Thailand’s traditionalists yearned for the 1980s when the dual power of the monarchy and the military was at its height; this was a time of relative peace and economic growth.
Some even call it “the golden period.”
King Rama 9 was the nation’s heart and soul, while General Prem Tinsulanonda was “the chosen” prime minister who ran the show. The parliament was the subordinate.
The dual power was a consequence of the Cold War (1947-1991), a global situation with local implications. Especially among Third World nations where the United States propped up miliary regimes to suppress socialist revolutions engineered by the Soviet Union.
The casualty was, of course, democracy.
But in the year 2020, the system no longer applies; it should have expired with the Cold War. If the past month has shown us anything, even high school students understand its unsustainability in the modern world.
However, traditionalists want to turn back to the clock to the time of the king and the general. But it’s impossible, not all kings and generals are the same.
The way for Thailand to move forward is as a democratic constitutional monarchy. In this political governance, everyone is subjected to the checks and balances of democracy, and no one is above the law. This is the gist of the demands made by the pro-democracy activists on 6 August 2020.
With the king as the head of state, while all citizens enjoy rights, liberty, equality, and, most importantly, the generals stay in the barracks and take orders from the civilian government.
The one that is elected by the people.