Letters to the Editor
The Washington Post
Washington, DC 20071

Dear Sirs:

Wouldn't it be great if American newspapers followed in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers and actually repudiated the use of titles? It is dismaying to see "Count and Countess Hugues de la Baume" in the Washington Post.

The Founding Fathers were preceded by Thomas Paine, who wrote about France that it had "outgrown the baby clothes of Count and Duke and breeched itself in manhood." He said that titles "mark a sort of foppery in the human character, which degrades it. . . . Titles are like circles drawn by the magician's wand to contract the sphere of man's felicity." Titles, according to this line of thinking, are not an honor but a comedown from the nobility of a man.

In The Federalist, Alexander Hamilton wrote, "Nothing need be said to illustrate the importance of the prohibition of titles of nobility. This may truly be denominated the corner-stone of republican government, for, so long as they are excluded, there can never be serious danger that the government will be any other than that of the people."

These thoughts are enshrined in Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution of the United States of America: "No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States, and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince or foreign state."

I would like respectfully to suggest that the Washington Post give credit due to the magnificent achievement of the Founding Fathers and the Constitution by adopting a policy that says, Count and Countess Hugues de la Baume in Europe, if you must, but not in America!

Sincerely yours, 1