It has all been said before. Historian Barbara Tuchman, still hopeful, laid it out. ‘In the United States we have a society pervaded from top to bottom by contempt for the law. Government — including the agencies of law enforcement — business, labor, students, the military, the poor no less than the rich, outdo each other in breaking the rules and violating the ethics that society has established for its protection. The average citizen … is daily knocked over by incoming waves of venality, vulgarity, irresponsibility, ignorance, ugliness and trash in all senses of the word.’ This view was arrived at in 1976.
Her comprehension of history as cyclical serves as hope and warning. We’ve lived through this before. One of my history professors (an Englishman) remarked unforgettably that the United States was by far the most lawless country in the world. And the role of President is not that of Sun King, although Tuchman believed it bewitched its occupants and dazzled the public.
I doubt that Australia needs a Presidential republic. I wonder who is fit to be head of state?