WATCH Downton Abbey Matriarch’s Truth Bomb About Big Government


Downton Abbey’s Dowager Countess Violet Grantham

Okay, America, this writer is NOT a Downton Abbey watcher.  In fact, other than the character in the video below, she considers the night time, PBS, serial about a wealthy family during World War I to be a Jane Austen wannabe with better clothes.  It’s just unwatchable except for the travel and Chanel-esque fashion porn.

However, the Dowager Countess Violet Grantham as portrayed by Dame Maggie Smith, one of our times’ GREAT, GREAT talents on screen, is a breath of fresh air next to her fashionable family, even if she is portrayed as the queen of mean.  (She speaks her mind, and sometimes when older people do that, this is how the truth is seen.) In this short clip, the lady uses her knowledge of the past to explain why giving away freedoms in the present will prove to be a mistake for the future of England.  In the story, the wealthy and powerful people are being pressured by the state to give up their control of local administration and government.  As indicated by the other characters in the scene, the Dowager’s stance of maintaining local control, according to Guy Benson (yours truly hasn’t been watching), has been derided all season long.

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“For years, I’ve watched governments take control of our lives. Their argument is always the same: ‘Fewer costs, greater efficiency.’ But the result is the same, too. Less control by the people, more control by the State — until the individual’s anguishes count for nothing. That is what I consider my duty to resist…Your great grandchildren won’t thank you when the state is all-powerful because we didn’t fight.”

And it’s always massively expensive and considerably less efficient.  This is the same thing we have heard from our elders time and time again as more and more of our freedoms are stripped from us in the name of safety and security.  (Is it really more safe for the nation when airline travelers are forced to be x-rayed, strip searched, stand in line to be insulted by government agents, etc., when just trying to visit relatives in another state?)  Very few people are standing up and saying, “This isn’t right.”  And, unfortunately for such a widely watched program, the bald truth of limited government is championed by the character very much dismissed by the fashionable crowd as being a cranky old lady.  Unfortunate.  But, then the show is aired on PBS.

About the Author

Cultural Limits
A resident of Flyover Country, Cultural Limits is a rare creature in American Conservatism - committed to not just small government, Christianity and traditional social roles, but non-profits and high arts and culture. Watching politics, observing human behavior and writing are all long-time interests. In her other life, CL writes romance novels under her nom de plume, Patricia Holden (@PatriciaHoldenAuthor on Facebook), and crochets like a mad woman (designs can be found on Facebook @BohemianFlairCrochet and on Pinterest on the Bohemian Flair Crochet board). In religion, CL is Catholic; in work, the jill of all trades when it comes to fundraising software manipulation and event planning; in play, a classically trained soprano and proud citizen of Cardinal Nation, although, during hockey season, Bleeds Blue. She lives in the Mid-Mississippi River Valley with family and two cute and charming tyrants...make that toy dogs.