Sunday, May 13, 2007

American Royalty

Lexington | The royalty trap | "Montesquieu described 18th-century Britain as a republic in the guise of a monarchy, because the elite was happy to swap one royal family for another whenever it suited them (as in 1688 and 1714). These days, it is tempting to argue that America is becoming a monarchy in the guise of a republic.

This is not just a matter of the Bush-Clinton lock on the presidency. It is also a matter of the way people feel about the institution. Walter Bagehot, a 19th-century editor of The Economist, argued that people like to see a “family on the throne” because it “brings down the pride of sovereignty to the level of petty life”."