Last week I had the privilege of researching in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA. Not only is it one of the most beautiful spots on earth---completely wasted on leftist Golden Staters---but it is a treasure trove of scholarship waiting to happen. However, there is also the RR Presidential Museum attached to the library, which is a must-see for anyone who loves the Gipper. Not only does it contain materials relevant to Reagan, but it also features traveling exhibits, such as (this month) the Magna Carta of 1215 A.D.
For those of you unfamiliar with this, the Magna Carta is the predecessor to the U.S. Constitution. The "Great Charter of Freedoms," as it's called, came from a revolt by English barons that involved (naturally) taxes, infringements on the use of lands, private property rights, and above all, a right of rebellion should King John get out of hand. Although the principle was established, no nobles had ever before applied it to a king, and it laid the foundation---admittedly often broken over the next 500 or so years---that kings were subject to the law. Although John reneged on this clause as soon as he signed it, sparking a civil war, he issued it again when he began to lose. Power, as Mao said, must come from the end of a gun (or, in this case, a crossbow) after all.
By the way, the document itself had to have been written by Smurfs with x-ray vision. The print is "mouse print," and, of course, in Latin. I asked my trusty squire, Antonius Historicus, to translate it for me, but I realize many of you may not have access to his services. (Seriously, it was already translated, and the Reagan Library has copies in English, not far from a display of the Gipper's jelly bean jars.
Ronald Reagan certainly "got" the essence of the Great Charter. Perhaps a certain ruling monarch today might wish to pay a visit to the Reagan Library and Museum, if he can break away from his date nights.