
Hell hath no fury like a Hillary scorned. When Hillary sobered up the day after the election and remembered she had lost to Trump, she began to assemble her dogs of war to make Trump pay for his victory. She had many potential allies to choose from. She had her own party, including the powerful Obama faction, and there were also many RINOs willing to join her efforts. Overseas, she had Communist China as another ally. Trump's "America First" campaign did not square with Chinese plans to expand.
During the first three years of Trump's presidency, the forces arrayed against Trump threw everything they could at him to hobble his presidency. Trump was caught off guard by the viciousness aimed his way, but he did well as president under the circumstances. When the anti-Trump factions couldn't find a sink in America to throw at Donald, they found one in Wuhan, China to throw at him. That sink, AKA the Wuhan Flu, threw the whole planet into a state of anxiety and chaos.
In the United States, where we vote for our president, Biden's Democrat party and many Republicans anxious to be rid of Donald Trump claim that Joe Biden won the 2020 election fairly. Donald Trump and many conservatives argue that the 2020 election was a rigged election during a global pandemic and that a vast left-wing conspiracy made the loser (Joe Biden) a winner. As of this writing, the truth about the 2020 election remains elusive.
The presidential elections of 2016 and 2020 were not peaceful. Hillary Clinton still believes she won the 2016 election. Joe Biden claims he won the election of 2020, and I cannot dispute that he and his corrupt family live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Unlike Henry Bolingbroke and Henry Tudor, Joe Biden did not defeat Donald Trump on the field of battle. Still, many see Biden as a usurper.
Some looked at Henry Tudor and saw King Henry VII. Others looked at him and saw a regicidal usurper. Some look at Joe Biden and see a president. Others look at him and see a traitor and a usurper.
Jesus said the truth will make us free. When we consider the Election of 2020, one party is trying its best to hide the truth of that election from us and urging us to "move on." Another group is trying to get at the truth, but it's dealing with legion after legion hell-bent on keeping the truth buried.
As Cher once sang, "the beat goes on." Or as another wag commented recently, with a nod to Cher, "the beatings will continue until morale improves."
Image: Henry IV, Henry VII, Biden the First. Public domain images.
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