Kings, empresses, tsars, shahs and dictators have been humbled in the last century. George Washington was wise to refuse such titles. He settled on "Mr. President," indicating his equality with the Congress and the courts. But presidents now challenge the right of the Congress to declare war. Our president is now called "the most powerful man in the world." That title is an embarrassment when we lose so many wars. Like the claim of infallibility in matters of faith and morals by the head of the Catholic Church, it is hard to accept after recent failures. Francis I was smart to discard the fancy robes and the red shoes.
Benito Mussolini was an ambitious dictator. He dreamed of Italy recreating the Roman Empire. He made the trains run on time, but was unable to conquer Ethiopia and his protege, Hitler, swept him aside when the Allies landed in Italy. He was hanged by villagers. People prefer leaders who cause less trouble. Our president does well when he honors his wife and kids and tries to work with Congress. We need to stop celebrating power. Soldiers are not toys. They are honorable men and women too often abused by powerful men.