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The President brought along his 2 most trusted associates aside from the Zodiac who are his playmates and respectful friends. And The President doesn't have absolute say in the HXH association it was mentioned during the arc and after during the election as it was shown how many factions are in the HXH. And Partison controlled most of them, and it was stated he always made the President job hard and they mentioned the Chimera Ant arc...which he stole the eggs that didn't hatch yet planning some cunning plan to use them.
Your ignoring major facts of my post they only took control of East Gourdo to assemble all the citizens in 1 spot orderly to convert them. If they didn't news would spread of the ants attacking. The President already knew of their existence and this plan, which is why the Hunters formulated the plan to rush the castle and separate the Royal Guards. Including Killua messing with the Ants plans to gather Ppl and Palm infiltrating as Bizef's concubine's.
The King and Royal Guards were simply smart enough to know the best course of action to assemble an army of Ants and how best to do it.
This whole Rose thing just sucked because it killed the King instead of the President or another Nen user, Who I believe they may be one out there would could have one. The King came back however had us hype thinking Gon would finish him but he got poisoned. That's all it just sucked but Togashi delivered this well enough for it to be believable.
Although you can argue that that's exactly what happened with Gon vs Pitou, however, with the only exception of Gon being on the brink of death after the fight against one of the royal guards and not the King.
Then I think one might ask then why couldn't the same outcome result with Gon vs Meryem? The King was incredibly developed for a reason, and his demise came to be by the hands of a human that instantiated fear within Meryem for the first and possibly only time in his life. This begged the question from the reader, aren't ants and humans very much the same? The ants essentially decimated a nation, while a nuclear bomb (symbolized by the Rose) can pretty much do the same thing in real life. It was more psychological rather than having a badass final fight between Gon and the ant King, which probably would've been cool but this is post-YYH Togashi we're talking about.
Very Psychological I actually thought the Ants may have ceased and desist and maybe have gone into hiding or something. If Gon had came into contact with the King and seen the way the Royal Guards acted he would have been pissed off either way. I love Togashi story telling which is why I wasn't mad with the Rose bomb plot device he made it fit pretty darn well. Can't ask for much more except for him to come off of Hiatus! =D
But Gon will NEVER ( I'm pretty sure ) get that form again, unless he tries to kill himself again, but let's be serious... that's not going to happen again lol The point is, he doesn't have it anymore, he's going to have to train his ass off for decades to achieve that power.
Don't get me wrong, Gon's "power-up" would've been cliche if there were no consequences or self-destruction, but it really wasn't. As far as I know it follows the nen system of conditions and/or sacrifices that are imposed in order to make one's Hatsu transcend it's limit in terms of power. For the story's sake, I was relieved how Togashi almost killed off Gon (and no I don't want Gon to die, it almost seemed like Togashi reminded us how he can kill anyone whenever he wants); it just made sense how Gon got his power and it didn't seem like it came out of nowhere like the examples you brought up.
The argument around the Ants all seem to be like your typical shonen stuff like XYZ side might have power but they don't have 'experience/friendship/heart/whatever'. But no that's totally against the point of the Ants. They're superior to human beings in every way besides from the capacity to be evil (Meryem fears the unlimited potential humanity to commit evil, and nothing else). When Killua attacked the capital the Ants sent out the puppets driving tanks and fighter jets. When Meryem wondered why such a useless guy like Diego can be the president Pufu explained that this is normal for humanity, implying he is quite aware of the kind of people that get elected to positions of power in human society. The Ants framed the Hunter attack as a political uprising, which shows they're aware of the political ramifications of their actions. If they're truly your standard 'our might > all' species they wouldn't have cared who attacked the capital, let alone having a prepared speech to deal with it.
The only thing humanity has over the Ants is that humanity is capable of evil while the Ants are not (human is food to them, they do not inherently hate humanity). Going along the lines of that they should've kept Komugi as a hostage, or for that matter Komugi could've been an agent sent out by some political entity to sow discord amongst the Ants. The biggest failure of the Ants arc is the conceit of its human readers and even author. For all the talk about Ants being superior to human in every possible way outside of the capacity to be evil, ultimately it turned out that human ingenuity/experience/love/friendship/'this way' was mostly enough along with a side of Deus Ex Machina. In the end humans do win and it wasn't even for the reason stated (evil is the only thing Meryem feared). No attempt was made to take advantage of the Ants overwhelming sense of honor (e.g. Yupi not killing everyone when he could, Pitou agree to unconditionally surrender to keep Komugi alive), which is their only weakness.
