Charles C.W. Cooke, a Brit who just recently became an American citizen, noted the practice of calling former government officials by their former titles and called it "grotesque.” It’s something he discussed in a recent book.I think those honorifics for life are a relatively recent thing.
"By custom, we allow our politicians to retain their titles for life. Throughout the 2012 election, Mitt Romney was referred to as 'Governor Romney,' though he had not been in public office for six years," Cooke wrote. "One can only ask, 'Why?' America being a nation of laws and not men, political power is not held in perpetuity, and there is supposed to be no permanent political class.
Worse than the symbolic privilege of those titles, though, is the substantive incompetence of the title-holders.
Freedom from consequences: It’s the defining consequence of our modern titles of nobility. And as ordinary citizens get cut less and less slack, it becomes more and more noticeable that the people at the top pay little or no price for failure or worse. Either that will change, or we will see more populist anger in our politics.It's going to take continued effort by independent pundits to flip the scrip, though. Is the continued spat over Russian disinformation in the presidential election, to choose an obvious example, an attempt by the Ruling Class to bring Donald Trump to heel, rather than have themselves called out?