Tuesday, July 26, 2011
The Day Franco Restored the Monarchy
To do so would have meant choosing either the Alfonsist or Carlist candidate and thus immediately sacrificing the support of the side passed over. Franco wanted Spain strong and united and was desperate to avoid such an event, even to the point of informally offering the Spanish throne to the recently deceased Archduke Otto von Hapsburg (the Archduke declined of course and recommended Prince Juan Carlos). During his years in power, Franco swayed somewhat, back and forth, from one faction to the other. However, as we know, he ultimately decided on the more established Alfonsists and named as his successor Prince Juan Carlos who became King of Spain after Franco’s death. I would take a moment to point out that there is a lesson here for monarchists to learn from. How many opportunities were lost for the restoration of the ancient monarchy of France due to the vociferous animosity between the competing factions there? In any event, despite what the Spanish government said later about King Juan Carlos owing his position solely to his legal, hereditary right, few would doubt that there would be no Kingdom of Spain today were it not for Generalissimo Francisco Franco. Even King Juan Carlos seems to think so as, despite how politically incorrect Franco has become in the decades since his death, the King does not speak about him in public and even in private will not allow anyone to speak ill of the late Caudillo in his presence.
I may have said this before, but the way in which so many people today criticize Generalissimo Franco and his regime (and he was a dictator, pure and simple) while never thinking about what life might have been like or how history might have developed had he not held the line against communist aggression, always makes me think of that famous scene in the film “A Few Good Men” with Jack Nicholson. Nicholson, as Marine Lt. Col. Jessup says,
Franco could say pretty much the same, I think, to his critics today. He was not politically correct, he was not liberal or “pluralistic” but when the specter of communist tyranny was looming on the horizon, we certainly needed him on that wall.