The Royal+ tiers aren't mixed with humans. They're pure Ants and as Meryem puts it, whatever 'individuality' they may have is just merely another test along the way to the end of evolution. Meryem doesn't even view it as a weakness but as a necessary step, and if some of the Royals never got out of the 'individual' stage there's no reason to believe he'd even care. Perhaps he'll be disappointed that the Royals did not reach the same stage as he is but he is always aware there is no such thing as a perfect world.
Netero's attempt to rationalize which side Meryem leans shows his lack of ability to comprehend a superior species, because he still thinks humans are supposed to be equal to Ants. The whole point is that the Ants are superior humans on the food chain/evolution. It's like cows saying humans are bipolar because some people talk about animal rights while still eating hamburgers, while other humans don't care about cows at all. It's not that humans have any particular agenda against cows. The guys arguing for better treatment of cows probably don't see cows as equal. Meryem can give favorable or unfavorable treatment to humans completely on a whim, because ultimately they're just another species to conquer.
The real failure of the arc is that since the reader of HXH are all presumably humans, it's tempting to see the story from the human's point of view. There's a short story by the author who did Doraemon about this world where the role of cows and humans are reversed, so this human from Earth crash landed there, found this cute girl who was about to get eaten and rescued her, and the girl was wondering why this guy interfered when she considered herself lucky to be picked as the equivalent of Kobe human steak. This is obviously the cow's point of view, and a human raised in cow's point of view would consider being Kobe human steak to be a great honor. Likewise the Ant arc should be looked at from the Ant's point of view, because they're the dominant species. The Ants have plans to deal with mostly national-level entities, which is why they have a fake government front (though bizarrely, they don't know about national-level weapons like the Rose). They heard about these Aura using guys but for the most part they don't really fear the abilities at the human level, so they make plans as they should but they don't really take humans seriously. For the most part the arc confirms that the Ants, at the Royal level, really have no reason to take humans seriously on a 1on1 level. Throughout the arc we're constantly reminded a single Royal can decimate the entire strike force minus Netero almost at will. Even the intelligence that human pride in, we consistently see Royals beat human at that game too. Pufu obviously was a master of this, but even Yupi saw through Knuckle's weakness.
It's worth noting that even Pufu, who is probably the most anti-human Ant out of Royals, don't necessarily want the extinction of humanity. What Pufu wants is some grand unification of all species and there must be something for a conqueror to rule over. He clearly sees the plaza full of drooling humans as some kind of trophy that honors Meryem. Of course, Meryem, even in his 'conqueror' form, doesn't even care about that, since he's far beyond such things. He conquers merely because it is his duty. He really could care less what happens to humanity, other than that they're his favorite type of food.
The nation the Ants seized has Rose. It was reported on national TV that Diego planned on using Rose to blow all the people up in the cover up story.
Clearly the capability of the Rose in the world of HXH is available to anyone with even a passing interest in massive weapon of destruction. It's certainly something that can be discussed on national TV. In fact it's very safe to say more people knows about Rose than the people who know about Aura in the world of HXH given the former is a subject that can be discussed on TV while the latter is definitely not.
The human point of view is fairly irrelevent because after all the readers are human too and it's not hard to see that if you're faced with a species that will likely result in the extinction or at least trying to completely conquer your world you're not going to negotiate with them. But the whole trying to figure out which way the Ants (especially Meryem) are leaning or what might've influenced is just human conceit. If the favorite food of Ants were bacon instead of human, you wouldn't have any of nonsensical philsophical stuff about what motivates the Ants, and yet from the Ants' point of view there is no difference between their favorite food being bacon or human hamburger. It just happens that in this world human beat out bacon as their favorite food. If bacon was the preferred food of the Ants, would the Ants even bother negotiating with humans? Maybe they wouldn't even care enough to attack an inferior species that tastes worse than bacon? Or would they have already unleashed the Rose figuring humans are useless when you got bacon? You really have no idea because in the grand scheme of things, the Ants aren't concerned about humans if not for the fact that they like to eat them.
Well to be honest, I don't remember much details concerning the Rose so I won't argue over that anymore lest I misremember and say something wrong. XD I didn't remember that it was discussed on TV, but if that's the case, then it would seem weird that the Ants didn't know anything about it. Ultimately, I think the problem with the Ant arc is that it's such a huge arc and it's very likely at any point the readers may think Togashi may have bitten off more than he can chew. Hence why the ending may not be a good payoff. Now whether Togashi was successful or not is up to the reader, of course.
Interesting point there in the last paragraph; I understand it better now. Komugi aside, and possibly Netero as well, the Ants don't see humans overall as nothing more than food or an inferior species. Or would you say that the respect Meruem has gained for Komugi (and maybe Netero in the end?) is also only because we're seeing things through the human POV?